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Make the right hire: Interview best practices to save you time and money

You find yourself in the position of needing to fill a job vacancy. By now you have gone through the first part of the recruitment process and hopefully you have a short list of candidates to interview.

Tips for selecting the best candidate:

1. GATHER JOB INFORMATION: The most important part of the interview process is in the preparation. This process may already be well underway if you have created a job description.The goal at this stage of the hiring is to talk to other employees or think about former employees that have already held the job and look at the skills and qualifications that made them flourish in the position.  Knowing the key skills that make successful employees in this position will help you focus your search.

2. DEVELOP YOUR INTERVIEW QUESTIONS:  You want to make sure your questions are effective, efficient and fair.  Begin by writing questions that will help identify if the candidate has the essential skills needed for the position. Group the questions logically, and be prepared to use a combination of open ended questions to draw out more information and close ended questions to confirm facts. Always have your questions prepared in advance and in writing to help with consistency in evaluating the candidates.  This will also help you avoid possible legal pitfalls linked to the Human Rights Act of Canada.  You can use our job interview planning sheet to help you start this step.

3. CONDUCT YOUR INTERVIEWS:  Make sure you schedule ample time for the interview and a window of time immediately afterwards to write down your thoughts once the candidate leaves.  Ensure all interviewers have a copy of the candidate’s resume and a copy of the interview questions before hand.  During the interview you will want to build rapport with the candidate, ask your questions, probe when you need more information and document the responses.  

4. EVALUATE THE CANDIDATES:  This will require you to review notes, compare them to your job information, and discuss with fellow interviewers what their impressions and thoughts were on the candidates.  Try to make your choice based on the job information and the skills and qualifications of the candidates rather than the pull of a heart string or a pigeonhole that cloud your judgment. 

It’s not always easy to choose the right candidate.  Selecting top talent can be tricky but if you are prepared you should be able to avoid many of the pitfalls that some employers encounter.

Do you want more information on Selecting Top Talent? As a CFIB member you can take the VuBiz online course called “Selecting Top Talent” for free as part of your membership.