The tougher you are during the hiring process the easier your job will down the line. Do not compromise in what you are looking for. Assuming that you are hiring for front line positions remember that you want to find the right fit for the organization and for the employee.
Let’s start with reviewing resumes. I don’t focus too much on the style of resume used. I do look to see if they are consistent within their style. Call me picky, but if someone writes that they are detailed oriented and is using different size and or types of bullet points, I don’t think they are are detailed oriented.
Once you have selected your candidates don’t forgot that you as the interviewer is in the position of power. The interviewee should be convincing you why he or she should be hired. Unless you are hiring for a high level or highly skilled position you don’t need to sell the job. I’ve observed interviews for entry level front line positions where the Supervisor conducting the interview did most of the talking, selling the job and the company. At the end of the interview a job offer is extend and we know nothing about the interviewee. We have no insight to what type of learner, worker, or team player he or she will be.
I’ve also observer Supervisors, who provide very little feedback to his or her team, shower interviewees with positive feedback throughout the interview. The candidate will answer a question and the interviewer responds with, “oh that’s wonderful” or “that’s exactly what we are looking for”. This maybe controversial to some but I believe as the interviewer, the interviewee should have no idea how he or she is doing. The way they handle the pressure of not being able to read you will say a lot about how they could handle pressure on the job. Now I’m not saying be a jerk or be cold. I’m saying be neutral. If the candidate says something funny it’s okay laugh or smile.
Don’t play games because hiring the right person is not a game. Everything that you do should be for the purpose of helping you determine if the person in front of you is the right person. Let me walk you through a typical interview with me. Typically the candidate is waiting in a lobby area and I will go out to get him or her. I introduce myself and ask how they are doing while escorting them to the room in which the interview will take place. If this is a panel interview, introduce the other people on the panel. Now I always have a designated seat for the candidate and I tell them where to sit. This establishes that the interviewer, not the interviewee, will be controlling the interview. I then inform them that will be asking a few questions and will be taking notes along the while. This is setting the expectation that you will probably be doing more writing than making eye contact. I always start with a review of their job history. Don’t review the whole résumé just the most recent job or two. Ask what they did and what they accomplished. I also ask what was there favor thing and least favor thing about that job. If they didn’t like all of the changes at a previous job and your organization is going through a lot of changes then this might not be a good fit. You can also skip down to a particular job that may have specific relevance. Address any gap in work history if it hasn’t already been done. I then get into the scripted interview questions.
Once you have completed your interviews evaluate the candidates. Do you have any candidates that fit the requirements that you are looking for? If you do not then start over. Many managers will simply hire the best candidate. That’s great if your candidate has what you are looking for. If he or she doesn’t have what you are looking for then you’ll be spending the next few months maybe years trying to teacher and/or compensate for those things that are lacking. The alternative is to spend another week or two and find someone that has what you are looking for. Hire tough so you can manage easy.