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Make the Best of the Interview Process

I joined The Brooks Group just over a month ago and I thought it would be apropos to offer some tips or reminders on hiring and potentially bringing on a new associate.

Pre employment:

1. The 80/20 rule should apply when it comes to who is doing the talking. Try and ask open-ended questions to ensure the candidate does most of the talking.

2. While the candidate impressing you is most important, keep in mind that you should sell the company to the candidate as well. There are many ways to make the candidate feel welcome, for example:

  • Start the interview on time.
  • Be prepared. Read their resumes before they arrive.
  • Look on the Internet; is your candidate on LinkedIn, Plaxo?
  • Invest time in genuinely getting to know that candidate. Simple actions which can improve your ability to focus on your interactions with your prospective hire might include not looking at the blackberry or computer, not accepting calls, and closing the door to avoid interruptions.

3. Structure a portion of each interview to incorporate not only potential superiors, but peers as well. This will allow coworkers to see if the person being considered will fit in with the team dynamics. Also, try to schedule part of the meeting in an informal setting such as a lunch. This step will allow all parties to interact in a relaxed setting. This will also provide an opportunity to ensure the candidate has proper social skills in a business environment.

4. Explain to the candidate who they will be meeting with, as well as what roles they have within the organization so the candidate can prepare and have questions ready.

5. Advise approximately how long they should expect the interviews to last and try very hard to stick to that plan. It shows your potential employee that you run your organization properly and can function within time parameters. If you do need to run long, ask the candidate if it is ok, and give them a chance to make any calls they may need. It can cause a great deal of stress to a potential employee if an interview was to take an hour or two, only to have it run three or four hours. Keep in mind that they may have other interviews, babysitting conflicts or a current position that they must take responsibility for.

6. During the interview process, make clear your expectations for new employees in terms of job performance and adherence to company culture.

  • What is the work day like?
  • What is dress code?
  • Is the office environment more relaxed with kidding and cut-ups?
  • What are realistic performance expectations for the first month, six months, year, etc?

7. Depending on the position you are filling; take the candidate and their spouse out for a dinner. This is a good time to talk about some of the details of the offer, as well as showing the spouse that you are concerned about the overall quality of life of the potential new employee. When my wife and I went to dinner with Steve and Kevin and their wives, it helped us see a wonderful family environment that The Brooks Group takes such pride in. Next Month, I will talk about some ideas for new employees first few weeks on the job. Good Luck!