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Interviewing Potential Employees

Help With Hiring

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Many articles about job interviewing address the needs of potential employees. In this article we're going to turn the tables and address the needs of those who must interview potential employees. While human resource professionals receive training in hiring practices, department managers generally do not. These managers, though, are often called upon to interview job candidates who will potentially become their subordinates.

Why Is The Interview So Important?

The human resources department is responsible for screening candidates to verify the information on their resumes. Once that is done, qualified candidates are generally passed along to the manager of the department in which they'll work. As a department manager or supervisor, it's likely you'll be working very closely with the job candidate you hire. That's one reason it's so important that you're very thorough in your interview. Another reason is that your decision is an indication of your ability to manager. A good or bad choice will reflect on you. Your new hire will interact not only with you, but with your boss, your colleagues, your staff, and your customers. You'll be responsible for making sure the candidate:
  • can do the job well;

  • fits in well with other members of your department; and

  • will be able to work well with you

Preparing For the Interview

Before you begin interviewing candidates, you should prepare some general questions. You will also want to take some time to review each job candidate's resume or application. This will give you the opportunity to prepare questions that are relevant to the candidate's work history, such as:

  • What did you like best about working at XYZ Company?

  • What did you like least about working at XYZ Company

  • Describe your manager at PQR Inc.

Conducting Yourself On the Interview

How you conduct yourself on the interview is as important as how the interviewee conducts him or herself. You should try to put the interviewee at ease since that will help insure that you get more honest answers. However, you shouldn't give the impression that you are relaxed type of manager if you aren't one. Don't forget — it's as much about the potential employee deciding if this place is right for him or her as it is about you deciding if the candidate is right for the job. If this isn't a good match, from either party's perspective, it's best to find out now. It's very important to be polite and considerate. Keeping the candidate waiting, or taking phone calls in the middle of an interview reflects poorly on you and your company. This person you are interviewing may some day work for you, or, in this fast moving world, you may someday work for him or her.

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