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Before the Interview

Create interviews quickly and easily with questions matched to the key requirements for the job.  Choose from over 600 interview questions listed under 48 skills and abilities.  Also included are over 400 interview questions for 34 supervisory skills and abilities.  The 1,000+ interview questions include over 300 behavioral questions.  Use the Interviewer's Question Bank  

Hire the right person.  Del Still, author of High Impact Hiring provides the answers to a smart hire.  Use his exclusive 7 step process to hire right, sample forms and 175 sample questions to ask

What's your opinion of having an applicant go through a timed writing/problem-solving exercise and asking questions based on the written product?

I have no problem with this approach as long as you can demonstrate that the exercise is job-related and you're clear about what knowledge or information you are looking for.  If you plan to make this a part of your interview, be sure to administer this exercise to ALL candidates.  I also encourage you to get work samples from a job candidate anytime you can.  In addition, there are a number of standardized tests that you can include as part of your interview process.

How should I use a telephone interview?

Use the telephone interview to:

  1. Fill in missing information on the candidate's resume;

  2. Question the candidate to determine his/her level of interest;

  3. Get a feeling for the candidate's communication skills;

  4. Ask some questions to get a sense of the candidate's technical qualifications;

  5. Decide whether to invite the candidate for a personal interview.

Would you recommend a structured interview?

Absolutely! I'm a strong believer in structured interviews, that is, interviews where the questions have been developed based on a well done job-skills analysis. This is the best way to insure that your interviews will be complete, consistent, and fair.  Also, you will find it much easier to evaluate each candidate's qualifications based on their responses to your questions.  My book "High Impact Hiring: How to Interview and Select Outstanding Employees," will give you all the tools you need to create high quality structured interviews that get results.

In your book "High Impact Hiring" you recommend using a behavior based interview. Why?

A behavior based interview is the most practical for people who do not conduct interviews as a profession.  This type of interview helps you focus on "what" a person can do (i.e. the skills they have) vs. "why" they do it.  Behavior based interviews take advantage of the fact that people are creatures of habit and repeat patterns of behavior over and over.  So, if we can get job candidates to recall specific job-related events, we can use this information to predict how a person will perform in a similar situation in the future.

How should I start the interview? Should I ask a question to help the person relax?

Start with a warm welcome to the candidate.  Invite them to be seated and offer a refreshment.  It's okay to ask questions like: "How was your trip? or Did you have any difficulty finding us?"  Avoid questions or comments that relate to family or marital status, religion, or national origin.  Continue with a brief self introduction explaining how you fit into the organization and describe your role in the interview.  Briefly review the key duties and responsibilities for the job.  Review the agenda for the interview and the schedule for the day.  This should take no more than five minutes and now, you're ready to begin finding out about the candidate's qualifications.


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