Hiring Someone? Do This Before The Interview So You Don’t Get Stuck With A Dud

November 8, 2017

I’ve been surprised by job-seeker feedback recently, which is interesting, because I’m not usually easily surprised. I’ve had many career coaching clients and mentees complain that the hiring manager wasn’t prepared for their in-person interview, with several telling me the hiring manager hadn’t even read their resume.

It’s well-known that recruiters and HR managers spend little time reading resumes. A study by The Ladders found that recruiters spend only 6seconds reviewing an individual resume. A CareerBuilder survey showed a majority (43 percent) of HR managers spend less than a minute looking at a resume, while 24 percent spend less than 30 seconds. Pretty appalling stats.

That shouldn’t be the situation with hiring managers, right? After all, the hiring manager is the person who will be responsible for the new employee. Shouldn’t the hiring manager be doing his or her best to be prepared for each in-person interview?

Maybe it’s the weather that’s distracting hiring managers. Maybe they’re thinking about the upcoming holiday season.

Whatever the reasons for distraction, this is a good time for a quick review of the preparation activities that should be taking place prior to holding an in-person interview.

My rule of thumb when I train new managers is that for each in-person interview, you will need to schedule at least 30 minutes of preparation time. That’s because before an interview occurs, you should take the time to:

  • Be clear on the role to be filled, the objectives and issues that need to be solved, and how the person in the role will be a part of the solutions.
  • Read the job posting/job description once or twice, so the role and requirements are fresh in your mind.
  • Write down a list of questions to ask each candidate. These questions should be connected to the role and the role’s objectives, including behavioral questions that will help you understand how a candidate thinks about certain topics, how they analyze issues and how they go about building solutions.
  • Review the candidate’s resume and LinkedIn profile, considering how his or her background, skills, experience, education and certifications could be helpful to the role.
  • Review the LinkedIn recommendations about the candidate.
  • Write down any clarification questions to better understand certain aspects of the candidate’s resume or experience.
  • Refresh your memory on the types of questions to avoid asking during interviews, such as questions based on race, religion, gender, age, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, veteran or military status, and physical, mental, or sensory disabilities. That’s because these are all “protected classes” under most state laws.
  • Be prepared to take notes about the candidate during each interview, so you can review your notes before making the final candidate decision.

If you’re a hiring manager, I know it can be challenging to set aside preparation time prior to interviews. But it isn’t really an option… it’s a necessity to ensure a higher-quality decision.

~ Lisa Quast

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