Better Interviews Can Uncover Better Candidates

Joe Weinlick
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Finding the best candidate for an open position starts with asking better interview questions. The Department of U.S. Labor and Statistics estimates that hiring the wrong person can equate to a loss of about 30 percent of his salary. That means a bad hire, with a $60,000 salary, would essentially cost the company $20,000. It’s important to make sure you find the right person the first time, and that starts with the interview process.

The first step toward uncovering the best candidates for the position is to make sure you optimize the hiring process with better interview techniques. You should prepare for the interview by doing your research on the position you're looking to fill to make sure you ask the right questions. Start by talking to successful employees in that current position and finding out technical questions and traits that are relevant.

When the candidate arrives, have your list of interview questions, which should include technical questions, behavioral questions and situational questions. Be careful when interviewing to make sure you try and ask all of the same questions to the candidates. You will be able to make sure the process is fair, and also be able to properly compare the candidates against each other.

You should also have a list of the job duties, and go through them with the candidate to see what kind of experience and knowledge the interviewee has with his potential future position. Another interview technique is to ask the interviewee what they think their favorite and least favorite aspect of the job would be to get a sense if they would like the job and potentially perform well. You may also want to ask where they think they would excel and where they feel they may need additional training to see if their strengths align properly with your needs.

While you want to make sure you have the interview structure in place to keep it fair and organized for all applicants, don’t be afraid of a little spontaneity. Typically during those times, you get a true feel for the applicant’s personality. It's important, however, that you don’t lend too much credit to one aspect or quality. You want the best person for the job, not the person who can interview the best or makes the best first impression. Charisma and preparation are important qualities, but every aspect of the person's personality, professional history and interview capabilities are important.

One interview technique that is commonly missed, however, is to make sure you make a good impression on the applicant. If you want to uncover the best candidates for the job, you must realize those applicants should have a variety of choices, which means your company needs to stand out.

Asking the right questions can help you find the right candidate for the job, which can save the company money. Hiring the wrong person can cause added stress to your current employees and create an unhappy work place. Ask good questions, and make sure you also make a good impression so you have the opportunity to hire the best possible candidate.

Photo courtesy of franky242 at


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