Four Little Known Interview Tips to Get the Best Candidates

Resumes and cover letters may be a good start in the hiring process, but the behavioral interview can get to the heart of the matter! Four behavioral interview tips, to learn if you have the perfect candidate!

Interview Tips
Photo credit: smiling_da_vinci

Resumes and cover letters determine which candidates deserve a closer look; they show which ones are worth more of your time.

However, without the interview, it is impossible to find the best talent.

Literally, an interviewer can ask hundreds of questions. Asking everything could take hours, and you just do not have the time. Even then, a marathon meeting—filled with meaningless questions—leaves no guarantees that you will find the right fit for your company. The best interview tips are to choose only a select few pertinent questions.

Behavioral interviewing learns which candidates will work the best in a particular corporate culture. One of the best ways to be truly effective is to trim down the list of questions to only what is relevant. Stick to the a few interview tips, and it will soon get down to exactly what you need to know to make a hiring decision.

Nothing more, nothing less.

The secret to finding the best candidate is not the volume of questions; it is the nature of what you ask. There are four “little known” secrets to get the best candidates quickly and efficiently, without wasting your time and the candidate’s.

Behavioral interviews start by simply following these interview tips:

Interview Tips #1: Ask candidates about adaptability, cooperation and leadership skills.

In most positions you interview for, leadership skills will be the trait all candidates should have. How do they drive a team? Are there any tools they use? Learn about what they would respond to co-workers to make sure they are all on the same page.

Flexibility is also a significant ability. There will be situations where the “normal” methods are not enough. How will the candidate change his or her style when they need to get things done? If teamwork is an essential function of the job, adaptability is essential for success.

Interview Tips #2: Ask about priorities and teamwork.

Another fundamental skill in candidates is conflict resolution.  How did they deal with conflicts with co-workers in the past? This will not only prove actual communication, but teamwork, as well.

Priorities and task management, especially when setting schedules, can make a difference.  Which methods does the candidate use to prioritize their workflow? Have them draw on a time when they had too much work, and had to set projects in order of importance. Every employee should meet deadlines and set goals seriously, as well as identifying how to get things done when they feel overwhelmed.

Interview Tips #3: Make sure the candidate understands why you ask these questions.

Questions always should always be relevant and have a clear purpose. Listen carefully to how the candidate answers the questions. There should be an obvious point in every question you ask, and every answer should relate directly to why you asked the question.

Interview Tips #4: Stick with the STAR system.

For the best results, these interview tips suggest that questions—and answers—should follow the STAR system:

  • Situation:

Have the candidate describe a job, task, specific events or situations, not generalized details of past events. If necessary, lead the interviewees to provide enough detail. This situation can be from anything—a previous job, volunteer experience, or anything connected to the job opening.

  • Task:

What is the goal in the situation? What are the expectations of the candidate, and were they right for the task?

  • Action:

Every situation and task should lead to a specific action. Have the candidate provide appropriate detail, clearly and without rambling. What steps did they take? What was the contribution?  When describing actions, check for the candidate’s use of words like “I” or “me,” not “we”.

  • Result:

How did the situation turn out? See if the candidate takes credit for their actions. Every action should lead to an accomplishment, something they can relate to the current job opening. Make sure they provide positive results.

Do you have any great interviewing tips? Let us know! Join the conversation in the comments below!

Published by @philammann

Put. That coffee. Down. Writer/editor/whatever it takes. @margaretj13 is my (much) better half. Website: Email: Twitter: @PhilAmmann

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