There Really Are Right and Wrong Ways When Interviewing Candidates

John Krautzel
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As a hiring manager, you need to balance vetting top talent quickly and getting the right candidates to a job interview as expediently as possible. Adding more steps to the recruiting process might make things more complicated, and prospects may leave to find greener pastures if your firm takes too long to make hiring decisions. Liz Ryan, founder and CEO of Human Workplace, has some ideas.

Review the Job Description and Job Ad

It's important to design the right job description to attract top talent. Rather than list 20 line items describing the worker's daily duties, describe how the candidate's role benefits the company and customers. A job ad should also provide information about salary, work hours, job interview date ranges and possible travel.

Respond Quickly

Once a highly qualified applicant submits application materials, contact him as quickly as possible, within 24 to 48 hours. Don't make qualified candidates wait too long to hear back from you, as they likely have other job options. Also, you probably want to hire someone as soon as possible, so when you reach out to the candidate, attempt to schedule a job interview within a week. Statistics show that 39 percent of job applicants lose interest in a position if the hiring process takes too long.

Ask Candidates to Ask Questions

Before applicants attend job interviews, they usually prepare a list of questions to ask employers. Welcome each candidate's questions, and be sure to answer them as honestly as possible. Some candidates prefer to wait until the end of an interview to ask questions, but it's best to encourage candidates to ask questions throughout the interview. Don't save questions until the end of an interview only to find out the candidate believes the position isn't the right fit.

Have Frank Interview Conversations

A job interview is a two-way conversation in which candidates and employers discuss exactly what the job entails. The candidate must decide if your organization offers ample opportunities for personal and professional growth and if he wants to invest his time at your company. As an employer, you must figure out which person is the best fit for the job. College degrees, work history and a specific background do not equate to job success. The right candidates understand how to do the job and show genuine interest in the position. Be forthright about the challenges of the job, and do not hold back when discussing the difficult aspects of the position. If the person in front of you is the right person, he'll want to rise to the occasion.

Follow these tips to increase your chances of getting high-level candidates to the job interview. These tips also boost your chances of finding the perfect person for the job.

Photo courtesy of Sommai at


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