Candidate screening. Use an initial phone interview to screen candidates for job requirements including skill set, experience, past performance, job tenure and cultural fit. Prepare a screening questionnaire that includes questions related to your job and company requirements.
Prepare a job description that includes job requirements that correlate with employee success based on experience rather than anecdotal information. Include “soft” job requirements, i.e. attitude, behavior, professionalism, courtesy, and enthusiasm.
Ask open ended questions including at least one question relating to each job requirement. Also, ask probing, follow-up questions, in order to test the accuracy and completeness of candidate answers. Follow-up questions can be as simple as “why” or “can you tell me more”.
Prepare a score card that includes the questions, numerical scores for answers (for example 1 – 5), and total score. Interviewers should complete score cards for all candidates. This will provide an objective method to measure and rank candidates.
Face to face interviews. Have two or more interviewers for each interview. Discuss candidates’ performance in at least three prior jobs. Discuss why candidates left jobs, relationships with peers and supervisors, achievements, failures, and likes and dislikes.
Don’t lead candidates, i.e. if interviewing Sales Reps, ask how they pursue an opportunity, rather than asking which sales process they use.
Ask all questions in the past tense, i.e. “how did you do that”, rather than “how would you do that”.
Test candidates’ skills. For example, with sales candidates, request that they “sell” you their current solution. Ask questions and raise objections. Do they answer your questions and overcome your objections?
Challenge candidates. If you don’t agree with something that candidates say, politely tell them that you don’t agree and measure their reaction. Do they change their statement or support it?
Post-interview reviews. Hold post-interview review meetings during which interviewers discuss candidate scores, strengths and weaknesses. Record and distribute minutes of these meetings.
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