Top 3 Interviewing Essentials For Hiring Teams


by Chuck Cohn, SmartRecruiters Blog

Whether you recruit chemical engineers, HR generalists, or salespeople, the right candidate possesses three qualities: competence, cultural fit, and the potential for growth. This holds true in all corners of the business industry, from an internet-based marketplace like Varsity Tutors, to a healthcare conglomerate with 100 offices worldwide. If you are looking to improve your hiring practices, consider the following interviewing essentials for competency, growth potential, and culture fit:

  1. Competency

Assessing an applicant’s competency involves determining whether or not he or she has the fundamental skills to do the job well. You can evaluate competency in a number of ways, including analyzing past experiences for tasks that align with potential duties, or asking his or her references about the candidate’s specific skills and abilities. You can also simulate a job task that the applicant then completes as part of the interview process, or you can contract him or her for a trial period to see how he or she performs and interacts with your existing team members. Evaluating how the candidate performs on one or more job-related tasks can reveal strengths or deficiencies beyond what can be determined in an interview. Research studies have even shown that this use of sample tasks is one of the best predictors of a candidate’s success.

  1. Growth potential

This question – “Does the candidate demonstrate the potential for professional growth, and can he or she help your company grow as well?” – can be invaluable for recruiters across industries to ask themselves. Team members who are willing and able to grow with your business, and who can contribute to your personal sphere of knowledge, can enable your company to pursue various short- and long-term objectives. To assess an applicant’s growth potential, consider examining his or her educational background and work experience, paying particular attention to accomplishments and career milestones. Has the candidate been promoted before? Has the candidate managed different projects? Has he or she helped a business or department grow and become more sophisticated in the past? The candidate’s external projects (if applicable) can also assist you in answering these questions. For example, does the candidate hold leadership roles outside of work, such as serving on a volunteer board, captaining a sports team, or other.

  1. Culture fit

An applicant can best contribute to your company’s growth if he or she is a great cultural fit. As this industry survey demonstrates, the third-most common reason that team members voluntarily leave their companies is a lack of fit with the job. You can avoid this turnover by defining your company culture before you begin to recruit new staff members. When you do begin to recruit, weigh the candidate’s preferences and past work experience. For instance, if your business is very fast-paced, does the applicant thrive in unpredictable environments?

Successful recruiting practices are ultimately the result of consciously seeking those characteristics that benefit your business model and your growth potential. Developing a hiring system that ties your recruitment questions and processes to job-relevant criteria can help you ensure that you hire the best people for your company.

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