5 Tools and Resources to Leverage While Interviewing Your Next Hire

Kylie Cimmino
July 16, 2020

There are many tools you can leverage when interviewing candidates

An interview is not just a meeting where questions are asked and a candidate is or is not chosen for an open position.  It is part of a recruiting process and interviewing is a process in it of itself; it’s not a singular conversation.  Interviewing begins when you post a position that is open and you begin to receive resumes.  The resume is the first introduction you have to a job candidate.  You then proceed through the steps you identify as part of your process and ultimately reach the goal of hiring a new employee.  

There are many ways to conduct an interview and a variety of tools and resources that can prove useful in developing the specific process that works best for your organization.  An interview may take place over a period of time, involve multiple people, might incorporate examples or work and assessments, and should ultimately be tailored to suit the particular position and the organization as a whole.  This is why it’s important to define a particular method that works for your company and create a standard to work to. 

Why Having a Structured Interview Process is Important

Structure is your friend, especially during the interview process.  Without a standard operating procedure, you leave yourself open to inconsistencies in the information collected, quality of the candidate, and the time it takes to hire someone.  Creating a process with structure and standards also allows the process to be streamlined and consistent.  Depending on the position your organization may want to have different people involved in the hiring and interview process, and with the right process in place that can happen seamlessly.   A defined interview process will help with the success of your interview and ease of decision making.  If you know what expectations you have of an individual and are measuring a job seeker against them you will be able to identify candidates who will be an asset and culture fit with more clarity.  This will hopefully lead to good decisions and less turnover.  A misshire can be costly to both a company’s time and finances.  

The Steps to Creating an Interview Process 

Before you begin actually interviewing you need to develop an interview process and document it in a standard operating procedure (SOP.). This assures the hiring manager or employee who will participate in the process will be able to follow the established process. You will need well written job descriptions for your vacant roles, which should include skills and core competencies necessary for each role.  Once completed, this acts as an interviewing guide for those involved in the process.

Now it’s time to think about the actual interviewing.  There are so many questions to consider as you build best practices for your company.  Is there a questionnaire you will require to be filled out to identify someone’s eligibility for the role?  Will you have a prerecorded virtual screening or phone screen that needs to be completed before the job candidate speaks with a hiring manager?  What assessments will you include?  Will interviews happen in person or via a web conferencing tool?  How many interviews need to happen?  What interview questions will be asked?  What type of interview will you be conducting? Who’s involved? How will you review the results of the interview?  Who will give the feedback to those who have been interviewed?  These might not be all of the questions you will need to consider, but it’s a great starting point.  Once you have the answers to those questions you can document the specifics of your process and apply it to the candidates you have chosen to interview.  

How to Choose Tools and Softwares for Interviewing

It has become very common for current work practices to have shifted to remote interaction, and the interview process is no different.  No matter if your interview process has remained the same or you are adjusting it based on employee health and safety and business needs, there are a variety of tools and softwares you can use to get the job done.  It’s important to evaluate the process you have designed against the softwares available.  

At Red Clover we utilize SparkHire to have a prerecorded introduction and interview questions that get sent to chosen candidates and they are able to record their responses on their time from the comfort of their homes.  This has removed the responsibility of those screenings that get performed multiple times from an individual on our team, and allows us to review the responses in a more convenient way.  It removes the possibility of different questions being asked, thereby guaranteeing a consistent process, and allows the individual the ability to go through the process when it is convenient for them.  The implementation of one simple tool simplifies the a step in the process, creates consistency, frees up time, and allows for convenience when conducting job interviews.

Maybe that doesn’t sound like something that would interest your organization.  There are a variety of other tools you can incorporate into your hiring process.  You can use questionnaires and surveys to collect answers to simple questions.  Phone calls to confirm candidate information and interest can be an effective tool.  Video conferencing tools allow a more standard interview to be conducted virtually.  Don’t forget phone interviews can also be a viable option, as some individuals may be uncomfortable being on screen.  All of these tools and resources can be combined in a way that suits your company and its hiring goals to achieve a customized approach to interviewing. 

Practice Behavioral Interviewing

Behavioral interviewing is preferred because it relies on past performance and behaviors to predict future performance and behaviors.  It relies on good communication and promotes a conversational interview and tends to feel much less like an interrogation than a biographical interview.  While a biographical interview is useful for fact checking, it is not ideal for predicting success, which is why we advocate for behavioral interviewing. When selecting interview questions it’s important to consider the position you are interviewing for and what competencies and behaviors are necessary for success within the role.  It’s also key that you build rapport and ask questions that prompt for context, the actions taken, the role played, and the effect of the actions and role.  If something is unclear, be sure to ask clarifying questions and confirm the information you’re receiving.  

Communicate Company Values and Culture

Your company’s values and culture play an important role in your hiring decisions, so it only makes sense that you use them as part of your interview process.  It’s a great exercise for any organization to identify their values, however it’s especially important if you are a growing company and trying to develop a culture and plan that is scalable.  Many organizations will base hiring and firing decisions not only on skills and abilities, but also on the individual’s ability to work as a member of the team and participate in the company culture and exhibit core values.  Choosing questions and assessments that align with those values will help you evaluate if a candidate has the potential to be a good fit for the organization or just won’t work out from the start.

Incorporate Core Competencies

Core competencies are an important part of any position and play a key role in the success of both the individual employee and the organization as a whole.  Understanding what competencies apply and how to assess the candidate against them is an integral part of the interview process.  Each job has different skills and capabilities that are required. It is key to identify them and rely on the answers candidates provide to your interview questions to determine an individual’s fit for the position and company.  

DISC Assessments

DISC assessments can be an insightful part of your hiring process and provide useful information about a candidate’s personality, preferred communication style, and motivators.  It’s an asset to help you communicate with your candidates effectively, establish a rapport and understanding, and match individuals to specific job roles.  You can create benchmarks for specific jobs that you can evaluate a candidate’s assessment against to understand their strengths and potential areas for development.  Benchmarking tools can provide value in the interviewing process and beyond and is something we recommend you add to your company’s process.

An interview can be intimidating to a job candidate and stressful for the interviewer.  However, if you develop the right process and follow through with the plan you’ve developed you will be set up for success.  Not all candidates will be the right fit, but the asking the right questions, leveraging the appropriate softwares tools, and utilizing vetted assessments will make the decision making process one you can rely on.  You will be confident in your choice and have a positive outlook as you continue with the hiring process post-interview. 

If you want to create a standardized recruiting and interviewing process for your organization, reach out to us at Red Clover.  One of our SHRM-certified consultants will work with you to help set your company up to successfully interview and hire for open positions you need to fill.

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