Preparing for a job interview isn’t just the responsibility of the job seeker. The manager performing the interview also needs to prepare. Such issues as prescreening applicants, preparing relevant questions, and understanding the applicant’s background are important details to have worked out before the sit-down.
It isn't just job applicants who need to get ready for a job interview. The manager performing the interview needs to be just as prepared to ensure a good hire.
With fewer jobs and more applicants, ensure the right candidates get through the screening process.
Scott Gunderson, professor and co-chair of business at Dakota County Technical College recommends prescreening through your announcement.
"If they have to be able to lift 70 pounds, make sure you put it in the advertisement," advises Gunderson.
It also provides more enthusiastic, motivated applicants when they know what will be expected of them in the position.
"You get a better base of applicants that way," says Gunderson.
Before the interview, develop questions that will be relevant for the job.
"Don't just ask the standard 10 questions that are so common," says Gunderson. "Ask about some situational issues."
There are also legal issues to be mindful of during the interview. For instance, there are some questions you cannot ask (such as someone's age or marital status).
Also, be aware of red flags. Job-hopping is common, but investigate the reasons behind it. Is the applicant moving up in each position either in job level or wage, or is the applicant having trouble holding down jobs? Further, look for gaps in employment that can't be explained.
A good idea is to do some research on potential hires. In this day and age of Facebook and MySpace, you might learn more about your candidates than they would ever offer up.
"Google is a wise thing to do and it's free," says Gunderson.
Put It All Together
In the end, you have to look at everything with perspective.
"If there is a typo or misspelling on an application for a light industrial job, is that a deal breaker?" asks Gunderson. It might be if written communication is going to be part of the job.
Don't feel pressure to hire someone just to fill a position. Gunderson notes that a bad hire winds up costing the company one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half times that employee's beginning salary.