Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

Important Interview Tips for Employers

We all know that the interview process is really difficult for job seekers. The job market is weak and the jobs are scarce. Have you ever thought about the interview process though from an employers point of view, though? They’re an important part of the interview too, obviously! On top of that, they usually have a full week’s work to attend to on top of hiring new team members. There are important questions that must be asked and getting everything together can be nerve-wrecking. If you hire the wrong person, or people, you’ll have to do it all over again. So, take a minute and read through some of these important interview tips for employers. If you need to get to hiring, hopefully some of these will help you out.

First off, if you are doing the hiring you will likely have to be the one going through all of the resumes and cover letters to screen candidates. If you are too busy to do this, then you need to make sure you have someone you trust and someone that is fully competent go through these applicants. If you do have someone else screening, make sure they have a firm hold on what it is you want out of this new employee or employees. When you get a bulk of candidates that are qualified, make sure you look through their resume and cover letter before you contact them. If you are the one screening, it’s best to get organized first. The easiest way for me to do this is through Excel. I create a list of all of the applicants that applied and if I think they would be a good candidate. Obviously I decide this by reading their resumes and cover letter. It’s a tedious and long task, but it’s necessary.

Then I go back to the qualified candidates and start contacting them. If I called them and left a voice mail, I’ll mark what day and time so I have it on record. If I set up an interview, I mark that as well. It’s really easy to get unorganized with even just 50+ applicants, so stay on top of your list. Once you have your list of qualified candidates, you have to start contacting them for phone screens. This helps you gain some more information on the candidate and will weed out the ones that won’t work. That way, you don’t have to waste time with an in-house interview. One of the best ways to get through this screening process though is to utilize Spark Hire. On Spark Hire, you can send these qualified candidates Spotlight Interviews. You can send them up to 10 questions you want answered and they can then answer them in video format. It’s much faster than phone screens and you can view the candidates candor and communication skills right away. In fact, when the average phone screen takes about 30 minutes, you can get through 10 video screens in the time it takes to complete one phone screen. Much more productive, right?

Once you have the top picks of all the candidates lined up for interviews it’s time to start interviewing! It’s best to write down a list of skills necessary to get this job done. What questions can you ask to make sure these candidates have these skills? If you are interviewing with someone else, which I would not suggest because it can get confusing, then you should make sure you have worked out a system and know who is going to ask what. Otherwise, one person will be doing all of the questioning and the other will just be sitting there.

You should also make sure you know what you cannot ask in the interview. Employers are barred by certain questions by law and if you ask a candidate any of these illegal questions it can mean big trouble for you. Take a look at our list of illegal interview questions and make sure you stay away from them. Make sure you get all of the questions you have answered and really try to see as much of this person’s personality as you can. Also, make sure you have a strong hold on what this position entails.

Most importantly, make sure you leave time at the end to have the candidate ask you questions. This is an important part of the interview and it can give you an even better idea of what this candidate is looking for and how much research they did on your company. If they don’t ask any questions at all, it’s not a really great sign. It’s also important to keep in mind the fact that you are guiding this interview. Whatever attitude or demeanor you are showing, your interviewee will likely follow. If you are lax and sloppy, then the interviewee is more prone to follow suit. If you are attentive and are giving the interviewee your full attention then you should get that back- if it’s a good interview.

Last but not least, if you tell a candidate you are going to do something or send them something, then make sure you do it. It’s also a good idea to let them know what will come next. If you are interviewing others for the position, let them know when they can expect another call from you if you are interested. If you are conducting second interviews, let them know you will contact them if they are qualified. The job search and interview process is rough for both ends, so make sure you are doing your part to stay on top of things. It’s not easy, but it will make your job and the process easier in the long run. Keep these quick tips in mind as well:

-don’t ask irrelevant questions
-ask open ended questions (ones you can’t answer with a simple yes or no)
-make sure you reviewed the candidate’s resume before hand (this could be a disaster if you don’t)
-make sure you know what you want
-try and ask ‘out of the box’ questions to keep it fresh
-know the specifics of the job
-don’t talk too much; the interviewee needs to get a word in

Do you have any tried and true interview tips for employers? Have you found that something really helps you through the process? What is it? Share with us in the comments or tweet me @nicole_spark.

IMAGE: Courtesy of BOB Search

Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter