Interviews are usually broken down into five different stages. Understanding each stage of the interview process will help your company standardize the interview process; leading to better, more qualified hires. Having a standardized interview process helps interviewers and recruiters make a fair comparison between candidates. Below you will find detailed information of the interview process.
- Introductions: The most important step in an interview process is your introduction. The introduction is where both the candidate and the company will be making their first impression. The company’s introduction should include a greeting to the candidate with a smile, shake their hand, and always remember to be courteous. The interviewer or recruiter should present the company in a positive light and be transparent about the company’s inner workings and the culture of their organization. During this step, provide the candidate with a brief breakdown of the structure of the interview and how long the interview should last.
- Describe the Company and Position: After introductions are finished, the next step is to provide the candidate with information about the company, what you do and your role in the company, the reason for hiring, and what the position the candidate is interviewing for involves, and where it falls into the company’s structure.
- Information Gathering: After describing the company and position comes the information gathering piece. Ask the candidate why they want to work for your organization. During this step, you can learn just how prepared or unprepared a candidate is. Did they research the company and the position before their interview? Does the candidate sound confident about their abilities and qualifications? What is their body language saying when they’re speaking? This can be an important step in determining what kind of employee this candidate will be.
- Question/Answer: During this stage, you will be asking the candidate a set of standardized questions for the position. The questions/answers will allow you to compare the candidates to determine which is the best fit for the company. The candidate may also ask questions about the company during this stage.
- Wrapping Up: Closing out an interview is just as important as the other stages of the interview process. Leaving a candidate feeling good about the company and its culture is key in hiring top talent in your industry. During this step, you will thank the candidate for their time and provide the candidate with what to expect next. For example, are you interviewing more people, will there be a second round of interviews and when should they expect to hear back from you? You can provide the candidate with your business card or contact information and then walk the candidate out. It can be a good best practice to send a follow-up email to the candidate to recap your closing statements and thank them for their time as a courtesy.
Interviewing and hiring top talent are the most important challenges a growing business can face. Creating a structured interview process can help optimize your recruiting and interview processes. Conducting an effective interview creates great candidate experiences.