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How to Build an Interview Form a Guide for Hiring Managers & Recruiters

on Sun, 08/05/2012 - 20:46

Whether we are a consumer, customer or working within a team environment in corporate America we have all run across the clueless, careless, could-care-less employee that has us asking, ‘Did they even bother to interview this person at all?’

Interviewing plays an absolute critical role in the ability of a company to on-board the most qualified, quality candidate.  Anyone that has had to deal with the aftermath of a poor hire fully comprehends the need to properly interview a candidate.  Interviewing is just one part of the successful hire process, there’s sourcing, screening, references, background checks, negotiations, visa issues, diversity, but in the big picture, interviewing, plays a major driving force to successful hires.

There are a variety of interview formats such as the traditional person-to-person interview, panel interview, behaviorial, mass interviewing at job fairs or on-site hiring events. For the purpose of simplicity this blog will address building an interview form for a generic traditional person-to-person interview.

Provide a title to your form so you can easily refer to it when interviewing candidates for the same or similar position.

Start the conversation by asking the candidate what they know about your company.  A properly prepared candidate will have researched the company prior to coming in for the interview and will have some knowledge of the services your company provides as well as additional information relative to company policies, practices and newsworthy notes.  Confirm with the candidate if their information is accurate and then take the time to provide the candidate with additional information.  Don’t spend a tremendous amount of time up front in this area, but use this discussion point to highlight clarify what your company does while adding enticing statistics or appealing benefits.  Following is an example of how to present general company information with selling points included:

CompanyX is the leader in patient satisfaction surveys. The company formed in 1985 and has grown to over 700 employees. CompanyX has an entrepreneurial culture where there is a great deal of room for career growth. CompanyX now serves more than 44% of all U.S. hospitals, 7,000 medical practices and 900 home health agencies.

GroupY, a private equity firm, owns CompanyX, along with co-investors such as Bank of America and Goldman Sachs.  Recently one of our co-investors said that they have 48 investments in their portfolio and CompanyX was #1 in performance.

Next provide a high level description of the job duties for the position you are hiring for.  This verbal description is a simple reminder to the candidate as to what is expected on the job, i.e.: We are seeking someone with the ability to extract specific data elements necessary for operational and analytical reporting.  The role requires working alongside ETL Developers to build or enhance data tables for improved Business Intelligence. 

List the necessary information required to identify this particular interview for filing and reference purposes. Information you should gather includes: date, name of applicant, applicant’s phone number, email address, city they reside in, name of person conducting the interview, position they are interviewing for, their position title and company they are working for, current salary and work eligibility. 

When asking the candidate what their current salary is it is only fair that you also share with the candidate the salary range for the position.  It is important to establish up front the salary expectations for both parties so as not to waste anyone’s time.  If the candidate appears as though they will be a strong match for the role but the difference in salary expectations is off there are a variety of ways to entice the candidate to continue considering the role such as sign-on bonuses, early reviews, career advancement, benefits and whatever else your company might be able to come up with.  There is a great deal more to discuss when there is a difference in salary expectations however remember it is very important to discuss salary up front.

Regarding ‘work eligibility’ you should ask every candidate if they are eligible to work in the United States indefinitely.  It would be illegal to cherry pick the candidates that you want to ask this question so ask it of everyone.  Some candidates may have visa or other issues that do not allow them to work more than a few years in the United States.   Don’t ask if they require a visa, that too would be discriminatory, instead assume everyone is a U.S. Citizen by asking them if they are eligible to work in the United States indefinitely.

Now is the time to ask questions related to the job duties.  For example if you were hiring an Executive Administrative Assistant you might want to ask the following:

  • On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the best, how would you rate your Microsoft Excel skills?
  • MS Excel beginner question- Can you create spreadsheets in Excel?
  • MS Excel Advanced question – Can you create formula’s in Excel?
  • MS Excel Expert question – Can you create Pivot Tables in Excel?
  • What is the latest version of Excel that you have worked with?
  • How many executives have you had to support at one time?
  • This position involves scheduling meetings and travel, tell me about your experience in this area.

Ask a few questions designed to draw out the character, the likes/dislikes of the candidate.

  • Out of all the jobs you have held, which position of employment did you enjoy the most and why?
  • What attributes would you bring to the table that would be of greatest benefit to this company?
  • Why are you interested in this position?

Ask one or two behavior based questions. Behavior based questions are based on the prediction that previous based employment behavior is a good indicator of how the candidate will perform in their next position of employment. Following are some behaviorial based questions:

  • Management - Give us an example of when you had to improve the performance of a team. What were the problems and how did you deal with them?
  • Management - Give an example of when you had to use different management styles for different people to achieve the same results?
  • Structure and Organization- What is given top priority in your job and why?
  • Structure and Organization- How do you prepare your week?
  • Innovation- What was the best idea that you came up with in your career? How did you apply it?
  • Innovation- Describe a situation when you demonstrated initiative and took action without waiting for direction. What was the outcome?
  • Building Relationships- It is very important to build good relationships at work but sometimes it doesn't always work. If you can, tell about a time when you were not able to build a successful relationship with a difficult person.
  • Building Relationships- Give a specific example of a time when you had to address an angry customer. What was the problem and what was the outcome? How would you assess your role in diffusing the situation?

Wrap up the interview by asking the candidate if they have any questions for you.  Thank the candidate for their time and escort or assist them to their next destination. 

Below is what your Interview Form might look like:

Phone Screen – B.I. (Business Intelligence) Developer 

 

About the company:

CompanyX is the leader in patient satisfaction surveys. The company formed in 1985 and has grown to over 700 employees. CompanyX has an entrepreneurial culture where there is a great deal of room for career growth. CompanyX now serves more than 44% of all U.S. hospitals, 7,000 medical practices and 900 home health agencies. GroupY, a private equity firm, owns CompanyX, along with co-investors such as Bank of America and Goldman Sachs.  Recently one of our co-investors said that they have 48 investments in their portfolio and CompanyX was #1 in performance.

Job Duties:

We are seeking someone with the ability to extract specific data elements necessary for operational and analytical reporting.  The role requires working alongside ETL Developers to build or enhance data tables for improved Business Intelligence. 

(Pay Range $90,000 - $12,000)

 

Date:

Name of Candidate

Candidate phone:

Candidate email:

Candidate city resides in:

Name of Interviewer:

Position and current company candidate is working at:

Current salary:

Are you eligible to work in the United States indefinitely?

How many years of B.I. Developer experience do you have?

What is the latest version of SQL that you have worked with?

What is the largest number of servers you have supported?

Do you have experience working with healthcare software, if so which software have you used?

How many projects have you worked on where you used ETL?

When was the last time you completed a project from beginning to end?

Out of all the positions of employment that you have held which job did you enjoy the most and why?

What do you believe are your greatest strengths?

Why did you apply to this job?

(Building Relationships) Tell about a time when you built rapport quickly with someone under difficult conditions.

(Analytical Thinking) Developing and using a detailed procedure is often very important in a job. Tell about a time when you needed to develop and use a detailed procedure to successfully complete a project.

*Ask candidate if they have any questions

*Thank candidate for their time

*Escort/assist candidate to their next destination

 

Incorporate these simple to develop, easy to follow interviewing steps and you will be well on your way to hiring a quality candidate with the right skills, right attitude and hopefully right on time!