5 tips for small businesses to handle job interviews
As a small business, time and resources are naturally more limited, even to the extent of not having a dedicated HR department or person.
Never the less, the same laws of discrimination apply in the interviewing and hiring of staff.
- Taking the process seriously –
Even as a small company, there's no reason why your interviewing shouldn't be taken seriously, with adequate processes and preparation on the part of your interviewers.
Develop a system for defining job expectations and measuring applicants against those expectations. This job based criteria should be objective and provide equal opportunity for all qualified candidates to apply and be considered.
- Don't just go through the motions –
Sorting through CVs and selecting the few prime candidates is a good start. Remember, you're looking for a more effective interview: one that brings something out of the applicants which marks them down as suitable for your needs.
This means thinking about really good questions to ask and avoiding clichés. In this way you'll learn more about your prospects.
You're looking to conduct a job interview that differentiates between who the candidate wants you to see and who is really sitting across from you.
- Towards a better interview –
It pays to study the CVs more closely of your shortlisted candidates. Unless you've taken the time to absorb the candidates CV, you're not really going to be able to draw anything special out of them.
Before the interview, why not check out some background to your candidates to see if anything interesting pops up. Checking Google, MySpace or Facebook for example is a legitimate tactic – you're likely to find out something that allows a deeper insight into the candidate.
- Homework saves time –
Winging an interview may be fun and more preferable if you're busy, but preparation means you don't waste time both in the interview and later if the decision to hire doesn't work out.
It's worth remembering that we all still go by first impressions, and once again, preparation will help you avoid forming instant opinions.
Your previous understanding of a candidate will balance the initial appearance of someone who may simply be having an off-day or not giving an accurate account of themselves.
- Be objective –
Your processes and criteria for hiring will be a good guide to stick to through the interviews allowing you some freedom to deviate from this framework.
Asking the odd question that genuinely interests you, and especially if it is in the middle of the interview stops the candidate from simply going through a rehearsed patter. Whatever your question, judge your candidate on how well they answer or if they try to bluff. The purpose is only to gauge the candidate's reaction to a tricky situation.
Proper job interview techniques will give you as much confidence that you're doing a good job as much as help you find the right candidate. Naturally, hiring the right candidate reduces potential future expenses, such as recruitment, training, and related on-going recruiting.