Employers guide to an interview
Everyone knows how crucial a job interview is to the candidate but the importance of the process to employers themselves is rarely discussed.
The job interview is one of few chances that an employer has to meet the candidate and help them get the right person for the job, the team or department, and the company as a whole.
And with the economy the way it is, bad recruitment can be an extremely costly mistake to make and one which employers can ill afford.
Some recent studies suggest that taking on a poorly-selected employee can cost a company 2.5 times the salary of that person, with loss coming from recruitment costs, interview time lost, redundancy pay, internal assessment of the poor hire, repeated recruitment costs, lost value on training and development, a detrimental impact on the rest of the team... the list goes on.
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So how do employers make sure that they get the right person? Well some guidance can be taken from recruitment companies, who will usually carry out a pre-interview discussion with candidates to assess their suitability for the role. Leah Burrows, director at Plymouth firm Flair 4 Recruitment, which has an office in Sutton Harbour, said: “An interview with a candidate is a great opportunity to really get to know the individual and establish their suitability for the role.
“Competency based questions are commonly used by employers as this enables you to learn about the candidates previous experience and gain specific examples of where they have used skills in the past.
“It is a good idea to break the interview into different sections as you will want to find out about various areas including: previous roles, motivations, personal interests and very importantly their knowledge of you as a company and the position they are interviewing for.
“They key element is to ask a range of questions and get a balance in order to gain a full understanding of the person you are interviewing.”
Leah suggested the following questions could be asked by interviewers:
- What do you know about our company?
- What interests you about the role you have applied too?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What motivates you?
- What three words would former colleagues use to describe you?
- What are your goals in the next five or 10 years?
- How do you plan to achieve those goals?
- What are you passionate about?
- What interests do you have outside of work?
- What was your biggest achievement in your previous role?
So, what do businesses need to think about to ensure they recruit the right person? Before companies begin the recruitment process, it is important to undertake a thorough evaluation of what qualities and skills are required of a new recruit.
The most common mistake companies make when interviewing is to rely too much on gut instinct. Subjective opinion will inevitably play some part in the recruitment process – we are all human – but this should be underpinned by a comprehensive, objective assessment of the candidate’s suitability and their skills across the entire performance spectrum.
If a company is clear on what factors make for consistently successful employees, that knowledge can be applied critically, enabling them to recruit to an objective benchmark moving forward.
Investment in the recruitment process and in skilled recruiters can help reduce poor hiring decisions. A good recruitment company will be able consistently to find candidates who add value to their clients’ businesses.
And having said that skills are all important, once a recruitment company has done some of the hard work for the employer by selecting a shortlist of candidates who have the right experience and skill set, the employer can then decide which sort of personality they are looking for to complement the company ethos and the team that the new recruit will be working with.