Done well, an in-person interview can provide valuable information about an applicant, beyond what is listed on a resume or application. In order to get the most from the interview, you should prepare in advance so the interview meets your objectives.
Hiring the wrong candidate can be an expensive mistake; the interview process can help weed out the good from the bad. By doing research ahead of time, asking the right questions, and really listening to what the candidate has to say, will help you determine if the candidate is right for the job.
Conduct a Successful In-Person Interview With These 10 Steps
- Do your research. In this cyber age, almost everyone has an on-line footprint – use it. LinkedIn will provide you with the most business-related information about a candidate; see if that information matches what is in the resume. Your search may reveal relevant information that needs to be pursued in the interview.
- Understand the qualifications you want in a candidate. Are you looking for a big picture thinker or someone who is detail-oriented? Someone with a big personality or who keeps their nose to the grindstone? If you have a handful of candidates, all with similar education and experience, what will make one person stand out from the rest?
- Prepare your questions. Ask open-ended questions that cannot be answered with a yes or no. Ask about the candidate’s accomplishments as well as realistic job-related problems. It’s okay to ask creative questions as long as they meet your objectives.
- Make the candidate feel comfortable. When you meet the candidate, smile, introduce yourself and shake their hand. Ask if they want water or coffee. In order to get him or her to open up during the interview, you don’t want to come across as intimidating. You may also want to give the candidate some information about the flow of the interview – how long it will last, if anyone else will be interviewing the candidate, or anything else.
- Ask your questions. You may want to start with a few general questions, verifying information provided on the resume. Then you can get into more specific questions. Use your prepared question such as, “Tell me about the time when…” or “How did you handle a situation such as…”
- Stop talking. The point of an in-person interview is to get to know the candidate and learn if they are the right fit for your company. Give that person a chance to answer your questions. If they pause, you do not need to ask another question right away. It is possible the candidate is just thinking about his or her answer.
- Listen closely. Once you ask a question, don’t think about your next question. Take the time to listen to the candidate’s answer. Depending on the answer, you may want to ask a follow up question. By truly listening, you will get a feel for whether this person should make the short list.
- Let the candidate ask questions. It is likely that the candidate will have done his or her homework on your company, just as you have done your homework on them. A good candidate will want to ask you about the company’s culture, mission or vision, or will have questions about the position.
- Remember what not to say. You cannot ask a candidate about religion, age, sexual orientation, health issues or if a woman, whether she is pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant.
- Wrap up the interview and thank the candidate. When you and the candidate have run out of questions, thank them for their time and let them know what the next steps will be.
Spring-Green Can Help You
The hiring process, including doing in-person interviews can be challenging for any business owner. When you become a strategic partner with Spring-Green, you have a team of experts who will provide you the advice needed to hire, train, and retain employees, not only from the Spring-Green support team, but from other franchise owners as well.
“Talking to guys in the field who have done this for 20 years and be able to tap into that experience – it’s a whole system of support,” says Travis Snead, Spring-Green franchise owner of the collective knowledge he gains from other franchise owners.
Spring-Green can help you grow and diversify with our 40 years of experience and our proven expertise in operations, marketing, and technology. Learn more about how Spring-Green can expand your lawn care services. Call 1-800-777-8608 or visit us at www.growmygreenindustrybusiness.com.