Prep Your Team for an Effective Interview

Prep Your Team for an Effective Interview

Interviewing a candidate for a position is as much an interview of the company as it is an interview of the individual. The candidate is getting a feel for your organization and may decide whether or not to accept an offer based off of their experience interviewing. When the candidate will be interviewing with multiple people within your organization, it is a good idea to prepare the interview “team” well in advance of the interview.

The Job Description

The foundation of any successful and worthwhile interview is the job description. Ensuring that the job description clearly states the requirements of the position and that the hiring manager has highlighted their “must haves” versus their “nice to haves” will ensure that the candidate brought in for an interview meets the criteria on paper.

Choosing the Right Interview Team

Before any preparation can be done, an interview team must be selected. HR and the hiring manager are obvious choices, but should other team members interview the candidate? Does an executive need/want to be involved? Choosing the appropriate team from the start will set your interview process up for success.

Host a Pre-Interview Meeting

Invite all interviewers to a pre-interview meeting to review the candidate’s resume and the job description requirements. This will help ensure that the interviewers appear prepared for the interview and will give the candidate a good initial impression of the organization. Additionally, this is the time to discuss any positives or potential negatives based off the initial screening of the candidate. As a group, you can prepare an interview strategy that could include appropriate questions to ask specific to the job description as well as areas of focus for each interviewer. An example of areas of focus is provided below.

Interviewer Interview Focus Sample Questions
  • Big picture – Are they a cultural fit?
  • Sell the candidate – Where is the company going? How can they help get you there?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • How do you handle disagreement?
Hiring Managers
  • Team/Job fit – Will the candidate be a good fit for your team? Can they do they job?
  • Explain the role – What are the expectations? How will they be assessed?
  • How do you prefer to be managed?
  • Describe a situation when your work was criticized.
Team Members
  • Team Fit – Can you work with this person? How can this person enhance our team?
  • What has been your biggest career accomplishment?
  • How do you typically complete projects?
  • Big Picture – Are they a cultural fit?
  • Company Specifics – Benefits, hiring process, etc.
  • What interests you most about this company?
  • What type of environment do you thrive in?

Finally, the pre-interview meeting is a good time to review off-limits questions and topics. A sampling of off-limits topics is below but can be expanded based on your organization’s values and needs.

  • Race, Color, or National Origin
  • Religion
  • Sex, Gender Identity, or Sexual Orientation
  • Pregnancy status
  • Disability
  • Age or Genetic Information
  • Citizenship
  • Marital Status or Number of Children

A well-prepared interview team provides an excellent candidate experience and can give you a more complete view of the candidate.

Are you looking for top-quality candidates? Do you need help preparing your team for interviews? The MFA Companies Talent Acquisition Team is here to help –  contact us today.

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