Interview and Hiring Tips

The interviewing and hiring process can be daunting, especially if you aren’t using a set system of proven interview and hiring techniques. You could also be opening yourself up to legal issues.

Here are some interview and hiring tips to help ensure you end up with a candidate that is suitable for your business needs and company culture. But first, you need to determine what type of interview you will be conducting and whether it will be a structured or unstructured interview.

What Type of Interview will You be Conducting?

Before you begin interviewing, you will need to decide what type of interview you will be conducting. There are several types of interview options from which you can choose based on a set of considerations. For example, your industry, the position you are interviewing for, the type of information you need from the applicant, and your corporate culture. Here are the most widely used interview options.

  • Telephone Interview – generally used for pre-screening applicants.
  • One-on-One Interview – this option is used when you need to consider behavior, competency, and/or situational scenarios.
  • Panel Interview – this option is generally used when the applicant will be interviewed by more than one interviewer at a time during a single visit.
Interview and Hiring Tips

Will You be Conducting a Structured or Unstructured Interview?

Structured Interview

A structured interview is used to narrow down an applicant’s specific skillset and any criteria that are essential for the position you are hiring for. In a structured interview, you will ask a specific list of questions and will use that set of questions for every applicant you interview for the position.

Asking the same set of questions to every applicant will make it easier for you to perform side-by-side comparisons of each applicant. Additionally, asking the same questions to every applicant will help make sure you are not accused of discrimination in your hiring selection because you asked the same questions to everyone.

Unstructured Interview

When conducting an unstructured interview, an interviewer generally won’t adhere to a set agenda. You will simply ask open-ended questions and then let the applicant talk. This type of interview will frequently result in the applicant disclosing more information about themselves than they would if you had asked them closed-ended questions that only require a short answer.

Another reason you might choose an unstructured interview is that you want to tailor the interview according to the applicant’s specific skillset and experience level. The only drawback with an unstructured interview is that it will be more difficult to perform side-by-side comparisons because you didn’t ask every applicant the same questions.

Before you begin preparing for the interview, consider reviewing some interview and hiring tips. This will help ensure you cover everything and don’t unknowingly make any legal faux pas.

Preparing for an Interview

If you want to be an effective interviewer, it’s best to prepare in advance.

  1. Make a list of all the success factors of the job.
  2. Rank the most important experience, qualities, education, and characteristics a qualified applicant must have based on the job specifications.
  3. Develop a list of specific questions that will help you determine if an applicant has the success factors needed to perform the job.
  4. Decide on what type of interview process you will be using.
  5. Review the applicant’s resume and confirm it matches the job description beforehand.
  6. Mentally plan the interview as you would like it to go.
  7. Determine the follow-up process you want to use.

You can add anything to this list that would help you navigate the interviewing process.

Interview and Hiring Tips: Questions You Must Avoid

Always avoid questions that are based on race, sex, religion, national origin, disabilities, genetics, familial status, or color. Additionally, there are certain questions you are not legally allowed to ask an applicant during an interview. Here is a short list of illegal interview questions.

  • Any questions about a person’s work or visa status or their citizenship.
  • Any questions about a person’s marital or family status.
  • Any questions about a person’s age. You must wait until you have officially hired them before inquiring about their age.
  • Any questions about a person’s disability status. There are legal ways to ask disability questions. Therefore, you must be sure you know exactly what to say, what not to say, and how to properly ask about someone’s disability as it relates to the job.
  • Ask a person about their religion or lack thereof.
  • Ask a person about their arrest record. This law is state-specific (see note below). There are legal ways to ask about an applicant’s arrest record.

*NOTE: There are no Federal laws that specifically prohibit an employer from inquiring about someone’s arrest and conviction records. However, several states have laws that limit the use of arrest and conviction records by prospective employers. Therefore, you should consult with a labor attorney about any state-specific laws and guidelines regarding this issue.

You should also avoid making certain statements that could be construed as a contract for employment. For example, you should never use the words “permanent,” “long-term,” or “career job opportunity.” You should also avoid making assurances such as job security, etc.

If you need a labor and employment law firm, please Contact Hultman + Joshi today.