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Avoid Unintentional Missteps in the Hiring Process – Part 2: Interview Preparation

If it seems like everyone is hiring, it’s because they are. Business owners, need to attract the best talent they can and there is a lot of competition for these individuals. Aside from the rate of pay and the perks, make sure you are on par in the hiring process. How you find, vet and interview candidates will speak volumes about your business. Stay on track with these tips from HRinDemand.

In the next four weeks, HRinDemand will post tips on how to avoid a costly misstep in the hiring process. Check out our tip from last week – Understanding How-to Write Standout Job Announcements and Descriptions

Tip #2: Properly Prepare for the Interview – Don’t Blow It Because You are Poorly Prepared and Don’t as Illegal Interview Questions

Interview preparation isn’t just for the candidates. It’s for the entire interviewing team. If you or anyone else involved intends to wing the interview and/or trust their instinct, you are essentially blowing a huge opportunity and it could cost you. Remember the dollar amount it costs to hire and fire someone. A mistake in the hiring process not only costs time but costs a company an average of $50,000 dollars. Bottom line: This is not a time to wing an interview and rely on your gut to guide you.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe a person should always trust their instinct about a person, but if are relying on that instinct alone to hire the right candidate, you are risking too much. Plus, what happens when you like two candidates? How will you decide which to pick? Properly prepare for the interview and use the interview as an opportunity to get to know the candidate and help them know you and your business.

This rule goes for everyone. If there is an interview team, meet beforehand. Have a plan and a set of prepared questions. Also, outline the goals for the interview process. Define the role you would like each team member to take and what you expect their behavior to be.

When preparing questions, sometimes it’s helpful to ask each candidate the same set of questions. That way, you can compare their answers. Also, look to the job announcement and job description as a guide. A properly written announcement and job description can be the cornerstone for developing the interview questions.

Example Interview Questions

“What about this job interests you?”

“What experience do you have that help you meet the requirements listed in the job description?”

The example questions reference the job announcement and the job description and use it as the base of the question. Using a system such as this is highly recommended. Don’t get off track and risk asking some illegal questions.

Illegal Interview Questions

If you are poorly prepared, you may accidentally ask an illegal interview question which can also cost you. The Equal Employment Opportunity Act (EEOA) prohibits you from asking questions that might lead to discrimination, or the appearance of discrimination. Basically, it’s illegal to probe a candidate on any of the following items:

  • Age
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Color
  • Gender
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Country of origin
  • Birthplace
  • Religion
  • Disability
  • Marital status or number of children
  • Family status
  • Pregnancy
  • Salary history (in some states)

To ensure your interview questions are on par, and your team is properly prepared to interview candidates, consult with a professional.

Catch up with us next week for Tip #3: Put Your Best Foot Forward When You Meet Face-to-Face. Stop with the Bad Behavior.

HRinDemand is committed to helping small businesses avoid unintentional missteps in the hiring process and the entire HR process. If you have comments, questions, or concerns regarding your HR Processes, call us at 775-400-1322 or contact us.

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