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Often hiring managers spend a scant amount of time preparing for a job interview. It’s understandable in light of the many responsibilities they have to handle in their job. But failing to prepare is preparing to fail, to use the words of the great UCLA basketball coach John Wooden.

Without proper preparation, the hiring manager might miss the opportunity to make a great hire because he or she didn’t ask the right questions. Here are some things to do before the interview.

1. Review the job description

The job description will contain a list of the skills needed for the job, along with a summary of the job responsibilities. This will help to guide the interview so you are attracting the right people for the job.

If you are uncertain about anything in the description, talk to people who have worked with someone who held the job for more information.

2. Study the candidate’s work history

Often hiring managers will ask candidates to provide information that they included in their resume or cover letter. This is a problem on several levels. First, it makes the hiring manager look like he or she is unprepared or uninterested. It also wastes time that could be put to better use during the interview. It cuts into the time you might otherwise have to dig more deeply into the candidate’s skills and knowledge to determine if he or she is the right person for the job.

So take the time before the interview to look over the candidate’s background. Note any issues that need to be followed up on, such as unfamiliar job titles or gaps in work history.

3. Plan the interview

Put together a basic plan of attack for how you are going to conduct the interview so that you will be sure to cover all of the areas you need to. Being well organized will reflect well on the company and show the candidate that you respect his or her time.

4. Prepare questions

Write down a list of questions that you believe the candidate must answer. All candidates should be asked the same questions. Take notes on each person’s answer so you can compare their responses.

Use different types of questions to help draw out the candidate. There are basically three types. One is the closed-ended question, which requires just a yes or no answer. Another is the open-ended question, which requires a more detailed response, where the candidate is able to express his ideas and opinions. And hypothetical questions, where the candidate deals with a what if scenario.

Winston Resources is here to provide your company with the talent you need to make your business the best it can be. We have the knowledge and experience to help your business with the people you need. Give us a call today.


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