Imagine you’re a hiring manager or business leader who recently lost a key employee. Upon his or her resignation, you began planning the strategy for interviewing and hiring a successor. You’ve made it through the pre-interview preparation process by updating the position’s job description and determining the non-negotiable “must-have’s” in the candidates. Now, the resumes are flooding your desk and the process is getting more complex that you thought.
This week, we’ll explore a strategy for selecting a pool of candidates and examine some questions that are critical for your initial phone interviews with those candidates.
How to Screen Job Candidates
- Listen to your gut. First, separate all the resumes based on how closely the candidates meet the criteria identified in part one of this blog series. Don’t labor over this part though—your initial reaction is probably the right one. Divide into three stacks:
- The “A” Stack should include candidates who have all or nearly all of your “must-haves.”
- The “B” Stack should include applicants who are close but don’t quite meet the requirements.
- The “C” Stack should include individuals who do not meet the basic criteria and who will not be considered.
- Develop screening questions. These five or six questions will be asked in the initial phone interview. You’ll want to look for:
- A basic overview of the candidate’s experience: “What are your current responsibilities?”
- Specialty experience: “Describe your cost accounting responsibilities in your last position.”
- What they want: “Why are you looking for a new position?”
- Salary requirements: “What are you expecting for compensation in your next position?”
- Location: “Is the office location and distance acceptable for your commute?”
- Select candidates for an initial screening. Call or email your top three to five candidates to schedule the phone interview. Calling ahead to schedule is courteous and allows the candidates to prepare well.
For more tips on hiring and structuring interviews, register for a free webinar, Key Hiring Tips and Structuring Interviews that Yield Great Information, which will be held on March 20, 2014.
Check back next week for the final part of our blog series on finding top talent and avoiding hiring mistakes.