Excellence in Search

Interviewing for Success

Making Smart Decisions

Interviewing for Success with Graphic Search Associates

At Graphic Search Associates, we know every successful interview should accomplish two things:

  1. The determination of whether the candidate is a viable prospect.

  2. Having the candidate want to come to work for your company at the end of the interview.

With a minimum amount of planning, you can change the interviewing process from a chore to a sales tool for your company.

There are eight simple steps to meaningful, successful interviews:

  1. Know what you are looking for. Have a written job description that clearly outlines the responsibilities of a given position in a language that everyone can understand. The job posting should also give management a chance to both articulate the functions of the position and act as a measuring device when interviewing potential employees.

  2. Be organized. Have a plan, know what you are going to do and say, and make sure that all the people doing the interviewing will be available when they are scheduled. You should also check that they have copies of the candidate's resume ahead of time.

  3. Be on time. You do not expect the candidate to be late so why should you be tardy? Being prompt signals organization and interest, usually two reasons the candidate is looking for a new position in the first place.

  4. Sell, sell, sell. During the initial interview, you must sell your company and the position. Traditionally, candidates had to sell their skill and ability to the potential employer. While this still remains true, the interviewer must also sell the positive aspects of the company. Don't be naïve; the candidates are interviewing you just as hard as you are interviewing them.

  5. Structure the interview process. Nothing dampens a candidate's interest more than having to wait while someone tracks down the next interviewer, as it indicates a lack of organization and communications. Make sure that the other interviewers are prepared, and that they know the candidate's name and for what position the candidate is being interviewed. Graphic Search Associates suggests preparing a written schedule for each interviewer with the candidate's name, position for which the candidate is being interviewed, interview order with times to be interviewed and a copy of the candidate's resume.

  6. Remember the candidate. Provide the candidate with a prepared agenda. It should contain the interviewer's names and titles in the order that matches the schedule that was given the interviewers.

  7. Ask intelligent questions. Don't rehash the candidate's resume. Ask relevant questions and have a meaningful conversation that can include the following career points:

    • Look at the job description that you wrote. Discuss with the candidate his/her experience in the areas you have included in the position description.

    • What problems or challenges are associated with the position you are trying to fill? Ask if the candidate if he/she has encountered the same problems and how were they resolved.

    • Find out what the candidate believes his/her most significant accomplishments were with his/her present employer and how they were performed.

    • Don't be afraid to ask a candidate what his/her goals are. Obviously their present employer cannot provide the means to meet these goals. By asking the candidate for short and long-range goals, you can quickly determine if there is a fit.

    • Ask what three things he/she likes most about his/her current position or company. Then follow up with what three things he/she would change in their present position or company. The answers to these two questions are a great early warning system. If the things they like are found in your company, you might have a match, but if your company has some or all of the things they dislike, then you have been forewarned.

    • Avoid asking WHY. "Why" is a challenging word and usually will put the candidate on the defensive causing them to become less talkative and more guarded with their answers.

  8. Information and follow-up. The candidate should always end their visit with the person that arranged the interview. The candidate should be asked if they have any questions. If you give the candidate a date when you will get back to them, honor it. If you have not reached a decision by the promised date, call the candidate and tell them the new timetable. Once a decision is made, contact the candidates as soon as possible regardless of the outcome.

Make Smart Hiring Decisions with Graphic Search Associates

Smart companies learn how to use the interviewing process for more than just evaluating potential employees. By defining your needs, organizing and planning the interviews and asking intelligent questions, you can expand the primary interview into a very successful recruiting tool.

For more interview tips, or to find the best candidate for your open position, rely on the printing recruiters at Graphic Search Associates. Learn more by contacting a member of our recruiting team at (800) 342-1777 today.