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Eight Tips to Consistently Hire High Performers

Interviewing is the single most frequently used employee selection tool. Most of us however, have never been formally trained to interview job applicants.

Interviewing is the single most frequently used employee selection tool.  Most of us however, have never been formally trained to interview job applicants.  

In contrast, the applicants are usually well prepared, having rehearsed the interview several times over with friends, relatives, professional career coaches and even interactive web sites. 

Attorneys and other HR experts can give you good advice on what questions you should not ask.  However, you also need to know how to conduct the interview and what questions to ask.  Your goal is to leave the interview with as much information about the applicant as possible; it’s just like researching any expensive product you are about to purchase.

The good news is that effective hiring is a skill that everyone can learn. 

Here are eight tips that will get you started. 

  1. Prepare.  Write out questions in advance.
  2. Focus. Listen to what the applicant has to say.
  3. Insist on specific answers; general info is not helpful.
  4. Ask about past behavior; it’s the best predictor of behavior in the future. 
  5. Keep them talking.  The applicant should be talking during 80% of
    the interview.
  6. Take notes on everything; the good, the bad, the ugly.  Interviewing is hard work.
  7. Smile and nod in response to all statements regardless of whether or not you agree. 
  8. Evaluate the applicant’s responses in relation to job expectations; don’t compare applicants to each other. 

Hiring employees should be a focus of every organization’s performance improvement program.  Well executed, hiring the right applicants will improve your bottom line by reducing turnover and retaining a motivated workforce.  


Article by:  Larry Wenger, WorkForce Performance Group

E-mail: lwenger@workforceperformancegroup.net

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This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Valerie Schubert February 21, 2013 at 03:12 PM
First time I have even seen what you need to do the other side of the desk!.. Usually it's from the applicant's perspective!

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