Job interviews can be stressful for both candidates and hiring managers. As a manager, it’s important that you use interviews to make a good impression on talented EHS candidates and ensure you’re hiring the best candidate for the role.
These tips will help you conduct effective interviews to secure top-notch EHS staff:
1. Prepare before the interview. Make sure you take the time to properly get ready for each interview you’re conducting. Read through the candidate’s resume right before the interview, and have it in front of you during the meeting. Also, make a list of questions that you would like to ask the candidate. This will help you avoid scrambling to think of questions during the interview. It’s not just the candidate who is trying to sell themself. When you go into the meeting unprepared, it’s a negative reflection on your organization and you risk steering away top talent who will then go work for your competitor.
2. Provide the candidate with more information about your company and the job responsibilities. Make sure you start the interview by giving the applicant an overview of your organization, your company history, and mission. Additionally, provide details about the job duties they would be in charge of if hired. Give the candidate time to ask questions.
3. Ask the candidate a variety of basic and big questions. This will help you get a well-rounded picture of whether they will fit well in the role and in your organization. Those basic, but important questions can help you gauge essential skills that are often overlooked, like communication and adaptability. Example: What are your strengths? Asking the big questions will make your candidates think a bit more to help you bring innovative and forward-thinking employees into your company. Example: What would you implement to improve the company’s safety strategy?
4. Ask behavioral questions. You also want to make sure to pose questions related to the candidate’s past behavior and performance in certain areas. This will help you see what their future performance would be if you hired them. Example: Tell me about a long-term project you managed and how you led it to success.
5. Practice active listening. When you’re speaking with a candidate, take the time to truly listen to what they’re saying. Let your candidate do most of the talking. Hiring managers should only talk about 30 percent of the time, according to John Dooney, manager of strategic research for the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM). Provide the candidate with both verbal and nonverbal feedback to show them that you’re listening to what they’re saying.
6. Consider involving current employees in interviews. Many organizations have current staff members participate in job interviews to ask applicant questions. This is helpful in determining whether a candidate is a good fit for the team. If there is a particular employee who the new hire will work with closely, consider having that current employee take part in the interview.
7. Follow up with candidates after the interview. Don’t just leave applicants hanging. Send an email to each candidate who you did not select for the job to thank them for their time and let them know you decided to go with another candidate. This will leave them with a good impression of your organization. You never know if they could be a good fit for another open position at your company in the future.
Interviewing can be tedious for hiring managers, but if you develop a good process to follow, you can set yourself up for success. Implement these tips to ensure that your interviews run smoothly and you hire the best EHS candidates for your open positions.
Interview Tips for the Interviewer, Lynda M. Bassett, Monster.com.