International Search Partners

To the best of our knowledge International Search Partners (ISP) is the only recruiting company in the world which specializes in the heat treating industry. We have worked with the firm a number of times over the years and have never regretted it-as a matter of fact ISP has provided us with some very interesting articles about salaries in the North American heat treating industry, articles which we will repost this week. In this article Josh Hale talks about interview practices.

Interview Best Practices for Employers. It’s easy to forget that interviews can be just as stressful and nerve racking for employers as they can be for candidates. That’s why we’ve complied some tips, tricks and best practices gleaned from over 20 years of recruiting experience to help the interview-ER complete a successful interview.

Pre-Interview. Before the interview, it’s good to remind yourself of the qualifications and skills (both hard and soft) that you’re looking for in a candidate. It’s best to do this prior to every interview to ensure you are conducting interviews in a uniform manner.

Also, preparing sample interview questions beforehand can help avoid fumbling, “winging it” or coming across ill-prepared. While it’s important to verify information provided on a resume or profile, it’s asking more probing questions that shed light beyond what’s presented on paper that will serve you best.

Try and avoid cliché questions like “what is your biggest strength weakness?” Instead, focus on STAR questions: Situation, Task, Action, Result.

  • Situation – have the candidate provide a situation where a key behavior or competency was used.
  • Task – here the interviewee needs to articulate the specific task they had to achieve within the stated situation.
  • Action – the candidate then must clearly convey the actions they took in the face of the situation and task at hand.
  • Result – finally, the individual needs to define the results or outcomes triggered by their actions within the broader context they previously outlined.

During Interview. Remember, you want this interview to go well! Ideally, this candidate is the person that is going to help solve some problem you have in your organization, whether it’s filling an open role or helping with an expansion. As you begin the interview, offer a brief friendly introduction. Let the candidate know what your goal is in the interview, give an indication of the proposed length of the interview, and let them know that you are there to answer any of their questions.

It’s typically a good idea to ask follow-up questions too. Don’t be afraid to probe and get the information you need to make an educated decision, but also make sure to be aware of any interview questions that might be prohibited by state or local regulations in your area.

Remember to be careful not to let your first initial impression (good or bad) cloud the interview. Do you best to ask consistent questions to get as much information as possible. Beware of the “devils-horns effect” where one negative point shuts you off to the candidate for the rest of the interview. Similarly, beware of the “halo effect” when a candidate’s strong point (such as a high-profile position or prestigious school) rose colors your experience.

It can be important to listen to your gut, but that’s just one data point. Don’t rely on this 100%.

Finally, end the experience on a positive, upbeat note. Allow some time at the end for the candidate to bring up any questions he or she might have. You can learn a lot by the questions they ask, and it also offers an opportunity for you to sell your company. Thank the candidate for their time and let them know you’ll be in touch regarding a decision or next steps.

Post-Interview. If you’re working with a recruiter, give them a call after your interview for an initial “brain dump and debrief.” It’s best to do this immediately after and to be candid and open with your comments and thoughts. If you’re not working with a search firm, find someone internally to discuss with. This is the best way crystalize your thoughts and decide how to proceed.

After an initial debrief, revisit your notes in a day or so (but not longer) and decide how to proceed. If the candidate is to move forward in the process, call them and schedule next steps. Or, if you’re working with a recruiter, coordinate how they are to handle moving forward. The recruiter should be able to give you some insight to the candidate’s thoughts as well.

If this is not a candidate you want to proceed with, let them know with a simple email. No need to espouse on their lack of credentials, but it’s a good practice, and just common courtesy, to close the loop and let them know that you won’t be pursuing their candidacy further. Again, if you’re working with a recruiter, you can filter this information through them, but in this case be sure to give specific reasons why it wasn’t a match. The more detail you share, the better equipped your recruiter will be to find you the right match on the next one.

For over 20 years, ISP has been the premier recruiting solution for the Heat Treat industry. If you’re hiring now, or exploring new opportunities for yourself, we are uniquely positioned to be your partner for success and would love to work with you! Please contact us at [email protected] or 619-465-9621.