- To get accurate information during job interviews
to help you hire the best and avoid the rest.
- To fairly evaluate information obtained during
- To set the stage for a successful career with
the company by orienting the new hire to the job, department,
objectives, and co-workers.
- Conduct a job analysis to determine the qualifications
needed for the position:
- Previous job experience
- Technical skills
- Leadership potential
Note: Qualifications should reflect the job --
not the person who holds it. When doing the analysis, do not base
your conclusions on the interests and personality of the last person
who held the job, or even on the qualifications you sought last
time you interviewed applicants for this position. Job needs change.
- Look for red flags when reading resumes, like
unexplained gaps on employment history, use of the word "attended"
instead of "graduated" when listing education, and lack
of detail about past jobs.
- Develop a list of open-ended questions
that you can ask all applicants in order to make comparisons of
applicants easier. Sample questions include:
- How would you describe your work experience
at your present job?
- What are your responsibilities at your current
- What do you like most about your current
- What do you like least?
- What skills have you developed in your current
- What skills do you hope to develop in this
- What are some job accomplishments you are
- What are your short- and long-term career
- What factors are most important to you when
you evaluate a new job?
Note: Avoid prejudicial or potentially prejudicial
questions -- anything dealing with race, religion, nationality,
sex, age, marital status, or disabilities.
CONDUCTING THE INTERVIEW
Here are some general guidelines to ensure a smooth
- Review the resume briefly before the applicant's
- Use open-ended questions.
- Hold the interview in a quiet, private place
that is free of potential interruptions.
- Keep a small clock on your desk; don't look
at your watch (it can cause some people to tense up).
- Use body language (like nodding your head)
to encourage the applicant to talk.
- Put the interviewee at ease by asking some
- Have a list of questions but don't limit yourself
to what's on the list.
- Use silence to give candidates time to think
of their own questions and offer additional information.
- Be specific about the job's requirements, including
work hours, overtime policies, travel, etc. Never pain a dishonest
picture of the job's (or the company's) prospects to convince
someone to take a job; the result could be a lawsuit.
- Test the applicant's technical competence by
asking questions that require knowledge of common technical terms,
and by presenting hypothetical problems and asking the applicant
for a solution.
- If the applicant is disabled, be prepared to
discuss reasonable accommodations to the work per the Americans
with Disabilities Act.
- Answer honestly any questions the applicant
may have about the company, the job, working conditions, etc.
- Close the interview by being honest but tactful
to those candidates not likely to be considered. Give serious
candidates some idea of the length of the interview process and
when they might hear from you.
Once you complete the interview process, take
the following steps:
- Review any notes you took during the interviews.
- Call two or three references for each serious
candidate -- including at least one former employer. Use open-ended
questions to determine how well the applicant performed in the
- Compare the information you obtained from the
resume to the information you obtained during the job interview
and reference checks.
- Once you've made a selection, let other candidates
know they were not chosen. Don't leave them wondering.
BRINGING A NEW EMPLOYEE ON BOARD
The process doesn't end with hiring; you have
to make the new hire feel like a part of the team. Here are some
guidelines to help you get the new-hire acclimated to the workplace:
- Meet the staffers before the new-hire arrives
tot tell them about their new colleague.
- Be on hand to welcome the new-hire. Introduce
him or her to co-workers by name and title.
- Sit down with the employee and discuss the
job, its relationship to other jobs in the department, the department's
mission, and the standards by which the employee's work will be
- Requisition necessary supplies and equipment
for the employee, and explain the requisition/supplies procedure
to the new-hire.
- Be prepared with one or two assignments so
the new-hire can get started working right away and feel like
an active part of the office.
- Decided in advance whether to assign the new-hire
a mentor or "buddy." If you do, choose someone with
a positive attitude about the job and the company, as well as
some previous training experience. But don't use this as an excuse
to abdicate your responsibility to help the new-hire settle in.
- Discuss special training (if any) with the
new-hire and explain why the training is required.
- At the end of the first day, visit with the
new-hire to see how things are going. Find out whether he or she
needs additional information, supplies, instructions, etc.
- Monitor the employee's performance over the
first few months. Even if your company doesn't have a formal probation
period, the employee should be told what constitutes reasonable
job progress. Both good and unsatisfactory work should be mentioned.
Use this time; too, to learn from the employee new ways the work
could be done. Be open-minded to the employee's ideas.
If you like this checklist, and want similar
tools to help you with other critical responsibilities, let us know.
We want to provide our readers with them. You can call the editor,
Florence Stone, at 212.903.8075.