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Interview Process

30 October, 2015 - 17:27

Once the criteria have been selected and interview questions developed, it is time to start interviewing people. Your interviewing plan can determine the direction and process that should be followed:

  1. Recruit new candidates.
  2. Establish criteria for which candidates will be rated.
  3. Develop interview questions based on the analysis.
  4. Set a time line for interviewing and decision making.
  5. Connect schedules with others involved in the interview process.
  6. Set up the interviews with candidates and set up any testing procedures.
  7. Interview the candidates and perform any necessary testing.
  8. Once all results are back, meet with the hiring team to discuss each candidate and make a decision based on the established criteria.
  9. Put together an offer for the candidate.

As you can see, a large part of the interviewing process is planning. For example, consider the hiring manager who doesn’t know exactly the type of person and skills she is looking to hire but sets up interviews anyway. It is difficult, if not impossible, to determine who should be hired if you don’t know what you are looking for in the first place. In addition, utilizing time lines for interviewing can help keep everyone involved on track and ensure the chosen candidate starts work in a timely manner. Here are some tips to consider when working with the interview process:

  1. Make sure everyone is trained on the interviewing process. Allowing someone who has poor interviewing skills to conduct the interview will likely not result in the best candidate. In a worst-case scenario, someone could ask an illegal question, and once hired, the candidate can sue the organization. UCLA researchers  1 calculated that plaintiffs win about half of hiring discrimination cases that go to trial, sometimes because of interviewers asking illegal questions. For example, “I see you speak Spanish, where did you study it?” is a seemingly harmless question that could be indirectly asking a candidate his or her ethnic background. To avoid such issues, it’s important to train managers in the proper interviewing process.
  2. Listen to the candidate and try to develop a rapport with them. Understand how nervous they must be and try to put them at ease.
  3. Be realistic about the job. Do not try to paint a “rosy” picture of all aspects of the job. Being honest up front helps a candidate know exactly what they will be in for when they begin their job.
  4. Be aware of your own stereotypes and do not let them affect how you view a potential candidate.
  5. Watch your own body language during the interview and that of the candidate. Body language is a powerful tool in seeing if someone is the right fit for a job. For example, Scott Simmons, vice president at Crist|Kolder, interviewed someone for a CFO position. The candidate had a great résumé, but during the interview, he offered a dead-fish handshake, slouched, and fidgeted in his chair. The candidate didn’t make eye contact and mumbled responses, and, of course, he didn’t get the job, 2 because his body language did not portray the expectations for the job position.
  6. Stick to your criteria for hiring. Do not ask questions that have not been predetermined in your criteria.
  7. Learn to manage disagreement and determine a fair process if not everyone on the interviewing team agrees on who should be hired. Handling these types of disagreements is discussed further in  "Successful Employee Communication".

Once you have successfully managed the interview process, it is time to make the decision.  "Testing" discusses some of the tools we can use to determine the best candidate for the job.

Human Resource Recall

Can you think of a time when the interviewer was not properly trained? What were the results?

Key Takeaways

  • Traditional, telephone, panel, informational, meal, group, and video are types of interviews. A combination of several of these may be used to determine the best candidate for the job. A structured interview format means the questions are determined ahead of time, and unstructured means the questions are based on the individual applicant. The advantage of a structured interview is that all candidates are rated on the same criteria. Before interviewing occurs, criteria and questions for a structured interview should be developed.
    • Interview questions can revolve around situational questions orbehavioral questions. Situational questions focus on asking someone what they would do in a given situation, while behavioral questions ask candidates what they have done in certain situations.
    • Interview questions about national origin, marital status, age, religion, and disabilities are illegal. To avoid any legal issues, it is important for interviewers to be trained on which questions cannot be asked. The halo effect, which assumes that one desirable trait means all traits are desirable, should also be avoided.
    • The process involved in interviewing a person includes the following steps: recruit new candidates; establish criteria for which candidates will be rated; develop interview questions based on the analysis; set a time line for interviewing and decision making; connect schedules with others involved in the interview process; set up interviews with candidates and set up any testing procedures; interview the candidates and perform any necessary testing; and once all results are back, meet with the hiring team to discuss each candidate and make a decision based on the established criteria; then finally, put together an offer for the candidate.
    • Developing a rapport, being honest, and managing the interview process are tips to having a successful interview.


  1. With a partner, develop a list of five examples (not already given in the chapter) of situational and behavioral interview questions.
  2. Why is it important to determine criteria and interview questions before bringing someone in for an interview?
  3. Visit and find two examples of job postings that ask those with criminal records not to apply. Do you think, given the type of job, this is a reasonable criteria?