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Top 10 Interviewing Tips to Hire the Best Talent

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Top 10 Interviewing Tips to Hire the Best Talent

Finding great people to hire can be difficult, even when you have a lot of applicants for every job. There are ways to make the process simpler, faster and ensure you get the best talent, every time. Here are 10 great tips to follow when interviewing, making offers and on-boarding candidates.

1. Have the right interviewers

If you don’t have the right people interviewing, you can’t make the best hiring decision. The most important person in the process is the hiring manager. He or she needs to be involved each step of the way and should be one of the first interviewers. If the potential manager does not feel the candidate is qualified or will be a good fit for the team and the organization, find out early, to save time and money and protect your employer’s brand. A candidate who doesn’t meet their prospective manager until late in interviews is unable to get a clear view of what is needed in the job, and might fail to put his or her best foot forward. Other people who should interview candidates include a representative from Human Resources or the recruitment team, and potential clients.

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2. Ask for specific examples of past experience

The best way to find out how someone will handle a situation in the future is to find out how they handled it in the past. This is an interview technique called Behaviour Based Interviewing.

Make sure every candidate interviewed is asked the same questions, and that they provide the situation, the problem, the solution and outcome. It’s a simple process but very effective.

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3. Do panel interviews to get objective data and save time

Interviews are time consuming and expensive. A great option is to conduct interviews via video. If not, try to minimize the amount of trips a candidate has to make by having all the interviewers see them at once in a panel. In this approach, there are a set number of questions, and each member of the panel takes turns asking them. It’s more efficient than having the candidate meet people one after the other and repeating their story over and over. Panel interviews also ensure everyone hears the same information at the same time.

4. Ask for clarity on any red flags

Sometimes a candidate will say things or put things on their resume that need clarification. Whenever you come across something that you need more information about, either because it’s unclear or it seems at odds with what you’ve learned about the candidate so far, ask questions. A red flag is anything that makes you weary of a candidate. Instead of dismissing the flag right away, or using your instinct to decline them, find out more about the matter.

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5. Review interview notes immediately and make a decision

The benefits of doing panel interviews can’t be overestimated. Everyone in the room hears the candidate answer the same questions, although each interviewer will interpret answers a little differently. Being together, either in person or on a phone or video conference, will allow the team to review the candidate’s answers and their thoughts immediately, and to make a decision about whether to proceed with the person to next stage or not. By discussing the candidate immediately after an interview, the comments are fresh in everyone’s memories, and positives and concerns can be debated and a consensus reached.

6. Decline candidate if not hiring

If after interviewing a candidate you decide you won’t hire them, do the right thing and decline them. You may wait a day or two, so the candidate will feel they have been properly assessed, as they might not be familiar with the efficiency of panel interviews and how quickly decisions can be made. With a phone call, let them know you won’t be considering them further. Ensure someone from the panel calls the candidate and can provide some meaningful feedback on why they are not moving forward in the selection process. The typical approach is to wait until a finalist has accepted an offer before declining candidates, but only those who are seriously being considered and would be offered the job if the preferred candidate declines should be kept in play. Everyone else needs to be declined so they can move on, and you can too.

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7. Make a verbal conditional offer to your top candidate

When you have decided on the best person for the job, call them and talk through your offer. Ask if they have questions. Find out any concerns. Send them the offer if they say they will accept or want to review it. Make sure they know it’s conditional while you contact references.

8. Ask for references if they accept the offer

When a candidate accepts a conditional offer, let them know the rest of the process and how long it will take. They might be involved in other interviews and you don’t want to lose a candidate at this point. Find out who their references are and contact them right away.

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9. Complete thorough reference checks

Today there are a variety of ways to conduct reference checks, including by email. Choose the right process for your organization, and move quickly. People providing references are generally doing a favour for a past colleague or employee, and you should keep the questions brief and to the point. If you need clarification on anything that comes up in a reference check, be sure you can get it. Ask for phone numbers to follow up, even in an online process.

10. Welcome the new hire

Once the candidate has accepted the job, make the process of welcoming them easy and pleasant. No one wants to arrive for a new job without the tools they need, or no one there to show them around. Send them a welcome note before they start, ideally from the manager, and then don’t communicate further with them until day one. Over-communicating with a new hire before they start can be frustrating for them and wastes time. All the paperwork and information you need can be gathered once they come on board.

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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