How to Maximize Your Candidate Interviews & Select the Best Candidate

preparing for a job interview with good candidate

Interviews with potential candidates can be exciting, yet stressful.

How do you ensure that you are asking the right questions and selecting the best candidate?  Making an error by hiring the wrong person can be a costly mistake – both for your company’s financials and employee morale.  Luckily, there are things business owners can do to increase their hiring success.

A few thoughtful actions can ensure that the interview and selection process is a fruitful experience for the employer and the candidates.

  • Write an outcome-based job description. This is not a task list of duties.  Rather, it is the 3-5 outcomes, with measurable outcomes to support them, this position brings to your company.
  • Write a compelling job post. Working off of the outcome-based job description, summarize the contributions this job will bring to the organization.  Avoid using the job description in totality – this is more of a marketing spin on the job description to attract candidates.
  • Create a phone screener from your outcome-based job description. Using the requirements, outline what questions you will ask to determine if the candidate has the right skills and abilities.  Check off the requirements the candidate meets and note those they do not meet.  Add scoring to the phone screen to increase objectiveness.
  • Create technical (job requirement-based) and behavioral (cultural values-based) interview questions. Add scoring to the interview questions to increase objectiveness.  Consider who else will be involved in the interview and strategize on who will ask which questions to maximize the interview meetings.
  • Communicate with the candidate in a way that showcases your transparency. While you are interviewing the candidate, they are also interviewing you/your company.  When setting up the interviews, confirm the date/time/place and who they will be meeting with.  If you are interviewing in person, outline where to park, how to access the building, the dress code, etc.
  • When meeting with the candidate, think about the experience they are having. Welcome them and outline the process of the interview.  Avoid oversharing by “selling” the company at the start of the interview, this is the candidate’s time to showcase their talents.  When you have asked your interview questions ask them what questions they have.  Be sure to ask them what excites them about joining the company.  What concerns them?  Then respond to each question/concern.  Explain the next steps of the interview process.
  • Communicate when you will be back in touch and how you will reach out. Be sure to follow up with them, it can impact your company brand.
  • Get the interview team together to discuss the results of the interview.
  • Review the candidate interview results and the input you have received. Do you have the information you need?  If not, what other information would be helpful?
  • Make a decision and extend an offer. Do not miss the opportunity to include which skills you are excited about that they will bring to the team when writing an offer letter!

Preparing for a job opening and interview process may seem like a large investment of time.

However, if you think about the investment, you are making adding an employee, an hour of planning is a good return on investment.  If you are not sure where to start, give us a call.  We enjoy partnering with professional service businesses on all things Human Resources!  Check out our website at or call for a 30-minute complimentary partner exploration call at 608-370-4642.