The importance of an organization’s Interviewing & Selection process can’t be over-stated since it significantly impacts everything of importance— employee engagement, culture, productivity, customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Gallup recently stated that the most important decisions a company makes is who they interview and select to be their managers.

And, of course, the effectiveness of that process can be no greater than the quality of the interviews themselves. Sometimes there is an assumption that because a person has the title of manager he/she knows how to conduct effective interviews and make appropriate hiring decisions.

Unfortunately, many managers have to learn to interview by trial and error – struggling through their first experience interviewing and continuing to repeat whatever approach they used in future interviews. They have not been afforded the opportunity to learn a proven, step-by-step interviewing and selection process.

Just as an organization’s success is significantly influenced by the people it employs, a manager’s success is largely dependent on the performance of his/her team. Being able to effectively interview and select team members is a critical skill for any manager. And the further a manager’s career progresses the greater the need for this skill. Lacking effective interviewing skills can limit a manager’s career advancement.

Some experts say that “the typical interview – conducted by an untrained interviewer – is often no better than chance at predicting how an applicant will perform on the job. Interviewers need a proven methodology for obtaining relevant information and assessing it – they need to know what to look for and how to gain that information.


Below are just four of many proven best practices to be addressed in the GEA’s upcoming workshop on June 13:

#1 Having a thorough understanding of the position’s specifications: As obvious as this seems, some managers fail to take the time to identify the specific job criteria needed to be successful in the opening. The objective of an interview is to identify a candidate who can and will effectively perform the job – while fitting into the organization:

  • can do’s: the competencies needed to carry out the job’s responsibilities – required skills, abilities and types of experience
  • will do’s: what candidates need to be willing and motivated to do – travel, work shifts, initiate sales calls, etc.
  • fit factors: the ability to work cooperatively with his/her manager, co-workers, customers, etc.

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there” -Lewis Carroll

#2 Reviewing the candidate’s resume and application before the interview: Look for gaps in time, the frequency of job changes, salary history, reasons for leaving past employers, etc. Reviewing these documents allows the interviewer to:

  • form preliminary impressions of the candidate
  • identify issues of relevance to the vacancy
  • prepare a few questions to probe the key points of interest within the candidate’s application and resume

“The closest a person comes to perfection is when they prepare their resume” -Stanley Randall

#3 Utilizing behavior-based questions to determine the candidate’s qualifications: Seek specific examples of past experience pertaining to the position’s specifications because descriptions of past behavior are effective predictors of the candidate’s future behavior. Behavior-based questions allow the interviewer to project future job performance based on actual past behavior vs. relying on intuitive feelings. A candidate telling you that they have successfully led a team of employees only tells you that that is what the candidate thinks you want to hear – insist on names, dates, places, events, outcomes etc.

  • describe a time when you dealt with a difficult customer …
  • give an example of a significant project you completed when you were given a tight deadline …
  • share with me what you have you done in a past job that saved the company money …

“I know of no way of judging the future but by the past” -Patrick Henry

#4 Creating an interview atmosphere that encourages the applicant to do most of the talking. About 80% of the interview time the candidate should be answering questions related to the position specifications. Interviewers should feel that when they speak they are interrupting and interviewers should interrupt only to probe, clarify, encourage or re-focus the candidate back to a position specification.

“There are several protections against hiring the right person and not asking the right questions is the surest” Mark Twain

The GEA workshop in Macon which will provide the participants with the skills and a practical, proven step-by-step approach to the interviewing process that participants can utilize themselves and/or introduce to their organizations. This training event will cover the above plus the following interviewing techniques:

#1 Defining an Employment Interview

  • Common errors made by interviewers
  • An interviewer’s challenges
  • Five key components of any interview
  • Interviewing: a three-step process

#2 Pre-Interview Preparation

  •  Identifying the position’s job criteria: a critical step
  • Questions to use in establishing job criteria
  • Reasons for reviewing the applicant’s resume and application prior to the interview
  • Seven issues to look for on resumes and applications
  • Guidelines for developing questions before the interview

#3 Creating the Proper Interview Atmosphere

  • Characteristics of the proper interview atmosphere
  • Things to do and the information to gather before an interview

#4 Structuring Effective Questions

  • Characteristics of an effective interview format
  • Productive vs. disruptive interviewer interruptions
  • Identifying the position’s can do’s, will do’s and fit factors
  • When and how to use five types of interview questions
  • Team interviewing tips

#5 The Behavioral Interview

  • Exploring specific past behavior as related to the position’s job criteria
  • An overview of the behavioral interview
  • Sample behavioral questions
  • The difference between traits and behaviors
  • A typical behavioral interview sequence
  • Tips for taking notes during the interview
  • Closing the interview with candidates you want to reject, possibly pursue and definitely pursue
  • Suggestions for handling difficult interviews

#6 Optional Wording and a Format for the Full Interview

  • Greeting the applicant, rapport building and making a benefit statement
  • Exploring work experience, education and the applicant’s self-assessment
  • Making closing remarks and establishing the next step

Who Should Attend This Training

  • HR professionals new to the field and seeking a comprehensive view of the subject with multiple initiatives & techniques they can apply immediately
  • Experienced HR professionals seeking a refresher
  • Any leader, manager or supervisor (production, accounting, sales, IT, etc.) who wants to select the best talent for their teams

Strategic Interviewing & Selection
Thursday, June 13, 2019 9:00- 1:00 pm
Fickling Building, Downtown Macon Cherry Blossom Room (16th Floor)

Read More or Register Now

Article Written by Pete Tosh, Founder of The Focus Group