Advanced Interviewing: How To Screen Candidates Like A Pro

Today’s job environment has created heavy competition for coveted jobs in today’s economy. As an HR professional you are looking beyond resumes and college degrees for those intangible qualities that bring tremendous value to your organization and that adds favorably to your culture. According to the National Association of College and Employers Job Outlook 2016, employers plan to hire 11 percent more college graduates of the Class of 2016 over the previous year’s graduates in the coming year.

What separates you as an employer against those you may be competing against in competing for the best and the brightest is how you screen and interview candidates. Beyond planning ahead and mapping out probing interview questions, what are some of the best practices that are being recommended by other HR professionals that go beyond the basics and distinguish you from the pack. Here are some tips to consider for your interviewing process in order to recruit, screen and hire the best candidates for your company.

Screening for the Right Candidate 

Screening for the best job candidates involves an understanding of the mentality behind effective interviewing techniques. An effective interview involves winnowing and sifting through applications and resumes to find those individuals you most desire to have come work for you. Much of the interviewing process itself involves looking for round pegs that fit in a round hole. Trying to make something that is different from what you are looking for fit within your organization’s structure and culture is not only a bad fit, it may result in the addition of a disruptive element. Looking for those qualities that compliment your organization allows you to get to those candidates who will add true value to your company.

Techniques for Advanced Interviewing 

One identified, you must make use of the limited time available to interview a candidate. An effective interview means employing certain techniques that allow you to make judgements about a prospective employee. Before a person sits down and begins speaking with you, you should make assessments about their appearance, presence and state of mind. In other words, is the person appropriately dressed for the interview? Does the individual slump when they walk or do they exude an air of confidence and competence? Do they appear upset, angry, passive or eager to get started? These non-verbal cues are important to assess and should be noted as part of your overall evaluation and recommendation.

Tools to Employ Beyond the Basics 

It is easy to be impressed by a job candidate who enters your organization with an Ivy League or other elite school credential. As easy as it is to rely on top grades from a top degree granting institution like Harvard as an indicator of success, it may be better to go beyond the resume to truly determine the ability of the candidate and learn their whole story. Set degrees and resumes aside and focus on probing the personality and character of the candidate to determine their fit with your organization’s culture. Asking effective questions that allow you to open up a candidate allows you to discover who you are interviewing and removes the bias of only choosing those individuals who possess superior credentials but may clash with your company’s culture.

Author bio:
Andrew Armstrong is a freelance writer, technology enthusiast, and digital strategies consultant based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His recently published works include contributions to Renewable Energy World,,, and A graduate of U.C. Berkeley in 2003 through the Interdisciplinary Studies Field program, Andrew writes and consults for numerous clients in a variety of technology-oriented industries. Follow him on Twitter @kickstartsearch.

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