Business Growth ,business strategy

How to master interviews and hire the right candidate.

Successful hiring was never easy. Looking for the right talent and addition to your team can go very easily wrong. When hiring you have the challenge to find the technical skills you need from the candidate but also to identify the so called “soft skills” where a person shows good communication abilities, good habits, emotional intelligence and empathy, time management, teamwork, leadership and ambition. The technical skills part is usually the easier to find and if not, you can train the right candidate to learn. But the “soft skills” are those you usually will define ones development and career in your company. Proper interviewing methods are very important nowadays since the recruitment market became more candidate-driven and because nobody wants a bad hire obviously that can result loose of time, investment and negative feelings.

Read below, based on the Guthrie-Jensen Consultants article, the ways you can better structure the interview process and prepare better hiring questions ensuring you will land the right candidate to your team.

Hire the right candidate – Master your interviews

Define what you need.

The most important step is the start. Put down all the information about the job title, the rest of team, department and who the reporting person will be. This part is significant to the interview process because maybe some managers or supervisors outside the hiring team might need to evaluate the candidate’s abilities. Also managers can specify some main duties and responsibilities they demand from the right candidate. Is essential to sit down with your hiring team, managers and supervisors of the future employee and discuss what the main contributions he should bring to the table, after the probationary period for example.


Make sure you evaluate candidates accordingly.

Set and right down the parameters and the criteria that you should be looking from the right candidate. Those can include:

Technical skills

Soft skills

Work experience

Try to evaluate the candidate’s work ethics and see if you believe he can fit in the company’s culture. See also the growth mindset and how the new employee can develop, bring change and lead in the future in your organization.


Setup an interview process.


Filter all the applications that meet or not the requirements. Check out all the personal attributes and qualifications that you are asking and find the proper CV’s accordingly. If you need a specific degree for the position for example you leave on the list all the qualified ones.


Skills testing.

This is a step where you can put candidates to perform a test so you can see their level of competence and expertise in an area. You can evaluate the candidate’s ability to problem solving and critical thinking as well as the accomplishment of tasks in a timeframe.




At this stage is time to meet the candidate in person. The interview can be done in two phases depending from the importance of the role and the number of candidates you want to evaluate.

So the first interview will focus to determine the candidate’s culture fit at your company.

In this interview the candidates will have to demonstrate good work values, work ethic, willingness to follow company’s policies, agree to the work schedule, willingness to participate in development programs etc. At this interview will be very helpful to have a team on the panel to assess the candidate’s potential in working harmoniously with the rest of the team. Maybe some supervising members of the team can see if the new guy can fit in their team. Question this. Is a collaborative environment a challenge for this person? Is this candidate a follower or a leader type of worker?

This stage interview will help you decide how much value the candidate can add to the team/ business section.

Now let’s see the second stage interview.

Here is a good opportunity of the hiring manager to evaluate all the strong and weak points of the person in detail. This is the interview where you will try to understand one’s level of professionalism, work performance standards and the relevant skill you are looking for. In addition this interview is a good chance for the candidates to understand the company’s reputation and standards as an employer, how company treats candidates and the whole experience of interview to job seekers. An experienced candidate can realize if the company is built on respect, good communication, friendly environment etc. Definitely here you need a hiring manager who can represent your company very well.


Interview Questions.

An important part of the strategy is to prepare a list of probing questions. These are follow-up, open-ended interview questions that you pose to candidates when you want to obtain more specific information.

Let’s say you want to find out about one’s strengths and weaknesses. Fears, motivations, interests or past experience.

Sample question.

What was one of the criticisms you received in your past employment? Did you agree or disagree? Why? The response to this question for example will tell someone can take responsibilities or like to play the blaming game.


Check their ambition level.

Through probing questions you can tell which candidates have vision about what they want to accomplish in their career.

Sample question.

What would you like to learn in one year? Where would you like to be in three to five years? How do you intend to accomplish the goals you mentioned? Here you can see if the candidate is driven or has concrete plans.


Explore the attitude.

The best candidates are those who have a firm set of values and maintain high standards at work.

Sample question.

We’re all guilty of little white lies. Can you share a moment when you said something that’s not totally true? For example, a candidate who’s trying to raise a co-worker’s confidence may be doing more good than harm in saying that that co-worker made considerable achievement in a tough project even though it barely met standards.


Hiring the best and right talent all starts with a good strategy, which includes the way you organize your interview process and use probing questions to determine candidates’ competence and character. Definately, years of experience can play an important role to successful hires, but even if you are there is good to have a strategy, it always helps.


The Guthrie-jensen’s original post here.