Setting it up
- Review the job requirements and choose focus areas for the interview. What skills and behaviours are vital for successful performance on the job? What answers would you and others involved in the process require for the very highest ratings? You can use the default competencies automatically suggested when adding interview scorecard to your job position or create your own.
- Having the same interviewers assessing all candidates for the role is desirable. In this way, differences between interviewers and the effects that has on the ratings is minimised. Assign the interviewers who will conduct a structured interview with the candidate.
Before the interview
- Read through the questions and familiarize yourself with the rubrics for each rating. This will help you assess candidates more effectively during the interview.
- Although it can make you feel prepared before the interview, research shows that searching for information from social media and other online sources before the interview will do more harm than good for the fairness of the interview. Try to avoid falling into this trap!
During the interview
The interview can be divided into three phases - the introduction phase, when you set the tone for the discussion, the structured interview phase - when you ask standardized questions, and the closing phase, when you sum up and finish the interview.
- Remember to start the interview by introducing yourself, asking the candidate about their experience with the process so far, and making sure they understand the purpose of the interview and the next steps. This is important to establish rapport and set a good tone for the interview, which in turn improves the candidate experience.
- Ask the candidate to briefly introduce themselves, their past experience and reason for their interest of the role.
- Go through the setup for the interview. It can be experienced as a new type of interview compared to what the candidate is used to. Introduce examples of questions that will be asked.
- Allow some time for answering questions from the candidate. This will improve their experience of the interview, which is important for attracting them to the job and your company as an employer.
Structured interview phase
- The main purpose of the interview is to collect information that can be used to make a fair judgement of the candidate. Try to avoid making any judgements or final decisions in this phase, focus instead on making sure you get the information you need.
- Try to score the answers during the interview, in that way you will be the most objective. Otherwise, make sure you complete the scorecard right after the interview.
- If the candidate can't think of an example, skip that question and come back to it later. If he/she has no or very limited experience, you should rate the skill as Basic.
- Taking notes or not is up to you and your preference - the research is not conclusive whether this helps to improve the quality of structured interviews.
- Ask how the candidate experienced the interview.
- Go through the next steps in the process and make sure there are no remaining questions or concerns.
Making the candidate feel at ease during the interview will help you get better information. Some tips for achieving this include:
- use a gentle tone
- use the candidate's name
- display a relaxed posture
- act friendly
- spend some time getting to know the candidate before getting to the actual structured questions.
After the interview
- Make sure you have the scorecard completed as soon as possible after the interview, and to document your impressions.
- Sync with others involved in the recruitment process