Top tips for interviewing techniques that help you hire right, first time

A bad hire costs money. In fact, according to a study by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), a bad hire costs companies five times the salary of that bad hire. It’s not only money that’s at stake. Poor hiring decisions may also impact company culture, cause loss of opportunity and create headaches for management. In other words, it pays to get it right during interview stage.

Let the candidate do the talking

According to Robert Half®, experts in recruitment, if the interviewer dominates the conversation for more than 20 percent of the time, then they’re talking too much. Make sure you let the candidate do the majority of the talking so you can learn more about them. If they didn’t touch on everything at the time, ask follow-up questions based on your conversation.

Have a standard list of interview questions

You need to be objective about a candidate’s skills, and when comparing and contrasting different candidates. A standard set of questions for all candidates provides structure and an even playing field. This way you won’t accidentally ask questions that cause applicants to reveal ‘protected characteristics’ such as age, disability and race.

Take notes

After several interviews in a row, it can difficult to remember which candidate said what. Taking notes helps you remember the specifics of each interview, allowing you to make a more informed hiring decision.

Interviewer’s pitfalls and how to avoid them

  • Failure to pre-screen your candidates
    Pre-screening candidates on the phone can save your business a substantial amount of time during the interview process, according to the money expert website The Balance. Through pre-screening, you can get an idea of an individual's knowledge, experience and interest in a position before committing to an in-person interview.

  • Having unrealistic expectations
    Most employers would like to find the best candidates for the best cost. But you may have unrealistic expectations. Your perspective on each potential candidate will benefit from taking a down-to-earth viewpoint. Make sure everything listed in your job description as "required" really is required. See if the salary range you've scoped out matches that of similar positions at other organisations.

  • Waiting too long to decide
    The longer you wait to hire a candidate, the more likely you are to lose that person to another company. Move through the interview process steadily so you don't miss out on great talent.

Not found the one? Where to find more candidates

If you've interviewed multiple people and haven't found the quality candidates you were hoping to, it may be time to broaden your search — think job boards, networking events and career sites. In addition to the more traditional search methods, consider expanding out to LinkedIn and newer websites. You can use LinkedIn to find and reach out to passive candidates.

Additionally, consider establishing an employee referral program. Up to 40 percent of new hires come via employee referrals, and hiring these candidates tends to take much less time. By creating an employee referral program, promoting the program and celebrating new hires, businesses may find success in attracting new talent through their current employees.

ADP Hiring 101: Guide book for Small Businesses

Mastering the art of interviewing techniques can help you hire the right person. Refining your process through the interviewing tips above and revisiting and revising the process as employment trends and talent demands change is key. The ADP Hiring 101: Guide Book for Small Businesses includes more interview techniques and hints and tips. The guide can help you define your hiring requirements, navigate the hiring process, and conduct interviews brilliantly so you can employee the right candidate first time round.

*Article by Lisa Frye May 9, 2017

Adapted from an article written by Jennifer S Kiesewetter Esq that originally appeared on Updated February 2020.