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Too many qualified candidates? – a guide to better hiring decisions. **

I’ve heard it said that the only thing more painful than going to an interview is to have to “conduct” an interview. Most hiring managers dread the experience.

One of the reasons that they dread the experience is that they have had little or no training on how to effectively perform the task.

There have been studies that have found that many hiring decisions are made in the first two minutes of the interview.

If that is the case, these decisions are being made on a “subjective” basis. That is when our inner prejudices are at work and effecting how we judge a person by the way that they look, act, shake hands, and most of all by their demeanor.

Most candidates are nervous before the interview. In fact, some are paralyzed at the thought of “selling themselves.” If the interviewer cannot see beyond that behavior and work to bring out the best in the person, they may be missing out on great people who are not great at interviewing, or selling themselves.

Your job in the interview is to ask the questions that will bring out the skills, abilities, traits, and past behaviors of the candidate so that you can get as “clear” a picture of that person as a possible in a short amount of time.

Often hiring is done with little more than a passing thought about skills, abilities, and knowledge needed for a position. Inadequate evaluation of critical skills cost millions of dollars each year because objective job data have not been collected.

Five Rules To Improve Your Hiring Process

1. Assess the job before the interview. What is the role of the job?

  • Talk to the person leaving the job to find out what the job entails.
  • Ask how the job could be done more efficiently – adding/deleting tasks.
  • Talk with customers (internal and external) and end users to assess their needs.

2. Identify the jobs “key factors” for success.

  • What knowledge-based experience is needed to do this job? (example, education)
  • What transferable skills are necessary to succeed? (example, communication)
  • What personality traits will be needed to do this job? (example, friendly)

3. Prepare questions to ask during the interview.

  • Prepare questions based on identified “key factors.”
  • Include questions that ask for examples of past behavior in previous jobs.
  • Prepare a list of secondary questions to probe deeper.

4. Include all interviewers in the plan/process.

  • Provide each interviewer with a list of “key factors.”
  • Make a list of suggested questions for each interviewer.
  • Each interviewer should cover a specific area of concern.

5. Objectively review the results and rate the candidate after the interview.

  • Collect input from each interviewer.
  • Rate each candidate using the “key factors.” (rating scale – example 1-5)
  • Make a hiring decision based on consensus feedback.


This interactive hiring guide is an absolute must, whether you’re a manager, HR professional, or a small business owner. Its powerful hiring IQ test helps youdetermine what kinds of answers they should look for when asking questions in an interview-and what those answers really mean.

Written by renowned interviewing expert Carole Martin, Boost Your Hiring IQ is filled with practical advice on what to look for when filling a position, techniques for asking the right interview questions that really show the capabilities of a prospective employee, and questions that reveal how to hire the best person for the job.