How to design an interview process

Hiring the right candidate is key to the future success of your business. 

But how can you be sure you’ve selected the right candidate? An effective interview process can enable you to ensure the candidates you are interviewing are being assessed on the core metrics or requirements needed for this position to be successful.

If you’re unsure where to start, we’ve put together 6 key steps to designing an effective hiring process.

1. Outline your goals

Before you start interviewing candidates for your position, you need to make sure you have a solid plan of how you want the hiring process to look. Outlining the process beforehand means you and the interviewing team will efficiently assess candidates and are more likely to secure the right candidate for the position.

Start with the standard who, what, where, why and how questions.

  • What technical and professional skills does the ideal candidate have? 
  • How can I assess the skillsets required? 
  • Why is assessing for these skillsets essential? 
  • How long will the interview stages and overall process take?
  • Who needs to be involved in the interview panel? 
  • When will the interviewers have time to interview? 
  • Where should the interviews take place? 
  • How do I ensure I minimise bias? 

2. Standardise your process

Once you’ve outlined your interviewing goals, it’s time to look at standardising your interview process. 

Creating a consistent way to interview and assess candidates can save you and your team time. You’ll need to align your interview questions and skills tests with the role requirements to ensure you are getting an accurate reading of a candidate’s capabilities.

A mix of behavioural, situational, and technical (if applicable) questions allows you to have a more holistic view of the candidates hard and soft skills in action; this can often provide a good indicator of how they’d react to future challenges or how solutions-orientated they are.

Standardising the process also reduces bias and increases fairness, as all candidates will be assessed equally, so you can easily compare one candidate’s performance to another directly.

Whilst standardising your interview process, make sure you have a realistic timeframe for hiring – a long process could result in you missing out on top talent.

3. Prepare your interviewing team.

Once you’ve standardised your interview process, consider putting your team through some basic interview training to ensure you’re getting the most out of your hiring process.

Here are 4 ways to do this:

Run a session with your interviewing team on the essential requirements and assessment points for this position – include examples of what good answers could look like.

Work with your team to create a crib sheet of questions for each stage of the interview process. This will help to standardise the interviews and keep you and your team focused throughout the interview.

Ensure the interviews remain conversational and not one-sided. Whilst you are there to gather information on the candidate’s capability, the candidate will be looking to gain insight into you and your company, to determine if this position and your company will be the right fit for them. 

Consider running regular unconscious bias training workshops so your team can remain aware of their own biases and how to minimise this during the interview process. 

4. Prepare your candidates

Once you have prepared your interviewing team and have shortlisted candidates, it’s time to prepare your candidates.

While throwing a candidate into the deep end, without preparation can let you see how they perform under pressure; it may not be a pleasant experience for either party and, could cost you more time in the long run.

The level of information you provide to your candidates before the interview is up to you. However, to keep your process streamlined, aim to provide the candidates with an overview of the interview structure, topics you’ll discuss, and what you expect to achieve from this interview.

Equipping candidates with the STAR method can allow you to gather the information you need more effectively, avoiding rambling answers.

Consider outlining the STAR method on either your company site or in the interview preparation so if they use this method during the interview, you know they’ve done their homework.

  • Situation: What challenge were you aiming to solve? What were the circumstances?
  • Task: What was the end goal?
  • Action: What actions did you take to address the situation? 
  • Result: What was the outcome? What did you learn?

5. Dedicate time to collate and provide feedback

The interview process is the candidate’s first insight into your company and how you operate, so providing a positive candidate experience is crucial at every step.

Collate feedback from your interviewing team whilst it is fresh and makes sure the candidates’ feedback is tangible.

Even just a few points on what went well, what was missing, and development areas can allow candidates to continue to improve on their interviewing techniques and leaves them with a good impression of your company

6. Keep in touch!

With high talent demand and skill shortages, it’s crucial to keep in touch with the candidates you are interviewing. Provide them with a timeline of the process, so they know when to expect feedback.

Keeping regular contact with candidates throughout the process is more likely to keep your company at the forefront of their minds. The positive experience could then result in a higher likelihood of them accepting your company’s offer.

How can we help?

Hiring the right candidate is a big responsibility, which is why many companies turn to a recruitment partner that can help optimise their search. 

Here at Identify Solutions, we are specialists at managing end-to-end recruitment processes and can offer upskilling and training for you and your team to ensure you find and secure the best candidates for your positions.

We offer an honest, transparent, and trustworthy approach. We pride ourselves on our attention to detail and will dedicate our time to finding the best solutions for our clients and candidates.

Get in touch today.

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