Getting to the interview stage, whether on the phone or in-person, is a milestone achievement. It means you’ve done loads of careful planning, and you’re starting to see candidates who could be a good fit for your company and role. The interview is an opportunity for you to learn about the candidate. Likewise, it is an opportunity for the candidate to get to know you, your company, and the role.

The foundation for a consistent, smooth, and unbiased hiring process with candidates is an interview plan. With that as your guide, team members can best stick to the program with an interview checklist.

Before the interview

Review the job description
Review the interview plan and your specific assignment
Review the candidate’s resume and brief, if provided by the hiring manager or recruiter
Know your questions: write them on your note pad, or have them at the ready on your device

During the interview

Follow the interview plan
Be curious: fully engage the candidate on the interview questions, asking appropriate follow-up questions
Take lots of notes
Leave time to answer the candidate’s questions
Make sure the candidate knows what to do after your interview

After the interview

Evaluate the candidate right away, or if you can’t, within 12 hours

Once interviews are complete for a candidate, schedule the entire interview team to debrief and discuss their feedback. The goal, which you should establish at the beginning of the meeting, is to fill in any holes so the hiring manager can reach a hiring decision or to find group consensus on the candidate.
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