It’s clear in today’s competitive market that the interview process needs to be more specific than ever. What system do you have to ensure that your interview process is excellent from start to finish? It starts with a well-written ad to attract candidates. Are you showcasing your culture and acknowledging that you’re excited about adding people to your team?
Once you have applicants, contact them promptly. First, reach out with written communication through your preferred platform and ask when they’re available for a phone call. Now you’re ready to start the next phase.
This should take about 10 to 15 minutes at the agreed scheduled time. I ask candidates about their day and keep a casual, yet not too personal, tone.
“Tell me what attracted you to this opportunity.” You can then go into the details of the position and ask if they have any concerns with the hours, wages, etc. Oftentimes this is where you can end a potential waste of time, such as a candidate saying, “I really need to be out by 5 p.m. on Mondays, but you’re open until 7 p.m. Is there any flexibility?” If the answer is no, everyone saves time.
The phone screen is the time to determine if you want to move forward with an in-person interview by asking the direct questions about their availability, drive, concerns, wages, etc. I end by asking them if they have any questions I did not answer and if they would like to be considered for an interview at the office.
Face-to-face interview questions
These are in no specific order, nor is there any need to ask each at every interview.
- What drew you to this opportunity?
- What did you like best about our website? What services do we offer that intrigue you the most?
- Would your current employer be surprised you’re speaking to me about another job? Why or why not?
- What is something you would change at your current organization?
- What would you bring to this position that would be unique in our practice?
- What is something you value in an organization?
- Where do you really thrive?
- What kind of job do you see yourself retiring from?
- Can you share a story about having to hold to your values in a working situation?
- What does a “good work ethic” mean to you?”
- Have you ever had to train someone on the job?
- What Is something I didn’t ask you, but that we should know about you?
- Should you receive this job offer, and is there anything on your background check we should know about in advance?
More guidance for interviews
The in-person interview should last 35 to 45 minutes at most. An office tour and introduction to the team should be included in the first in-person interview. This allows candidates to calm their nerves and for you to engage in showing them your environment.
The interview is not a time to socialize. It is a time to evaluate the compatibility of the person in your culture by asking non-illegal questions and speaking to the skills needed for the position. Questions that are not able to be asked are those that revolve around the candidate’s ethnic background, family life, where they live, religion, and values. You may ask if they’re a US citizen as they will need to provide that information if you extend an employment offer. You may ask them what their salary expectancy is (if you have not previously posted it), but you should not ask what they’re making in their current role. The interview is also a time to discuss how soon you’d like to fill this role.
An interview should be closed with, “Thank you for coming in and learning more about our practice.” Tell candidates the next steps in the process, such as they’re welcome to contact you with any questions and when they can expect to hear back from you.
Do not offer the position over the phone or at the first interview because you need to complete your due diligence on the candidate. When you’re ready to move forward with a job offer, personally call the candidate to let them know that a written offer is being sent to them via email and that you are thrilled to have them consider your offer. All candidates should be thanked for their time and invited to apply again should they see your practice hiring again. This is good for your reputation and shows courteous communication.
In this climate of employee value, it is extremely important to have an excellent protocol for the candidate engagement process. Good luck!
This article originally appeared in DE Weekend, the newsletter that will elevate your Sunday mornings with practical and innovative practice management and clinical content from experts across the field. Subscribe here.