The Interview section of career.place is your chance to pose interview questions to your candidates and see their video recorded responses before you begin to interact with them. This allows you to ensure that only the most qualified candidates who will fit with your organization are moving on in the selection process.
The Interview section is designed to be flexible – it is designed for any question you would like to ask of candidates where you want to get a video recorded response. Here are some general tips about setting up and writing questions for the Interview section:
Set Expectations and Time Limits Appropriately
Be clear about what you are expecting from candidates. If you want to make sure the candidates address a specific topic in their response, communicate that to them. Conversely, if you want the candidates to ignore some aspect of the question, communicate that as well, so the candidate knows to budget time appropriately for their answer. This helps the candidates focus on providing the detailed responses you need to determine who will fit best with your organization.
When setting the time limits for the response to your question, make sure you allow enough time for the candidates to provide the details you need, but not more so. Time limits are also a way to communicate expectations – candidates will tend to fill up the allowed time with further details. So don’t set a 5-minute time limit if you are looking for an answer that could be given easily in two minutes.
Ask Questions Where You Expect a Range of Responses
Not only does it take effort for the candidates to provide responses to your interview questions, but it also takes time to evaluate their responses. As such, it is important to focus your questions on situations that will provide the most variability in responses. Situational questions with limited options for how to respond, or where there is a very clear “correct” response, do not provide you with much information; if everyone responds the same, how are you to distinguish which candidates should move on in the process? Make sure your questions have a range of acceptable behaviors and elicit varied responses from the candidates; this helps you make the most of your investment in the candidates.
Define Expectations Before Candidates Respond
By taking time to define what the best and worst answers are to your Interview questions before asking candidates to respond, you take care of several important steps. First, you help ensure that there will be a range of responses and that your question will be able to distinguish those likely to be a better fit from those who may not fit in your environment.
Additionally, this helps calibrate and train your raters. By providing a common frame of reference of what constitutes a good vs. bad answer, you help keep everyone evaluating the responses to your questions on the same page. In turn, this helps ensure that the raters are evaluating the candidates’ responses consistently and reliably, which reduces unconscious bias and leads to a more defensible process.
Tie the Interview Questions to Common Work Situations
Whether you ask about past behavior or pose the question as a hypothetical scenario, it is generally advisable to tie the questions into common situations faced at work. This allows you to gather information about how the candidate will behave in the workplace in circumstances similar to what they will routinely face. Make sure to rate the candidates’ responses according to the sorts of behavior you want to see in your workplace; the response most similar to your ideal behavior should be rated the highest. This helps ensure you advance the candidates who would best fit with your organization.
Consider the following question: “A regular client has reached out to you to note that they have not received one of the required deliverables. How do you handle this situation?” This sort of question would work well for positions requiring regular client contact but might not be appropriate for non-client-facing roles. This could also help establish fit with your organization – candidates who wish to run any decisions about clients by a supervisor might be preferred in some organizations but not in others, for example.
Tying the interview questions you ask into common scenarios/situations faced at work also helps to reduce any legal risk with making hiring decisions. If there ends up being any adverse impact against any protected group as a result of the interview questions, it is imperative that you demonstrate the job-relatedness of your interview question. By keeping all your questions job-related from the outside, you not only gather better data on the candidates, but reduce your legal risk as well.
Consider Your Language Requirements
If you have some sort of language requirement for your position, consider using the Interview section as a way for you to verify the language skills of your candidates. Suppose, for example, that your position requires the ability to speak both English and Spanish. It may be advantageous to require the candidates to respond in English to one question and Spanish in another. This allows you to gather data on their language ability to ensure their skills match what is required for your organization