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Building Your Team: Part Three

Prepping for Interviews

Now that you’ve advertised open positions, you will need to prepare for the influx of applications and resumes, an increased volume of telephone calls, and, most importantly, the interview(s). 
 
Pre-Interview Prep
 
Depending on the position advertised, you may receive hundreds or, in some cases, thousands of applications.  Therefore, it is necessary to pre-plan how you will receive resumes (e.g. by e-mail, fax, mail, or in person) and how you will screen them to find your ideal candidates.
 
Here are a few quick tips to help you get started:
  1. Look for neat, organized resumes that exude at least some form of professionalism.  Unfortunately, the majority of resumes you receive will be difficult to read, rife with errors, and/or sloppily put together. 
  2. Search for the specific skills you requested on the job advertisement.  If a job seeker was paying attention, it is likely that he or she will mention the qualifications that are most in demand. 
  3. Pay attention to interesting tidbits that set candidates apart from the competition.  Perhaps an applicant received an award for stellar performance in sales, or played a key role in a company project – prospective employees such as these often deserve a second look. 
  4. Don’t dismiss the underdog.  If a candidate has less experience than the competition but has submitted a stellar resume and seems incredibly eager about the opportunity, it may be a good idea to at least meet him/her in person.    

After you’ve selected a pool of candidates, it will be time to figure out logistics.  Consider the following:
  • Who will answer phones?
  • Who will be making phone calls to invite selected candidates in for their interviews?
  • Will you be performing a telephone interview or screening process? If so, what questions do you plan on asking?
  • Who will conduct the in-person interviews? (Management, panel, administrators, technical department, sales)
What You Will Need
  • An interview schedule that you can fill in and relay to interviewees
  • Directions to the office
  • Hard copy interview forms and evaluations
Office Organization
  • Decide where to greet candidates and where they will wait
  • Ensure the office is clean and looks professional
  • Choose a quiet spot within the office where the interviews will take place
  • Have your forms and writing materials prepared beforehand – you do not want to be searching for a working pen at the last minute
Prepping for company interviews may seem like a daunting task, but it is a necessary step for effectively managing and narrowing down your applicant pool.  The extra measures you take now will save you valuable time on the big day, keeping you cool, calm, and collected when it really counts.