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As important as hiring the right candidate can be, many employers or hiring managers don’t consider the ramifications of being ill-prepared for the interview process.

While inviting team members to interview the job seeker should be encouraged, the fact is, everyone may not be prepared for the process. The interview team can be distracted by their jobs and not have time to get ready to meet the potential new hire.

Just like candidates spend time researching the company, interviewers should be ready to evaluate candidates properly to avoid making costly hiring mistakes. Good preparation pays off: Here are some tips to ensure you and your team are properly prepared to meet your candidates.

1. Know your Candidates

Sitting across from a job seeker without having reviewed their resume or background can mean that important questions won’t be asked. And also shows the candidate that you’re not taking the interview seriously. By knowing the person’s background, you’ll avoid asking for information they’ve already provided. Be prepared beforehand by reading the resume and making notes of key points concerning their skills and experience. You can then use interview time to elaborate on these points or ask for the new information you need to help with your evaluation.

2. Plan your Interview Questions

Before the interview, you and your team should prepare a series of questions built on behavioral question models. Examples of how to phrase these include:

• “Tell me about a time…”
• “Give me an example of when…”
• “Walk me through…”
• “Describe for me…”

Questions constructed around these examples offer the potential for answers that say a lot about a candidate’s personality and interpersonal style. They can also spark a meaningful discussion that leads to the interviewer’s deeper understanding of past situations, tasks, and results the applicant has experienced.

3. Give Everyone on the Hiring Team a Role

Giving each member of the interviewing team a role helps them focus and enables them to have a specific goal for the upcoming interview. Providing a direction will also ensure your interviewers will be prepared with questions that will meet the goals set out for them. For example, each member could focus on a key piece of experience criteria or on the desired behavior.

4. Use the Same Criteria for Each Candidate

Be sure you and your team apply the same process and ask the same questions during each job interview. This approach enables you to gather information uniformly and make the next step — evaluating how well each person does — that much easier. It can also help minimize unintended or unconscious bias and other negative factors that may creep into the interview process.

A Last Word

The interview process is crucial in helping you find the right candidate. You need to assess their strengths and weaknesses quickly, but even more importantly, you need to evaluate whether they’ll be a good cultural and professional fit. A well-prepared interview team can give you a complete view of the candidate – helping to ensure the right hire!

Sci.Bio is a leading recruitment and search firm based in Boston. We specialize in finding and hiring the best talent to fill temporary openings, long-term positions, and executive roles in the Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, and the Life Sciences industries. To learn more, visit our website today!