Forums

Hey all,

I'm working through the interview worksheet and behavioral questions (SO helpful!), and I've ended up with... 18 questions. (Some of which are pretty short answers, so it's about a dozen "tell me about" type questions)

Working through all those questions, assuming that I have a candidate who can answer a behavioral question concisely (rare, in my experience), will take 60-90 minutes. Since I have a LOT of qualified applicants, I'd rather not commit that kind of time to every single one.

Do any of you have advice on how to handle an initial screening interview? It seems to me that all the questions I've put together are important, so I just don't really know how to pare it down to the essentials.

One idea I had was to make the phone screen a pretty quick run down of skills and qualifications. So skip a lot of the behavioral stuff and just focus on whether the candidate COULD do the job. Would that work?

Thanks for any tips or hints. I really appreciate it!

HMac's picture

[quote="Nik"]One idea I had was to make the phone screen a pretty quick run down of skills and qualifications. So skip a lot of the behavioral stuff and just focus on whether the candidate COULD do the job.[/quote]

I'd be afraid that you'll end up with little value and STILL feel like you should bring a lot of them in for the long interviews.

Management is often about choosing - surely you have three or four "top" questions among those behaviorals (and no, I didn't just call you Shirley...).

I say, rank 'em in importance to you, and ask 'em in that order - stopping when you feel you have enough information to make a decision to invite the person in or not. Chances are a significant number of applicants won't impress you, and those interviews won't require the whole set of questions.

-Hugh

Dani Martin's picture

Great question, Nik! As a previous senior executive responsible for hiring for 15 positions in about 2-3 months, I feel your pain!

This podcast (Quick and Dirty Interviews) helped me a lot! I used the questions suggested in the podcast plus another 5-7 behavioral questions based on the role and specific experiences in the candidates resume.

http://www.manager-tools.com/2006/12/quick-and-dirty-interviews/

It wasn't as elegant as Mark and Mike's interviewing tool (which I have had the privilege of using even though it hasn't been published yet). But I got excellent data to make a decision about who to bring back for a final interview. I was able to narrow the candidate pool from 10+ to 2. And most of my first interviews only lasted about 30 minutes.

I hope this helps. Good luck!
Dani