Browsed by
Category: Interview Process

Structured interview – an easy upgrade to your hiring process

Structured interview – an easy upgrade to your hiring process

1. Understand the job requirement

Specifying the job requirements clearly is the first step in the hiring process. Not only can it help dictate the open dialogue between you as an interviewer and the candidate, but also save your staffing team valuable time in their sourcing efforts.

Writing a good job description requires an understanding of company’s roadmap and timeline, both from a business and product perspective. In other words, address today’s needs, while also envisioning what the role would be a year from now.

For example, let’s say, you are looking to hire a Sales Development Representative. Your current need may be to generate more leads and revenue. However, you envision this hire to transition into a marketing role down the road. What would be the job requirements? Are you looking for someone to setup drip campaign or are you someone to do social marketing,

It may be wise to create a generic job description that emphasizes on expectations and accountabilities, rather than specific tasks, thereby encouraging employees to focus on results rather than job duties. We would suggest that you understand the role and responsibilities and write a more wide-ranging job description. A little extra time spent in compiling a good job description would help your recruiting teams efforts in finding the right candidate, faster!

2. Identify the key competencies 

Identify the most important competencies that should be evaluated during the interview. Define the key competencies that are must have and good to have. It is important that the hiring team understand the skills that are important for the job. Ideally, it would be great to get a candidate who has all the desired key competencies but most often you have limited time and so would have to compromise and pick the best available candidate. It would be helpful if the team has a prioritized list of key competencies that you are looking for in the candidates. Next step is to develop a list of questions to evaluate the competencies. Three to six competencies are typically assessed, and one to three questions might be developed around each competencies.

3. Develop questions around each competency

The next step is to develop questions to evaluate each of the identified competencies. All candidates should be asked a similar set of questions to bring consistency in the interview and evaluation process. For example, a key competency for manager often entails the ability to resolve differences within the team. Plan on asking questions that would give an insight on the candidate’s approach in solving such conflicts. The questions may include something like “Describe a time when you had conflicting ideas about the strategy of a project. Describe the situation? How did you help the team to resolve this conflict?” If it is a software engineering position which requires specific language skills, plan to have a specific question on coding that entails the candidate to write a snippet of code.

4. Define the metric scale 

Metrics are essential in today’s labor force. Not only do they help gauge overall performance, but can also be the driving factor for making hiring decisions. As you structure your interview process, it is important to identify the types of specific behaviors and descriptors that can be used to evaluate the candidate’s actions. These anchors are typically developed around a three or five-point scale. Define the metric scale and format to capture the factors that are important to the job position as well as for the company. Next, define the standards for rating so that all the evaluation across interviewers are normalized. Here are two factors to keep in mind:

  • Relevant metrics to a role: Measure a candidate on similar metrics to what their role entails. For example, if you are interviewing a Marketing candidate, your objective may be to read a sample writing a piece on the spot.
  • Qualitative vs. Quantitative: Being able to reduce subjectivity in the interview process is important. We are a product of our environment and as such, do bring our personal biases in the hiring process. We can reduce these biases by quantifying the candidates on the set of objectives with a well defined metric scale 

In the end, a structured approach to interviewing and decision-making process will help you in scaling the team, faster.

Webinar – 5 ways to accelerate your interview process

Webinar – 5 ways to accelerate your interview process

We had a webinar session (on March 24) where Soham Mehta (Founder of KickStart) and Alex Vendrow (Co-Founder of EasyHir.me) talked about the challenges in hiring and building team, what are specific challenges when you are hiring in scale and how can you bring consistency and accountability in the interview process.

We also demoed the EasyHire.me interview platform showcased how it addresses the challenges mentioned by Soham and Alex:

  1. Bring consistency in the interviewing process
  2. Make objective assessments based on job requirements
  3. Reduce personal biases in the evaluation process
  4. Bring transparency and accountability in the selection process
  5. Increase the effectiveness of the interviews

 

The art of interviewing

The art of interviewing

Yesterday, I was having a cup of coffee with a long lost friend from college who is smart, intelligent and a true engineer at heart. He was a problem solver and carved his path as an individual contributor in a reputed fortune 500 company.

Slowly sipping his coffee, he muttered “I am changing my job. I am joining this new startup next week!”.

Quite surprised, I asked, “I thought u are happy in your current job.  What happened? Why this sudden shift?”

“Oh yeah, I do love my current job. I was happily busy .  I was not at all  looking for a change.”, he said.

Looking at my confused expression he continued, “Well, I was glancing through an email that I got from a recruiter and was intrigued by the job description. It was not only interesting but sounded like fun.  So I responded to that.”

“Hmm.. So you are the typical passive candidate that they talk about in the recruiting blogs”

“Very much so. As soon as I responded, things started rolling fast. The manager talked and immediately scheduled an interview with their technical guru.  I had a long video chat with him and then everything just moved fast. I was impressed with their interviewing process and more so with their interviewer!”.

Then for about five minutes, my friend went on and on about the interesting discussion that he had with the interviewer. He continued,  “it felt like a discussion, nothing like an interview. He started with a simple question but soon interweaved it with the multiple challenges in solving it. We discussed in depth the algorithm to be used, optimizations to consider and implementation stacks to use. By the end of the hour, I decided that I want to work with this guy !”.

I started thinking,  is it that easy to get a good hire? Just have a good interview session with him?  The “interview session” was the one that made him decide to take the job, not how the company is doing or what  he is being offered. He knew that he could negotiate everything else. And he is convinced that if the company had great people like his interviewer, it has to succeed sooner or later.

So here I am,  more than ever convinced that if you want to attract great, passive talent, have a great interview session. No doubt, one frequently overlooked challenge in recruiting is finding a good interviewer!

How to perform well In a video interview

How to perform well In a video interview

Over the last decade, our lives have changed considerably, as new technology is constantly being implemented. Modern technology is changing the world we live in: our work, education, daily activities, and now, the recruitment process. Over the years, video calls have become more reliable and ubiquitous than ever and it has become part of our everyday life.

video-confrence
Video interviews are gaining widespread acceptance in corporate recruiting process. Currently, numerous companies are developing platforms to conduct video interviews in order to recruit potential candidates. These new platforms are exceptionally convenient, allowing them to evaluate each candidate without taking the time to meet them face-to-face.

A video interview works the same way as a face-to-face interview; the interviewer asks a series of questions to the candidate and evaluates them based on their knowledge and how they present themselves. The latter can get quite nerve-racking, as many of us might feel uncomfortable and uneasy talking to someone unfamiliar and trying to convince them why they’re the best for the job. However, instead of struggling and avoiding video interviews altogether, we have devised a few tips on how to overcome your fear and impress the employer.

  • Practice

    As a famous author once said, “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice reduces the imperfection.” Before a video interview, practice answering potential questions and general questions about yourself. Try speaking in front of a mirror to further improve your facial expressions; this will definitely carry on to the interview, as you will feel confident in what you are saying.

  • Dress professionall

     When choosing your attire, it is essential that you dress appropriately. By dressing professionally, you convey a great impression to the interviewer and let them know that you are serious for the position. Additionally, dress in light colors against a dark background and dark colors against a light background. Plan ahead and keep your clothes ready for the interview well in advance. Remember, “You cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in a costume of failure.”

  • Be confident

    In a video interview, it is necessary to exhibit yourself as someone who is confident of themselves and in what they do. In order to accomplish this, look directly at the camera and not at the screen. By looking directly at the interviewer, whatever you say will be more effective and will be taken more seriously. Nod and smile to further show your interest in the interview. Additionally, verbalize and articulate your words clearly and loudly so that you can express all of your thoughts and ideas.

  • Create a list of questions to ask the interviewer

    After the interviewer evaluates you and asks all the questions necessary, you are typically given the opportunity to ask some questions of your own. Having this in mind, create a list of questions beforehand to ask the interviewer. For example, you can ask about the management style of the company, the prospects for growth, or aspects of the company culture.

Clearly, video interviews are becoming the new norm in the recruitment process. It is to your advantage that you adapt to the modern times sooner – embrace video interviews and take the upper hand in the competitive job market.

Benefits of a Structured Interview

Benefits of a Structured Interview

Has anyone in the history of hiring ever employed anyone without conducting some type of interview? Seriously doubt it! Interview is an important process when you decide whether to allow the “outsider” into the “family” or not. There have been volumes written about how the first five minutes of an interview decide whether you get the job or not. Instead of collecting objective data, the hiring decisions are influenced by gut feelings of the interviewer.

…“the first five minutes” of an interview are what really matter, describing how interviewers make initial assessments and spend the rest of the interview working to confirm those assessments. So, if they like you, they look for reasons to like you more. If they don’t like your handshake or the awkward introduction, then the interview is essentially over because they spend the rest of the meeting looking for reasons to reject you. –  Lazlo Bock, Google’s Senior Vice President of People Operations

Let’s understand the goal of interview process. It is to achieve a good fit between the people and the jobs.  The interview process determines how the candidate will perform once they join the team.  So it is important that the selection process is based on a scientific approach and not on gut feelings. Scientific approach involves administering a structured interview where the knowledge, skills and abilities required for the job are assessed in a systematic manner across candidates.

“The interview structure, an interviewer’s experience and the number of people being interviewed in succession all play a role in the decision making on a job candidate,”  said Patrick Raymark, psychology department chair at Clemson University.

A good interview process involves collecting unbiased data on the candidates that enables the hiring manager to make the right hire. To make such critical decision, the interview process should aim to collect data that assures that the person is the best fit. Unfortunately, most interviews predict an applicant’s actual ability only between 1% to 4% accuracy.  This can be minimized and almost eliminated by adopting a structured interview approach.

What is a Structured Interview Process?

  • Before the interview – Plan end to end. Post the job and source the candidates. Before interviewing, define the evaluation criteria and rating scales. Put together a set of appropriate interview questions for assessing the candidates.
  • During the interview – Conduct an engaged interview session. Ask each candidate the same set of questions in the same order if possible. Take detailed interview notes for each question. Use the evaluation criteria and scale to rate the candidate’s response.
  • After the interview – Compare all the candidates interviewed by all the interviewers. Analyze the interviews and ratings and normalize the evaluation data across interviewers. Then, make a data-driven decision on who best fits the role.

On the onset, structured interviews seem tedious but in reality it is a highly effective hiring process. Adopting an end-to-end structured approach shortens the overall hiring time.

The best part of the structured interview is that it is effective, consistent and fair. All candidates go through the same process, are treated objectively and asked the same set of questions. Each interviewer is focused in asking the relevant set of questions and evaluates the candidates based on the job criteria.  Since the hiring managers have the same set of  information for every candidate, the hiring decisions are made faster and with greater confidence.

Recruiting in Today’s World

Recruiting in Today’s World

With technology, networking, and social media, recruiting in today’s world is changing drastically.

Candidates today are going about job-hunting in unique ways than generations in the past. Platforms like LinkedIn allow people to reach out to contacts directly in order to make connections and test the waters for a possible job opportunity. Websites such as indeed.com or careerbuilder.com are giving candidates the power to search for job openings quickly and efficiently. With tools like this in place making the job search easier, candidates are expecting the hiring process to also be quick and seamless.

Unfortunately, the hiring process is greatly lagging. A variety of setbacks is keeping the process from advancing and therefore discouraging potential recruits. The hiring process is the first experience talent has with a company. If it is unorganized, frustrating, or requires too much time, the candidate is likely to move on to another lead. The process is a direct reflection of how the company does business as a whole. If recruiting is not dialed in, it is likely other aspects of the company are not as well.

Top talent today look for companies that they can connect with – it is important to them to feel empowered at work. Especially when recruiting millennials, this generation is known for its dedication to the mentality of making the world a better place. Ensuring your recruiting process accurately depicts not only your company culture but the way business is handled is essential. In doing this, you are helping attract and hire the talent that will be the best fit with the team and also be motivated to give it his or her all. Being upfront with a candidate from the beginning is key in order to grow a candidate into a top employee.

While budgeting, time, and limited resources can leave you wondering how to build the right hiring process, there are still many solutions out there. Focus on the strengths in your recruiting department and build from there. Take advantage of recruiting platforms such as the websites mentioned earlier to post jobs and make connections. And finally, use an interview platform that solves the problems of budget, time, and resources. EasyHire gives you the power to conduct multiple interviews in a day during less time with video capabilities, recording features, and an extensive interview question database.

Make your recruiting process your highlight, not your downfall.

Pitfalls of an Unstructured Interview

Pitfalls of an Unstructured Interview

“Experienced interviewers do not appear to differ markedly from inexperienced interviewers in their descriptions of either the ideal or typical applicant. I would hypothesize that the lack of information characteristic of unstructured procedures leads interviewers to categorize on the basis of their prior conception and, as a consequence, lowers the validity of their decisions.”

– Dr Robert L Dipboye, Professor of Psychology at University of Central Florida

Most technical interviews are unstructured in nature. A typical unstructured interview is vulnerable to a variety of biases in information gathering, judgement and decision making.

In an unstructured interview, the interviewer does not have a clear charter on what to look for in the candidate. Their evaluation on the candidate is based on their views on what is required in the job.  Lack of systematic approach results in gathering interviewer’s personal opinion rather than knowledge, skills and abilities of the candidate to perform the job.

There is a lot of evidence supporting the “similar-to-me” effect in which the interviewer gives more favorable evaluation to the candidates who are similar to the interviewer on background, education, attitudes and other factors.

Research indicated that performance of the candidate in an interview session depends a lot on the way the interview is conducted. The interviewer’s conduct of the session can influence the quality as well as the quantity of the information gathered.

In summary, unstructured interviews:

  1. Are less likely to collect job-related data about knowledge, skills and abilities related to the job.
  2. Are not run consistent across candidates making it difficult to objectively compare and contrast candidates.
  3. Are influenced by interviewers biases that may negatively impact decisions lowering the quality of hire.

Adopting a structured interview approach would eliminate most of these issues and will improve the quality of the hiring process.

Easyhire.me is an online platform for conducting structured interviews to deliver consistent hiring results. It allows the hiring manager to:

  • Define an interview format, appropriate questions, and rating criteria.
  • Conduct an engaging interview with live video featuring shared code editor.
  • Track feedback, scores, and interview recordings.

Hire by reviewing interviews and making data driven decisions.

How do you run your job interviews – unstructured or structured?

How do you run your job interviews – unstructured or structured?

This is a four-part series that discusses structured interviews. The upcoming articles in the series are “Pitfalls of unstructured interviews,” “Benefits of structured interviews,” and “How easyhire.me can help you run a structured Interview.”

Interviews without a specific format are referred to as unstructured interviews. Unstructured interviews are unplanned. They tends to be free flowing with the interviewer asking questions spontaneously based on the candidate’s responses and proceed like a friendly conversation.  As a result they vary across candidates and are inconsistent in the way the candidates are evaluated.

At the other end, structured interviews are based on thorough analysis of the job requirements and in-depth understanding of knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA’s) required to perform the job. On the basis of the analysis, interview questions and scorecards are crafted. The candidates are asked the same questions and their responses are assessed in a standardized manner against job-specific criteria using a predetermined scorecard.

Structuring the interview selection process reduces the magnitude of interviewers’ biases, enhancing the reliability and validity of the interview decisions. Overall, structured interviews help in establishing a clear link between performance as a candidate at the job interview and performance as an employee on the job.

The table below compares the two approaches. Use the table below to determine if your interviews are unstructured or structured.

Unstructured Interviews

  • Little or no planning of the interview session.
  • The evaluation criteria used by interviewers vary across applicants.
  • The interview questions are not pre-planned. They are spontaneous and free flowing.
  • Interview sessions are not consistent across applicants of the same job.
  • Little or no control over the type or amount of information collected across applicants.
  • Irrelevant information influences the direction of the interview.
  • There is no emphasis on note-taking or maintaining interview records.
  • No standardized metric is used in rating the applicant.
  • The interviewer’s personal biases influence the evaluation of the candidate.
  • No formal training is provided to the interview team.

Structured Interviews

  • There is careful planning of interview objectives and evaluation criteria.
  • The factors evaluated by the interviewers are based on a thorough job analysis and are consistent across candidates.
  • Interview questions are pre-determined and linked to job criteria (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities).
  • The applicants of a particular job are asked the same questions.
  • Questions are planned and controlled. Same sets of questions are asked across applicants.
  • Irrelevant information is disregarded.
  • Detailed notes are taken during the interview session that is shared, analyzed, and stored.
  • Applicants are rated and scored based on a standardized metric created for the job.
  • The interviewer’s personal biases have less influence than the ratings across different job related parameters.
  • The talent acquisition team is provided with the interview template and rating metric before conducting the interviews.


Research shows that structuring the interview process reduces the influence of interviewer’s personal biases in the selection process. It also increases the reliability and validity of the interviewer’s judgement. In other words, structured interview results improve the quality of hire in the organization.

easyhire.me platform provides all the elements for conducting a structured interview.  Plan your interviews ahead by choosing a series of question from easyhire.me question bank and crafting the scorecard attributes. Run an efficient interview using easyhire.me’s Interview Room – it features video, code editor, and scorecards all in one place. Record and track the interviews for a data driven decision making.

Event Recap: Find Interviewing Success

Event Recap: Find Interviewing Success

We recently attended an event, “Interview Training,” held by RockIt Recruiting. The event reinforced many of the ideas and beliefs that EasyHire is based on. Here, we give an overview of the event and how our unique platform can allow you to succeed.

The event made it clear that bad interview training leads to poor evaluation and of candidates and bad candidate choices for hiring. The first speaker, Natalia Baryshnikova, spoke about how different approaches and proper tools can impact the speed and effectiveness of the interview process. A confusing system or unorganized process can wreak havoc on recruiting and hiring the best candidate for the position. A structured interview significantly speeds up the hiring process meaning less time and money spent by the company. EasyHire is an all-in-one interview platform that gives companies the ability to proceed through the hiring process quickly and in an organized fashion. Our platform allows companies to focus time and resources on moving their business forward rather than getting stuck building up their team.

The second speaker, Gayle Leakmann McDowell, spoke about the importance of making the interview process as perfect and seamless as possible for better results. She also discussed the need to know the extent of a candidate’s tech knowledge in order to make the right hiring decision. EasyHire understands how crucial it is for the hiring team to have the tools to make the best business decisions to reach the company’s goals. The EasyHire platform gives hiring managers the ability to test a candidate’s tech skills directly within the interviewing system. With this unique feature, recruiting teams are able to fully evaluate a candidate and develop an accurate picture of him or her.

The final topic we found really hit home in regards to our platform was the importance of finding and using appropriate interview questions. EasyHire has a robust library of questions for the interview to choose from and use as well as document the answers given right in the platform.

Stop wasting time, money, and resources on a seemingly endless recruiting and interviewing process. EasyHire has what you need for hiring success. We found RockIt Recruiting’s event insightful and are proud to offer solutions to the obstacles companies are facing in today’s market.

RockIt Recruiting Event: http://rockitrecruiting.com/blog/22

Giving Hiring Managers the Power

Giving Hiring Managers the Power

An article was published on April 8, 2015 titled “The 7-Step Hiring Blueprint that Built Netflix” by Carlie Smith (http://bit.ly/1cmBBPK). In step six, Smith discusses the importance of a hiring manager taking charge of the interview process.

Many of the tips focus around organization and quick and effective communication to ensure the best candidate is hired. EasyHire recognizes the deep importance of this part of the interviewing and hiring process and has developed its platform around these very concepts.

It is essential that an accurate impression be given from the beginning. Candidates strive to articulate their skills and ability to perform the job in the hopes of being hired. But what about the first impression of the company? It is often overlooked that companies also need to provide detailed insight into the company culture and team dynamics. EasyHire makes this easy for hiring managers by allowing them to immediately showcase the top tier communication skills and technology they value. A problematic or chaotic hiring process can make a qualified, perfect candidate turn down an offer. But by using a platform that makes the process easy, efficient, and advanced, the candidate is immediately aware of the company’s smart business sense.

The article also discussed how involved a hiring manager should be when interacting with candidates before and after the interview process. We all know that making time is a challenge for most business professionals. However, EasyHire’s video-based platform makes it simpler to conduct interviews anytime, anywhere. Interviews should no longer be confined to a stuffy conference room. Video interviews avoid the confusion and hassle of finding a time that works in everyone’s busy schedule to meet in person.

The last topic we found interesting in Smith’s article was her suggestion to use an “interview scorecard.” And here, we have more great news: EasyHire has this built into its platform! No longer worry about keeping notes, figuring out which questions where used by which interviewer. Our platform allows the hiring managers and their team to keep the process organized and in one place.

EasyHire.me is a manager-centric product with workflows that fit the hiring manager’s needs. Smith’s article shows the importance of creating a blueprint to establish a successful business. Whether you are a small company or a sprawling, well-known business, hiring is important so don’t skimp on finding the best talent in the best way possible.