Interviewing Employees: The Do’s and Dont's
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Hiring a new employee is a fundamental skill that every employer must eventually learn. Now, you could hire anyone that walks in the door, but that would usually be foolish. Learning how to hire the best candidate for the job is like learning to do anything the first time – it takes some preparation, real-world experience, and good judgment. The first, however, concerns preparation for the interview.

First, you should create a list in preparation for an interview. To keep it simple, you could create a 2-columned list. In the first column, you could list all the common tasks of the job. In the second column, you could list all the skill sets and experience that you want for the job.

Column 1: Tasks

  • All the requirements and tasks of the job

Column 2: Skills & Experience

  • All skills and experience that you’re looking for to accomplish the tasks of the job.
For example, assume you own a website company and you’re looking to hire a database designer.

Column 1:
  • Build a certain number of webpages per week
  • Troubleshoot and fix problems when they occur
  • Think independently
Column 2:
  • 3-5 years of experience with Adobe Photoshop
  • Catalogue of prior build websites
  • Ability to write in HTML, Flash, and CSS, Javascript, and some background in C++
The purpose the list is to maintain consistency in your interviews. In other words, try to keep your questions similar for all candidates, so as not to show favoritism or discrimination, and to maintain a level of professionalism. You should judge candidates based on merit, and this system will help you to do so. This way, if a candidate ever complains about favoritism or discrimination in the hiring process, you’ll have documentation to show your level of consistency (assuming you remember not to stray too far off the skill sets on the list).

Also, at this stage of preparation, you’ll need to determine whether you plan to hire an employee or independent contractor.

Next, we’ll go over questions to generally ask in the interview process.