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  Checklist for Interviewers

Interviews are an important part of any hiring process and deserve time and attention. If you are involved in hiring, you will likely have spent quite a bit of time developing the job bid, ensuring the position was well advertised, and assisting with the pre-vetting, sifting through resumes. Now you are down to a short list of candidates. To help you make the best possible hiring decision, the interviews should be unrushed and tailored to give you the information you need about the candidates to make a good decision.

Remember, you are not buying a piece of hardware; you are acquiring critical human capital as well as a team member you hope will add value to the organization. Make sure you take the time to make the best selection.

The checklist below can you organize the details surrounding interviews and focus on the essentials of hiring talent.

When Scheduling the Interviews

  • Ask for a list of references; be clear in the type of references you want so you don’t end up with all peer or all supervisor references. A 360 degree approach would be better
  • To the extent possible, schedule the interviews in the same day, or as close to the same day as possible
  • Make sure you have 20 minutes in between interview slots so there is time for breaks or in case an interview runs overtime
  • Identify the other interview team participants

Week Prior to the Interviews

  • Make reservations for the conference room or other venue you plan to use
  • Clear your schedule as well as those with whom you will be conducting the interview
  • Prepare the interview questions you want to ask; make sure they are appropriate for the position
  • If you need to have an HR or EO representative present, make arrangements for them to be there
  • Call the references and ask them your prepared questions
  • Define what a successful interview will look like, what type of answers are you looking for?

Day Prior to the Interviews

  • Print off the resumes and review them with the interview team
  • Review with the interview team the responses which the references provided on the candidates
  • Review the interview questions and anticipated answers with the team

Day of the Interviews

  • Have beverages available for the interviewers and for candidates in the area where they will be waiting. Remember, when everyone is comfortable, the interviews will go more smoothly and you are more likely to get the information you need
  • Make sure the room is set up the way you need it for the interviews
  • Ensure there is paper and writing utensils for the interview team

During the Interview

  • Relax! If you are tense, the interviewee will sense it and become defensive and less genuine
  • Include ice-breakers; introduce the interview team participants
  • Go over the interview process, let the candidates know what to expect
  • Give the candidate an opportunity to ask questions

Michael Farr, PMP, is a Chief Master Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force and founder of He is passionate about recognition and enabling professionals to motivate their organizations through recognizing their member’s excellence. When he is not slaying dragons with his kids, he can be found at @fosterxcellence on Twitter, @fosteringexcellence on Facebook, and @fosteringexcellen on Instagram.


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