Filtering for the Best: Interview Intelligence from AppleOne SCALE

The Interview Structure

It is hard to compare multiple candidates if they are not asked the same questions and you record their specific replies. Interviews also include other qualification indicators such as the questions they ask you, body language, and personality style.

To complicate the qualifying process, employers are competing for talent and have to market their job opportunity at the same time they are evaluating the candidate.Although the interview is just one step in a long hiring process, it is a critical step. One key to a successful interview is to follow the same format with all candidates.

Our 2015 SCALE (Standards for Compensation And Leadership Excellence) contains a hiring tool kit that includes an interview structure that we have found works well. We have excerpted some of the critical information from that tool below, and be sure to request a print copy of the SCALE to gain access to a more complete tool as compensation and benefit data and all of the other tools in the hiring toolkit.

  1. Break the Ice: Candidates can be nervous, put them at ease by outlining the interview process and start with an easy question.
  2. Confirm Job Description: Use visual aids such as goal sheets, job descriptions, and input from other employees. Keep an eye open for critical factors including software skills, education, job title and pay range (not actual offer)
  3. Skill Match: For each skill, ask drill down and open ended questions to solicit more information.
  4.  Culture/Team Trait Match: Select the traits that are most important to you for this position, and ask questions to reveal those traits.
  5.  Candidate Priorities Match: Determine what priorities this specific candidate has.
  6. Opportunity Match: Upsell the position to the candidate’s priorities using appropriate job marketing statements.
  7. Closing: Give them an opportunity to ask questions if they haven’t.  Document the questions they ask.  Have them reach out to you if they are interested.  It will help demonstrate their motivation.

The full version of the SCALE provides sample questions you can ask for each step outlined in the Interview Structure, including behavioral questions that will allow you to drill down to a precise cultural and even personality fit.

As a resource we provide our clients, the 2015 SCALE is available to you with our compliments.

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