You ‘set the stage’ for how an employee will follow your direction as a leader when you interview the applicant. You have set a professional stage with your refined application so you will want to continue this level o f professionalism throughout your interview process with well thought out and organized questions. This will encourage the applicant to want to work for you. If you just let them ramble on about whatever they want to tell you, they are controlling the interview and not you (and will most likely try to be in control the entire time they work for you). They will tell you what they think you want to hear and they will ask you what is important to them, not to your company or to you.
Prepare a set of questions that you will use in every interview. This will keep you consistent in your hiring practices and help you to uncover possible problem areas with an applicant. Asking questions about their flexibility, their reactions to specific situations and what they are looking for in a job will tell you a lot about a person and how they would fit into your company culture.
Put together a list of questions to use after you have reviewed their application. First, go through the application looking for any areas that were not completed. If an applicant does not fill out the application completely it indicates two things: they do not pay attention to detail and/or they did not come to the interview prepared with phone numbers, addresses, previous dates of employment, etc. Begin the interview with the applicant for any missing information on the application. You fill it in as they give it to you. Never put the application back in the applicant’s hands again. Look for gaps in previous employment and ask what they were doing during that time (they might have been in jail for theft). After reviewing their application proceed to your interviewing questions. Take good notes when they are answering and do not answer the questions for them, even if they are struggling for answers. Pause, restate the question in a different way but do not let them control your interview. Create your own list of questions or use the questions I used when I had a staff of 56 cleaners, some of which were there for 18 years.
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