You’ve posted your job, you’ve interviewed candidates: now what?  The obvious answer: you hire.  But pump the brakes for a minute. How have you come to that decision? What resources have you used to make that choice? If an interview and a candidate’s resume are all you are using to make that last hiring decision, you may want to hold off until you’ve utilized some more resources or tools.


Let’s backtrack for a minute – back to when you posted the job and the resumes started to come in. What type of criteria do you use to weed through potential candidates?  Many human resource departments enlist software to mine through resumes in their applicant tracking systems. Using software can be helpful to save time as it automatically looks for the job description rather than being “wowed” by format. (But hey, if you are wowed by format, you do you: just make sure the resume contents match the job description.)  But if you are kicking it old school and manually going through resumes, be sure that you have a criterion to lead you – if your HR department doesn’t have a resume rubric this could be a great time to create one.

Now that you’ve weeded out candidates, you want to move into a prescreen interview. Do not skip this step! This can be over the phone or a video conferencing software such as Zoom. Either way, be prepared to go through the candidate’s background, asking relevant questions. If you ask about their background as related to the position, and they completely miss the mark, this is a red flag.  Also, discuss salary. Don’t waste your time or their time if you are not meeting salary needs. Once you have gathered this base information and gotten to know the candidate, you can decide if you want to move forward with them.

Before heading into the face-to-face interview, remember you want to use quality interview questions. This can even be a time you have them do a short presentation to show their skills. More companies today are asking to see a candidate’s portfolio. Great idea: just remember proprietary guidelines may prohibit this. It doesn’t mean your candidate doesn’t have anything to show, just that everything they have created belongs to another company.

During this face to face interview take the time to ask questions that pertain specifically to your position. Know the job, know the role, or bring in someone else to sit in the interview who does. These may seem like obvious things to do for a quality interview, but too many times the HR manager doing the interviewing does not understand the ins and outs of each role. Take note of how the candidate answers questions: do they demonstrate they not only understand the role, but also understand your company? If your company has a vision/mission statement, do they bring that up in the interview? When a candidate takes the time to do their research, it shows a next level of commitment. They may be going on more than one interview, but they have still taken the time to know your company specifically.

Last, do not get up in arms if the candidate does not have any questions for you. If you have had a great, in depth interview they may really not have any other questions. Perhaps they are just asking these questions because they believe it’s required and integral. Use your best judgement here, but try not to let it be a hang up.


Now that you’ve done the leg work up front by weeding through resumes, using your prescreen, and conducting face-to-face interviews, you can make a quality hire with the data you have collected. What qualities set apart each person? What person fits your company culture? A qualified candidate with an unteachable spirit is not someone you want to bring on board. The process is long and hard, but taking the time to have a quality hiring process will inherently produce a better hire. Perhaps someone who you would not have thought would be “the one” in the beginning turns out to be the best candidate at the end of the hiring process.

Once you have made the decision and hire your new, amazing person, also make sure you are utilizing human resources to the full potential. Use the probationary period to make 100% sure this is the right fit for your company.  If red flags are shown within this period of time you would rather make adjustments now than a year from now.

Having a better-quality hiring process may seem like a lot of work and be a bit arduous – because it is. Looking over a resume and doing one interview seems much easier. Yet knowing you have made an ideal hire and fit for your team will make that process well worth it in the end. Instead of pumping the breaks on a hire, you can step on gas move on with your hiring.

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Jennifer Thorndyke is a wife and mom who enjoys intelligent conversation, strong coffee, and southern food.