Improving Your Interview Process



Your organization's success is dependent on the quality of your workforce. Better hires mean better business outcomes, so choosing who to hire is one of the most important decisions recruiters and hiring managers can make. This is why most organizations have multi-step selection and hiring processes to ensure they hire the best job candidates.

A critical part of the recruitment and selection process for just about any job is the candidate interview. Interviews are considered a crucial hiring tool due to their relatively low cost compared to the amount of information they can provide interviewers and hiring managers about a candidate. Interviews give hiring managers a chance to ask questions that are not covered in other parts of the process. In turn, they also provide opportunities for candidates to learn more about their prospective employer, company culture, and even the work/office environment.

The average candidate interview lasts between 45-90 minutes, and that doesn't include preparation time. Recruiters and hiring managers may need to conduct several interviews for each job opening. This makes it a time-consuming exercise for them. Consequently, organizations need to maximize the interview process so that no one's time is wasted and all pertinent information is collected.

To help recruiters and hiring managers manage their interview load, create a formalized candidate interview process for your organization. A formal process will shorten the time they spend planning and conducting interviews. You'll provide a better candidate experience, ensure consistency across locations, and improve the organization's chances of making a good hire.

There are many ways to conduct a candidate interview and many issues to consider. The interview process can be complicated and intimidating, especially for hiring managers whose main job is operating your stores. Steps can be taken to make the interviewing process easier for managers and more enjoyable for candidates. Questions such as which medium to use (in-person, video, or phone), which questions to ask, and how to score the interviews can all be answered in a formalized plan ahead of time.




Deciding which questions to ask is a difficult task. Hiring managers have many job duties, and interviewing candidates is only a small part of their overall responsibilities. They may not understand the importance of using quality interview questions to ask candidates during interviews and how choosing the wrong questions can lead to problems down the road. Many hiring managers prefer an informal interview process believing it saves them time. However, we have found this not to be the case over time.

Informal, unstructured interviews can be wildly inconsistent from candidate to candidate. These types of interviews make it a challenge to predict a candidate's future job performance and skills. That's where a well-structured interview process comes in - providing consistency across evaluations. Research shows that structured interviews with standard questions and scoring are highly effective. Interviewers ask all candidates the same questions and use the same rating scales to score responses. This consistency ensures fairness in the interview process and makes it easier to communicate interview results with the rest of the team.

Design well-rounded candidate evaluations so hiring managers get a complete picture of candidate skills and experience. Specific questions should uncover characteristics and behaviors that are difficult to measure in other parts of the hiring process. Don't bother repeating questions that candidates have already answered during another part of the application process.

For example, there's no need to ask candidates about subjects covered in your pre-employment assessments. Candidates will notice the redundancy, and it will have a negative impact on their experience. One way to avoid these issues is to develop specific, standard questions for managers to ask candidates ahead of time. This ensures managers capture the information needed to make good hiring decisions and candidates' time is not wasted.




The interview is an essential part of the hiring process, and when done right, it can impact your organization beyond the interview itself.

Stronger employer brand

A top-notch interviewing process can strengthen your employer brand and make it easier to attract high-quality candidates now and in the future. Starting candidates out with a strong, positive view of your organization will increase the chance they'll be long-tenured. This results in higher employee engagement and employee productivity, and less turnover.

Decreased hiring costs

Hiring a new employee is expensive. Organizations can cut their hiring costs by implementing a structured interview program with standard practices across all locations. Standard practices can make it easier for hiring managers to identify high-quality candidates, keep unfair or inappropriate questions to a minimum, and reduce legal risks.

Hiring manager development

Are hiring managers given formal training on conducting and scoring interviews, or are they on their own? Interviews are complex, time-consuming, and costly, making training an expense that more than pays for itself over time. The best interviewers develop rapport with candidates, putting them at ease to highlight their own skills. Good interviewing techniques such as staying on topic or asking useful follow-up questions can be taught. Skills-focused training can include note taking, analyzing responses, and soft skills. 

Clear objectives for the hiring process

Lastly, consider the goals for your interviews. An effective interview program accomplishes four main goals.

  1. assessing work styles and whether the person will work well in your organization's culture
  2. assessing technical skills and capabilities for the job in question
  3. assessing interpersonal skills to determine fit with the work team
  4. recruiting them into the company

Without a structured interview process, it would be hard to know if these goals are being met. Having a structure in place allows for effective interviewing and a way to analyze the candidate experience.




Developing an effective and efficient interviewing program and training hiring managers on how to conduct interviews is a time-intensive process. Many organizations find it beneficial to work with an external consultant. The industrial-organizational psychologists on the Cadient Talent Science Team have a combined 20+ years of expertise consulting with organizations. They can advise your organization on hiring-related issues such as interviewing and help your organization develop a new interview program or refine your existing one.

Curious how better interviewing techniques could help your organization reach its hiring and workforce goals? Call us today for a consultation at 866.332.1771.


You may be interested in these articles:

The Art and Compliance of Video Interviewing

A Quick Overview of Video Interviewing



Michael Baysinger

Assessment Practice Manager, Ph.D.