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Anyone here have to interview job candidates?

I Are Baboon

Run, Forrest, Run!
Aug 6, 2001
29,244
1,715
MTB New England
Just wondering if any :monkey:'s are in a position where you interview and hire people. Do you mind doing interviews? Do you totally hate it? What have your experiences been like?

I've got two positions to fill, and four people to interview this week (all for the same position). I've gotten maybe a dozen resumes in the past week. I am actually looking forward to the interviews because the end result will be that our department is stronger and the workload easier on the rest of the staff. It's been maybe five years since I've had to interview anyone (two jobs ago I was a supervisor, my last job I was an analyst, and I have just been put in charge of this department).

If I am not mistaken, there are a couple of recruiters on RM. They must have lots of good info to share...
 

Snacks

Turbo Monkey
Feb 20, 2003
3,524
0
GO! SEAHAWKS!
I do, and I hate it:mad: I dislike interviewing people, if feel it's a total waste of time. Or maybe it's the canidates the HR dept. finds for me to interveiw.
 

beestiboy

Monkey
May 21, 2005
321
0
Merded, ca
I never really liked doing interviews. My solution was to ask them questions that kept them talking. I found that is the only way to seperate the BS from the real deal. So often people give this canned answer that could be completely legit but it gives you no clue as to how and who they really are.

Have fun dude. Not for me any more
 

MTB_Rob_NC

What do I have to do to get you in this car TODAY?
Nov 15, 2002
3,430
0
Charlotte, NC
Think of a good standard set of ?'s to ask ALL your candidates. This is actually a very good HR practice. If you come up with 5-10, that should net you a very good interview once you get done with all of the tangent conversations.
 

Velocity Girl

whack-a-mole
Sep 12, 2001
1,279
0
Atlanta
My past 3 out of 4 jobs I've been involved in the interviewing process, and it still sucks! The only benefit it being able to have somewhat of a say in who gets hired (I have never been the hiring manager). I find it's easier if you try and ask the same set of questions to each candiate so you can compare easier.

Here are a few questions I like that should be applicable to any job:

-Give me an example of a project you worked on that was a sucess and why?
-Give me an example of a project you worked on that was a failure and why? What did you learn from it?

-What is your biggest strength?
-What is your biggest weakness?

If people have never had a failure or have a weakness I am very very suspect. We all have 'em, you just gotta own up to 'em.


And along the same lines :
-How would your friends would describe you?
-How would your enemies describe you?

Now this one is a beat off the beat and path, but it's intended to see how they handle different situations, how they think on their feet, and if they have a sense of humor (important part for the cultural fit of places I've worked)

-Tell me a joke. (Any joke no matter how funny, silly, or lame)

You'd be suprised how many people can't come up with a simple knock-knock joke or how did the chicken cross the road.
 

kizzi77

Monkey
Aug 11, 2005
564
0
nashvegas
I never had to interview but my boss and I had a deal worked out where she would interview and then send potential hires to work with me for a while. They would get paid the whole time and think they had the job. Of course there is a 3 month probation period so nothing was for sure. I had to decide whether or not they had what it took to work for us. I guess they just saw me as another employee. It really sucked because the company has high standards. I didn't want to be responsible for hiring someone who can't work up to par. But I always hated having to be the one who decided that the person had to go. And I had to do that a bunch.
 

Shyrmp

Nekkid Girl Gone Wild
Dec 31, 2002
1,454
3
The suburbs of Mexico.....
I do interviewing every day and I actually enjoy it quite a bit. If you need any help feel free to ask me any questions. Here are some standard questions that might help get you started....

-Describe yourself.

-What are your long-range goals and objectives?

-What are your short-range goals and objectives?

-How do you plan to achieve your career goals?

-What are the most important rewards you expect in your career?

-Why did you choose the career for which you are applying?

-What are your strengths, weaknesses, and interests?

-How do you think a friend who knows you well would describe you?

-Describe a situation in which you had to work with a difficult person (another co-worker, customer, supervisor, etc.). How did you handle the situation? Is there anything you would have done differently in hindsight?

-What motivates you to put forth your greatest effort? Describe a situation in which you did so.

-How do you determine or evaluate success?

-In what ways do you think you can make a contribution to our organization?

-Describe a contribution you have made to a project on which you worked.

-What qualities should a successful employee possess?

-Was there an occasion when you disagreed with a supervisor's decision or company policy? Describe how you handled the situation.

-What two or three accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction? Why?

-What have you learned from participation in extracurricular activities?

-In what kind of work environment are you most comfortable?

-How do you work under pressure?

-Describe a situation in which you worked as part of a team. What role did you take on? What went well and what didn't?

-Why did you decide to seek a position with this organization?

-What two or three things would be most important to you in your job?

-What criteria are you using to evaluate the organization for which you hope to work?

Hope that helped. :)
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
36,479
3,236
Sleazattle
I have interviewed about 5 people in the last year. Some of them were horribly painful, one interviewee couldn't even tell me what company he was trying to work for despite it even being written on my business card I had just given him. My boss does the initial screening and I do the first face to face, my boss does a horribly job at the first screens.
 

I Are Baboon

Run, Forrest, Run!
Aug 6, 2001
29,244
1,715
MTB New England
I am the hiring manager, therefore I skip all of the standard "what are your strength/weaknesses....what are your five year goals...what are your biggest challenges"...etc kind of questions. I am more interested in their practical knowledge of what the job functions will be. I'll let Recruitment ask all the standard interview questions. While their personality is important, I care more about what knowledge they'll bring to the job. I always hated answering those general questions when I was being interviewed, so I won't subject a candidate to that torture.
 

Shyrmp

Nekkid Girl Gone Wild
Dec 31, 2002
1,454
3
The suburbs of Mexico.....
I don't typically ask the standard questions either, but I don't think you want to ask your applicants the questions I have to ask mine (i.e. laundry list of criminal convictions, etc.) ;)

Good luck with your interviews. :)
 

I Are Baboon

Run, Forrest, Run!
Aug 6, 2001
29,244
1,715
MTB New England
Shyrmp said:
I don't typically ask the standard questions either, but I don't think you want to ask your applicants the questions I have to ask mine (i.e. laundry list of criminal convictions, etc.) ;)

Good luck with your interviews. :)
LOL!

Hmmm...hearing about their criminal convictions could be fun! :)
 

narlus

Eastcoast Softcore
Staff member
Nov 7, 2001
24,658
25
behind the viewfinder
just remember that a bad hire can be a tough decision to live with.

consider strengths which pertain to technical features of the position, and personality traits which can impact the existing team structure.
 

MTB_Rob_NC

What do I have to do to get you in this car TODAY?
Nov 15, 2002
3,430
0
Charlotte, NC
Shyrmp said:
I don't typically ask the standard questions either,
If you can skip the standard ?'s thats great, but just be sure to ask all the applicants the same ?s so you have a good basis for comparison.
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,412
0
SF
I Are Baboon said:
I am the hiring manager, therefore I skip all of the standard "what are your strength/weaknesses....what are your five year goals...what are your biggest challenges"...etc kind of questions. I am more interested in their practical knowledge of what the job functions will be. I'll let Recruitment ask all the standard interview questions. While their personality is important, I care more about what knowledge they'll bring to the job. I always hated answering those general questions when I was being interviewed, so I won't subject a candidate to that torture.
I would have to agree. After going through 3 rounds of interviews with 14 different people, the technical questions have 2 advantages. Besides determining what I know, you can see how I might solve a problem.

Two interviewers wanted me to write code on the spot. One guy made me actually type it out and execute it. While I did not get it right, I got it close (included double quotes when I should not), and I would think staying cool was good enough.

On the other hand, asking me personal questions won't tell you much, especially from an accomplished BS'er like me. For example: what is my biggest weakness? My desire to complete all my work by deadlines affects my family life.
 

Shyrmp

Nekkid Girl Gone Wild
Dec 31, 2002
1,454
3
The suburbs of Mexico.....
Mtb_Rob_FL said:
If you can skip the standard ?'s thats great, but just be sure to ask all the applicants the same ?s so you have a good basis for comparison.
I only get applicant's that my clients have decided to proceed with, so they have already asked the standard questions. My interviews are more "investigational". I have asked the standard questions when making hiring decisions for people who are applying directly with my company though. :)
 

Velocity Girl

whack-a-mole
Sep 12, 2001
1,279
0
Atlanta
stoney98 said:
The joke would take me by suprise and I dount I'd be able to think one up on the spot. That is a very subjective one.
That's the point of it though. It's not a typical question you would expect at an interview. It's not an answer you have rehearsed (unless you've been asked it before!) Weather or not you acctually come up with a joke isn't the most important point. What it's intended to do is see how a person handles an off the wall situation? Do they maintain their composure (sp?) or just melt down? Can you think on your feet? In most of the companies I've worked for if you can't handle something coming at you from left field without a melt down or completely losing your cool, you're most likely not going to be able to cut it. And in all fairness, I was asked that question during an interview...and yes, it took me totally by surprise.
 

blt2ride

Turbo Monkey
May 25, 2005
2,334
0
Chatsworth
My primary job was employment (interviews and recuitment) for almost 3 years, before I was promoted to another position. All together I have about 5 years of employment under my belt. It's kind of a love and hate relationship. It feels good when you hire someone who works out, and you hate it when you hire someone who doesn't work out.

Nonetheless, I have probably interviewed more than a 1000 people--we hire A LOT of people. Luckily for me, I started working in employment when I was really young, so a lot of the candidates were basically my age. In my opinion, the only way you will get an honest answer from someone is to make them feel comfortable. There were certain questions that the company made us ask, but basically I just talked to applicants. I made them feel comfortable with me, and then they started to spill their guts. Once someone lets their guard down, they'll tell you anything...
 

JimmyTwoTimes

Monkey
Jun 26, 2003
197
0
West Hartford
I interview consultants for contract jobs (Oracle). I find the interviews quite boring and redundant. I basically just give them the 'sniff test' to see if they really know Oracle and can actually pronounce English words before passing them on to a client.
 
J

JRB

Guest
I typically hate it, but this last round, it was cool. It was too bad I didn't have 3 spots to fill. My newest started on Monday, last week.
 

I Are Baboon

Run, Forrest, Run!
Aug 6, 2001
29,244
1,715
MTB New England
OK, so I have done two interviews today and they each lasted no longer than 25 minutes. Am I doing something wrong? For some reason, I feel like I should be talking to them longer.

Ah well, they are only initial interviews anyway.
 

MMcG

Ride till you puke!
Dec 10, 2002
15,465
4
Burlington, Connecticut
I Are Baboon said:
OK, so I have done two interviews today and they each lasted no longer than 25 minutes. Am I doing something wrong? For some reason, I feel like I should be talking to them longer.

Ah well, they are only initial interviews anyway.
Are they only interviewing with you - or is their a group of you involved in the search?
 

I Are Baboon

Run, Forrest, Run!
Aug 6, 2001
29,244
1,715
MTB New England
MMcG said:
Are they only interviewing with you - or is their a group of you involved in the search?
Well, I am the hiring manager, so I decide who gets the job. But they talk to me, they talk to recruitment, and the final candidates talk to my boss.
 

I Are Baboon

Run, Forrest, Run!
Aug 6, 2001
29,244
1,715
MTB New England
MMcG said:
Gotcha - we have to have these search committees here - hiring is a PITA!
Well I suppose it also depends on the position that is being filled. A payroll clerk doesn't exactly need to go through a difficult screening process and a series of tough interviews. When I hire for my former position though, it'll be at least three interviews and they'll also have to speak to our technical experts.

When i was being interviewed for this place, I had a two hour interview with the recuiter, four hours of interviews with my boss and team members, and another four hour lunch interview with a director and VP. :dead:
 

Austin Bike

Turbo Monkey
Jan 26, 2003
1,559
0
Duh, Austin
I Are Baboon said:
OK, so I have done two interviews today and they each lasted no longer than 25 minutes. Am I doing something wrong? For some reason, I feel like I should be talking to them longer.

Ah well, they are only initial interviews anyway.
Honestly, you can usually get a feel for the person in the first 5 minutes and you spend the next 20 trying to make sure that the impression you got is accurate.

Time is immaterial if you can get right to the meat of the matter and dispense with the small talk.