The following are best practices and proven techniques to help you make better hiring decisions:
1. There are two parts to every interview: Gathering information and evaluating that information and, to the best of your ability, you need to keep them separate. The tendency is for one “bad” answer to negatively skew the interviewer’s perception of all subsequent answers.
On the other hand, one “perfect” answer can make the interviewer overlook faults or inconsistencies in later answers. The answers to interview questions should stand alone and not be evaluated until the interview is complete.
2. Rather than rely on your notes and memory, create a standard-ized Interview Evaluation Form that covers the traits, talents, skills, attitudes and abilities that are important to success on the job and complete one immediately after each interview. (For a sample of the Humetrics’ Interview Rating Form, email firstname.lastname@example.org with “IRF” in the subject line.)
3. If your responsibilities include interviewing job applicants and sending those you deem worthy on to others to interview, keep your findings and your decision making process to yourself.
The fact that you’re passing the candidate on is your tacit stamp of approval. It is not in your organization’s best interests to let subsequent interviewers know beforehand your evaluation of the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses because your opinions will influence what the next person asks, hears, and sees when he or she interviews the candidate.
Just as the answer to every interview question needs to be weighed on its own merits before you consider how the applicant did overall, every interview needs to be evaluated independently.
Once the interviews are complete, the interviewers can then share their findings and opinions and reach a less biased consensus.
This was originally published on Mel Kleiman’s Humetrics blog.