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How to Create the Perfect Interview Plan

In Interviews — by Noel Diem

Are you struggling to find the perfect candidate for your job openings? Even worse – are you getting great candidates, but then they ghost you when you make an offer or try to schedule a second interview?
If this sounds too familiar to you, then it’s time to create an interview plan or revamp the one you have.
An interview plan is a crucial tool that can help you ask the right questions and assess whether a candidate fits the job without making the interview process seem like an interrogation to the employee.

It’s a delicate balance that takes time to perfect. Hiring managers need to hone their skills and ensure the interview isn’t just good for them and the potential new hire.

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to create an effective interview plan, its benefits, and tips for hiring top talent.

What is an Interview Plan?

An interview plan is a comprehensive guide that outlines the steps and procedures to be followed during an interview. It helps hiring managers organize their thoughts, identify the key competencies required for the role in question, and develop appropriate questions that will help assess whether a candidate meets those requirements. It helps align the hiring manager with the job description, company culture, and the job seeker. When everyone understands the role, what a job offer entails, and how the right person will move through the hiring process, it’s easier to ask the right questions, schedule interviews quickly, and ultimately find the talent that will be successful within your organization.

But there’s more to it!

An interview plan aims to minimize bias, ensure consistency across candidates, and increase objectivity by standardizing the process. Interview plans can take various forms depending on the nature of the job and the organization’s unique needs. Some may include behavioral or situational-based questions, while others focus on technical skills. Finding the right person means shifting through the potential candidates, interviewing them multiple times, and then extending the offer at just the right time.

When creating an effective interview plan, it’s crucial to focus on what you want from your ideal candidate regarding soft skills, such as communication style, teamwork abilities, or leadership qualities, if relevant. This information should inform your entire recruitment process, from writing job descriptions to final selection decisions. You also want to focus on the hard skills they have – after all, this is why you are running job interviews.

Using applicant tracking software and a hiring platform can help you find the right person out of a pool of potential candidates. How? An ATS like Trakstar Hire helps you craft the perfect job description, post it to the most successful job boards, schedule interviews with your hiring managers and team, collect interview question ideas, compare notes after interviews, and extend an offer to your preferred candidates quickly.

Ready to learn more about Trakstar Hire? Click here to schedule a demo.

How to Create an Interview Plan

An interview plan is essential to ensure the hiring process runs smoothly and efficiently. Your interview plan can look similar to others, but you may want to personalize it with common interview questions you want to ask, what a “good answer” looks like, a skill section for the hiring team, and what the common job search will look like for your candidates. It may even include specific tips for your company’s interview technique.

Here are some steps to create a successful interview plan:

  1. Define your goals: Before creating your interview plan, you must define what you want to achieve through this recruitment process. Often, that is bringing in the best possible talent to your organization. It means finding someone who not only has the skills to do the job but fits in with your company culture.
  2. Develop job-related questions: Your next step is developing relevant questions to help you assess each candidate’s skills, experience, and qualifications. You can ask common interview questions to start, maybe in an initial screening telephone phone interview, but then you’ll want to be more specific for the second interview or big interview before the offer. Be sure to include behavioral interview questions and skills-based questions where a candidate can provide a specific example.
  3. Create a structured format: Organize the sequence of questions logically so that they flow naturally throughout the conversation. In doing this, you are putting your interviewee at ease and creating a better candidate experience.
  4. Assign roles for everyone involved: Ensure everyone knows their role during the interview process—interviewers should know which specific topics or areas they’re responsible for covering. For example, one person may be in charge of behavior questions while another will ask career development questions.
  5. Schedule interviews strategically: Plan when and where interviews will take place while considering interviewer availability and candidate schedules. This may be easier if you do a video call or a telephone interview, but it may not be, depending on who is on your hiring team. Consider investing in an ATS that helps you schedule interviews with potential candidates to eliminate friction and games of email tag.

By following these steps, you can make sure that your interview plan covers all necessary bases while also being efficient and effective in selecting top-quality candidates for employment opportunities within your company.

As you move through interviews, you may want to change up this process.

The Benefits of Having an Interview Plan

Having an interview plan is crucial for finding the right employee for your company. A well-structured interview plan can help you identify the best candidates, reduce turnover and minimize hiring mistakes. It also helps your potential candidates see that you’re organized, ready to go, and competitive. It can even convince them that switching jobs is a good idea right now – something many people aren’t sure about!

One of the biggest benefits of having an interview plan is that it helps you stay organized and focused on what matters most. With a clear set of questions and criteria, you can ensure that every applicant is evaluated fairly and consistently.

An interview plan also allows you to assess each candidate’s skills, qualifications, experience, and personality traits more effectively. This will give you a better idea of whether they fit your team culture and work environment well.

Moreover, with an interview plan in place, you can avoid asking irrelevant or inappropriate questions during the hiring process. Instead, focus only on what matters most – their ability to do the job well while fitting into your organization’s values.

Another benefit of having an interview plan is that it ensures all applicants receive equal treatment throughout the selection process. As such, ensuring everyone has a fair chance of getting hired will help promote diversity in your workforce.

In summary, having an effective interview plan provides many benefits for both employers and potential employees alike. By combining a good interview plan with an applicant tracking solution as part of your Human Resources strategy, you’ll be able to find qualified candidates who are highly motivated to contribute positively towards achieving organizational goals.

How to Use an Interview Plan

Once you have created an interview plan, it’s essential to know how to use it effectively during the actual interview. The first step is to review the plan and become familiar with the questions and topics that will be covered. It’s also a good idea to prepare any necessary materials or documents ahead of time. The more detail you put into this, the easier it will be to use. You may even want to include interview tips for members of your hiring team who haven’t been on this type of team before.

During the interview, stick to the plan as closely as possible while allowing for a natural conversation flow. Be sure to ask open-ended questions and actively listen to the candidate’s responses. You want to show that their potential employer is a good listener and will be good to them. This doesn’t only mean what you say! Your body language needs to show that you’re a good fit for them as well.

Take notes throughout the interview so that you can refer back later when making your hiring decision. It may also be helpful to rate each candidate’s answers according to predetermined criteria outlined in your interview plan.

After all interviews are completed, compare notes and ratings among team members involved in the hiring process. Use this information along with other factors such as experience, education, and references when deciding which candidate is best suited for the position.

By utilizing an effective interview plan during every hiring process, companies can ensure they are selecting top-quality candidates who fit their organization’s needs and culture.

Tips for Creating a Successful Interview Plan

Creating a successful interview plan is crucial to hiring the right candidate for your company. Here are some tips to help you create an effective and efficient interview plan.

  1. First, identify the essential skills and qualities for the position. This will help you determine what questions to ask during the interview. Be sure to include open-ended questions that allow candidates to showcase their experience and problem-solving abilities.
  2. Second, consider incorporating behavioral-based interviewing techniques into your plan. These types of questions can give insight into how a candidate has handled situations in the past and how they may handle them in the future.
  3. Third, make sure all members of the interview panel are on-board with the plan. This ensures consistency throughout all interviews and allows each interviewer to focus on different aspects of the candidate’s qualifications.
  4. Fourth, schedule enough time per candidate so that every panel member has ample opportunity to ask their questions while still adhering to a set timeline.

Be prepared for unexpected answers or scenarios during interviews. Flexibility is key when it comes to conducting successful interviews!

Ready To Make Better Hires?

Creating an interview plan is essential for any hiring process. It provides structure and clarity throughout the entire interview process, ensuring that every candidate is evaluated fairly and consistently. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can create a successful interview plan that will help you identify the best candidates for your organization.

Remember to tailor your interview questions to each specific role and company culture. Make sure everyone involved in the hiring process is on board with the planned interviews so they know what to expect from each candidate.

Always be prepared for unexpected outcomes during interviews. If things don’t go as planned, don’t hesitate to adjust your approach or ask follow-up questions that may provide more insight into a candidate’s abilities or character.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to creating a comprehensive employee interview plan that will lead you toward making better hires and building a stronger team!

Trakstar Hire is considered the most user friendly hiring software on the market. If you’re ready to take your recruiting and hiring to the next level, request a Trakstar Hire demo today.

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