When it comes to hiring municipal workers, the stakes are high. In fact, depending on the role, bad hires might cost $25,000 – $50,000 or more. There’s also the cost of mental and emotional strain on coworkers who have to deal with the bad hire. For these reasons, you need to be prepared for interviews so you bring aboard the most qualified candidate for long-term success.
Here are a few tips to help.
Prepare Your Interview Questions
Determine which interview questions can best help you evaluate candidates. Use the job description to decide which skills are most important, then write down questions to assess those skills. For instance, regarding leadership, “What are some ways in which you motivate your team?” Remember that behavioral or situational questions are more effective than other types of questions. They encourage candidates to think on their feet and share stories rather than give rehearsed answers. If time allows, ask multiple questions to evaluate each skill and gain a better understanding of each candidate’s strengths in those areas.
Learn About Your Candidates
Find out all you can about your candidates before their interviews. For instance, read their resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Take notes on candidates’ key skills and experiences. During the interview, ask them to expand on these points or provide additional information to help with your evaluation. Bring up anything interesting about candidates’ past experience that you’d like to learn more about.
Be Ready to Answer Questions
Expect candidates to ask you questions about the job and municipality. They need to determine whether the role fits their career needs and they’d like to work in your municipality. Provide relevant, transparent answers to create a better candidate experience. Be sure to mention the municipality’s strategy, team projects and goals and what you like best about your team. Mention the benefits and perks for the job and the next steps in the hiring process.
Plan Your Agenda
Determine a general agenda for your interviews. You’ll more efficiently guide the discussion and cover important topics. Figure out how you’ll open and close the interviews. You may want to standardize your opening small talk to avoid biasing your thoughts on each candidate. Or, if you had candidates take a test or assessment as part of the hiring process, ask what they thought of it, and discuss their performance. Describe the municipality and job duties. Ask the candidate questions, then have them ask you questions. Having structure helps keep things focused.
Schedule Appropriate Interview Times
Set aside 15 minutes before and after each interview. You don’t want to keep one candidate waiting while you finish up with another, or rush a candidate out the door so you can bring in the next one. Providing your time and full attention is an important part of earning a candidate’s respect.
Leave the Interviewing to MuniTemps
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