When it comes to hiring staff you’ll go through multiple important stages to vet the candidates and make sure you choose the right one.
For many managers, the interview is the most important step.
The interview allows you to ask questions and interact with the other person; verify their claims, test their knowledge, and start to figure out whether you would be happy working with them in future. This allows you to go beyond simply the information on a CV.
As Ray Dalio, founder and CEO of Bridgewater Associates, phrased it:
Weigh values and abilities more heavily than skills in deciding whom to hire.
Knowing about the human sat in front of you is crucial to a successful hire.
In this article, we’re going to give you a selection of Process Street templates which should help the whole process run smoothly:
- Key tips on how to conduct an interview
- 5 interview processes with questions
- How to connect a job application form to Zapier to automate your hiring
- 5 hiring processes to cover everything else
- HR Interview Process With Questions
- Customer Service Interview Process With Questions
- Sales Interview Process With Questions
- Project Manager Interview Process With Questions
- Web Developer Interview Process With Questions
- Job Application Form
- Ray Dalio’s Hiring Process
- Recruitment Process
- Employee Background Check
- Job Description Template
- General Employee Onboarding Checklist
Key tips on how to conduct an interview
In this article from, Harvard Business Review, Rebecca Knight outlines three dos and three don’ts when it comes to running an interview.
DO: Tell candidates the kinds of questions in advance
Interviews can be stressful. One thing you want to be aware of as the person running the interview is hiring the right person for the job, not just the person who is really good at interviews. Those people might not always be the same.
By providing information about the nature of the interview in advance, you can create a space where the candidate is more relaxed and therefore more likely to display their potential.
You don’t need to send them a list, but let them know the kinds of topics you’ll touch on. Teamed with a convenient time for the interview and maybe some advice about company dress policies, if applicable, you can allow a candidate to prepare for the interview rather than worry.
DO: Ask behavioral and situational questions
Instead of focusing too much on interrogating a candidate about their previous place of employment or how hard they applied themselves in school, give them an opportunity to tell you about things which matter.
Under your employment, you know the candidate is going to find themselves in a range of different situations. If you’re hiring someone to work in a high pressure sales environment then it’s pertinent to find out how they’ve coped in high pressure roles in the past. This gives us the behavioral interview question:
“Tell me about how you worked effectively under pressure.”
This open-ended approach allows the candidate to tell you as much or as little as they want to about themselves and their performance in something directly relevant to the job they’re interviewing for.
DO: Sell the role and the organization
This is not to say you should be hitting the candidate with your elevator pitch as they enter the room.
However, at least one of these candidates will be the person you want to hire and you can take steps in advance to encourage them to say “yes”.
On the one hand, this could be little things like picking a nice clean room with a view and lots of natural light to do the interview. Or, reminding the person on reception to be extra nice with all the wide eyed prospective new hires who come in not knowing where to go.
During the interview itself, it’s worth telling the interviewee something you’re proud of about the company and asking them how they could contribute to that. How you sell depends on what your company strengths are, but you’re always free to sneak in a couple of complimentary snippets here and there throughout the conversation.
Maybe don’t go full cult though…
DON’T: Forget to do pre-interview prep
There are a number of elements related to interview prep. It could be something as simple as making sure you’ve read the CV or covering letter of the person you’re interviewing.
It’s very demoralizing to be sat in an interview for a job you’re excited about only for the interviewer to ask questions like “where did you go to school?” or “who did you work for last?”. Don’t do that. Don’t be that person. Put in a little effort.
More than that, take the time to build a list of attributes you’re looking for in a hire. This gives you a more objective way of then assessing the candidates after they’ve come through the interviews. You don’t have to stick entirely to this list, but it is useful to use to keep you grounded.
DON’T: Involve too many other colleagues
Is it necessary to have 9 people in the room to interview a candidate?
And everyone knows that. But still, it happens where a candidate comes in to be interviewed by an entire team of people. Here are three reasons why this is bad:
- Large teams struggle to make decisions.
- 5 * 1 hour interviews with an added hour of discussion means the number of labor hours expended amounts to 6 times the number of interviewers. Multiply that figure by the hourly wage of the people in the room and you’ll find out how much it cost to include Gregg from accounting, who didn’t need nor want to be there.
Keep it a little more chill with a smaller team focused on having a quality chat with a potential new work buddy.
DON’T: Put too much emphasis on “cultural fit”
Cultural fit can be a very important thing and it’s certainly worth considering.
However, how many times have you been out on a date with someone who ticks all the boxes, yet there’s no spark? They like your books, your films, your hobbies, but once a little time has passed there’s little to cling on to.
We’ve all been there. Human interaction can’t just be understood and assumed ahead of time. People change and learn to fit in. It’s good to look for someone who you think will suit the nature of the company, but go easy on it.
5 Interview processes with questions to structure your recruitment
These interview processes are built to be used out of the box for hiring candidates for key positions in modern companies.
They are 100% editable and you can adapt them to your needs.
We’ve built a system whereby they can be connected with the job application form template in the next section. This uses Zapier, hidden fields, and variables to make sure you only need to work from this one document.
Each of these interviews contains three interview stages:
- A screening call to assess whether the candidate is good enough to progress to the next stage.
- A competency interview which focuses on how good the candidate would be for the day to day tasks of the job.
- A decision interview where you get to know the candidate more and engage in greater degrees of interaction and depth to put you in a position to make a hiring decision.
HR Interview Process With Questions
This HR interview process focuses on asking candidates about their previous experience working within the structures of human resources and tries to include questions about the key workplace events a candidate would likely encounter.
Some of the questions include:
- Can you tell me about a time when something went wrong during disciplinary procedures?
- How have you managed diversity training and awareness in previous roles?
- What have you done in the past to consolidate company culture throughout an organization?
- What tech tools did you use at your last employment to help with HR tasks?
Click here to access the HR Interview Process With Questions.
Customer Service Interview Process With Questions
Customer success is a vital part of doing business. The importance of maintaining strong customer relationships is appreciated more and more, with success stories like Zappos leading the way. This Customer Service Interview Process With Questions tries to tap into some of the successes and failures your potential hire has experienced on their journey within that customer success story.
Some of the questions include:
- Can you describe a time you gave bad customer service, and what you learned?
- What is your experience with customer support for large enterprise clients?
- What experience do you have of the major customer service platforms like Zendesk or Intercom?
- What would you recommend someone read if they were new to a customer service career?
Click here to access the Customer Service Interview Process With Questions.
Sales Interview Process With Questions
In the fast paced world of sales companies can experience high turnover of sales representatives. This makes it all the more important to focus in on getting the right candidate on your team. This sales interview process aims to provide the hiring manager with the tools to pick out the high fliers from the underachievers.
Some of the questions include:
- What is your experience with platforms like Salesforce or HubSpot?
- Can you tell me about a time when something went wrong while trying to close?
- Tell me about the last time you made a client really happy
- Do you prefer a long or short sales cycle?
Click here to access the Sales Interview Process With Questions.
Project Manager Interview Process With Questions
Project management is a broad term which could encompass a range of different managers who need differing skills. Our project manager interview process is geared to give general purpose questions which can be useful in various use cases. You can adapt or add questions to suit your company’s specific needs.
Some of the questions include:
- Can you provide an example where your project management was poor, and what you learned?
- Tell me about some of the projects you have managed and are proud of
- Tell me about a full project life cycle that you managed and what was included
- Which project management software and tools do you prefer using, and why?
Click here to access the Project Manager Interview Process With Questions.
Web Developer Interview Process With Questions
It seems nowadays every company is a software company. At least to some extent. A web developer of some description can be found on the team for almost all businesses. Hiring the right person with the necessary knowledge and attitude is important when other colleagues don’t have the skills to accurately assess all of their work. In this web developer interview process we lay out a typical approach an SME might take in hiring a web developer and what they’re looking for.
Some of the questions include:
- What is your experience with Scrum and similar methodologies?
- What software do you prefer to use to help you self-manage?
- What do you feel are the most important step to take to ensure security?
- Can you provide access to a repository where we can see some of your code?
Click here to access the Web Developer Interview Process With Questions.
How to automate interview checklists from your job application form
This job application form is designed to be sent to a candidate via a checklist run link so that they can enter their:
- Personal details,
- Strengths and character,
- and, Availability,
The candidate clicks the last task to submit their application.
Upon submission, the relevant person on the hiring team will receive a notification and the relevant interview process will automatically run as a checklist in Process Street.
Click here to access the Job Application Form.
How to build the zap
First, we’ll explain how it is created in Process Street.
The Job Application Form uses form fields throughout for the candidate to enter their information. The information entered into these form fields can be harvested by Zapier and sent to different places.
In each of the interview checklists above, there are hidden fields which correspond to each of the form fields in the Job Application Form. You can see these fields when you’re editing a template, as shown in the image below.
We’ll use Zapier to take the information from the fields in the Job Application Form and insert them into these hidden fields when this checklist is launched. We can then use variables to show that information in text boxes for the user of the checklist.
To set the zap up we need to first choose our trigger. We’re going to select the last task of the Job Application Form, so we choose the trigger New Task Checked.
Once you’ve made sure your Process Street account is connected with Zapier, we can select the template and the task, as seen below.
Now we can set up our action for the zap. So, we select Process Street as the action app and Create New Checklist as the action.
And this is where the fun starts. On the Edit Template screen we can choose a range of options including:
- Which template we want to connect to
- Who in our organization we want to assign the checklist to
- What information we want to move from checklist to checklist
You’ll see in the image below, I have selected HR Interview Process With Questions and decided to use the applicant’s name as the name of the checklist. I’ve also assigned the checklist to myself and not added a date or time, to make sure I run the checklist immediately.
As you scroll down the Edit Template screen you will see all the form fields from the HR Interview Process With Questions. The hidden fields have been inserted at the beginning of the template so they should show up first on the Edit Template screen.
Just click the little dropdown icon and select the corresponding task from the options provided.
When you’ve completed the Edit Template screen, just save the task and continue through to test your automation and make sure it works.
How to add multiple interview processes to the same job application form
In the Job Application Form, you’ll see that there is a drop-down field where you can select the role you wish to apply for.
If you want to use this feature then you don’t want to run all the different interview processes every time a job application is filled in.
To fix this, we’ll add a middle step in between the trigger and the action called a filter. This allows you to add some added conditional logic to the process.
As I’ve set this process up to connect the Job Application Form with the HR Interview Process With Questions, I’ll use this filter to only run the zap when someone selects “Human resources” from the drop-down menu.
This is how our filter looks:
Now I could build this process for other positions and set corresponding filters to make sure the interview checklist is only ran when the applicant selects the role they want to apply for.
Hiring processes to guide you through the recruitment journey
Interviews are important but they’re only one process within a broader recruitment workflow.
As such, we’ve included these templates to help you with the extra tasks involved in bringing a new person into your growing team.
Ray Dalio’s Hiring Process
Ray Dalio is the founder and CEO of Bridgewater Associates, arguably the largest hedge fund in the world.
Bridgewater Associates is famed for its high focus on company culture and the lengths which Dalio goes to in order to cultivate and protect it. In his book, Principles, he explains his approach to various aspects of running a business.
This template is built on the basis of the processes he describes in the book for managing recruitment. In each task we’ve included a short quote to describe the reasoning in his own words.
Click here to access Ray Dalio’s Hiring Process.
This Recruitment Process is a full end-to-end walkthrough of hiring a member of staff from identifying the initial need to beginning the onboarding process.
This broad checklist is ideal for small and medium sized enterprises which need a documented guide for occasional hiring.
Throughout the checklist, you will find guidance and advice along with useful links for further reading.
Click here to access the Recruitment Process.
Employee Background Check
Bringing in a new employee requires more than just liking them in the interview.
All companies should have a documented procedure in place for managing background checks. This is even more important where employees may work with children or vulnerable adults.
Not having a documented process in place for managing the safety of people the employee may come in contact with is poor practice and in some instances against the law.
Protect your business by making sure you have an set of background check procedures in place.
Click here to access the Employee Background Check.
Job Description Template
Writing a job description is no one’s idea of a good time.
However, it is a crucial part of the hiring process. Your job description will likely determine who applies or doesn’t apply to your job listing. If you want to hire the right person, you don’t want to fall at the first hurdle.
Having a documented process in place also ensures consistency by standardizing your activities.
Click here to access the Job Description Template.
General Employee Onboarding Checklist
This general employee onboarding checklist helps you create an effective and welcoming environment for your new hires.
This is important for a plethora of different reasons, but an effective onboarding process will allow for your new employee to hit the ground running and perform well as quickly as possible – making you money.
An effective onboarding process will also work wonders for employee retention and maintaining healthy company culture.
Click here to access the General Employee Onboarding Checklist.
Check out more of our Process Street checklists
If you like these templates, check out our previous template packs:
- 4 Checklists to Perfect Your Client Onboarding Process
- HR Templates: The Perfect Pack for Company Success
- 6 Checklists to Perfect your New Employee Onboarding Processes
- 9 Checklists to Drive Your Sales Processes
- 7 Essential Design Processes & Checklists
- 11 Checklists to Optimize Your Accounting Processes
- 8 Electrical Inspection Checklists to Keep Your Workspaces Safe
- 8 IT Security Processes to Protect and Manage Company Data
- 12 Inspection Checklists to Maximize Safety in the Workplace
Document your hiring processes and see the benefits
Through standardizing your processes and working over time to optimize them, you’ll be able to reap the rewards of an effective system of recruitment.
By hiring the right people for the right roles your company will function better and everyone will be happier as a result.
Beyond an effective onboarding process, though, the responsibility is on you to keep your team working hard and enjoying arriving at the office each day.
Best of luck!
What other recruitment related processes would you like to see? What processes in general? Let us know in the comments below!
I manage the content for Process Street and dabble in other projects inc language exchange app Idyoma on the side. Living in Sevilla in the south of Spain, my current hobby is learning Spanish! @adam_h_h on Twitter. Subscribe to my email newsletter here on Substack: Trust The Process. Or come join the conversation on Reddit at r/ProcessManagement.