I decided to interview my father, he has been a firefighter for 27 years and is now a battalion chief for a local city. He regularly recruites and hires new graduates as well as more seasoned firefighters.
I learned alot about the interviewing process. Even though this didn’t take place particularly in healthcare, I learned alot about what I can do to stand out as a candidate in general.
- How do you usually prepare for an interview with potential employees?
I go through their resumes and remind myself why I decided to interview that particular candidate. This allows me to ask questions that may be more applicable to them.
- How many candidates do you like to interview before making a selection and how much time do you allow for each interview?
I don’t really have a particular number of candidates I try to get. I just choose what I think will be the top applicants– usually this ends up being around 3-5.
- What do you believe are the most important questions to ask or most important characteristics to look for when interviewing a candidate?
Im looking for confidence, honesty and there are many more traits. The thing I find most important is that the person is teachable and a good team player.
- Do you prefer group setting interviews (multiple interviewers and multiple interviewees) or one-on-one interviews?
I prefer one on one interviews. I think that group interviews exclude or mask the capabilities of people who may be more introverted by nature.
- What causes you to pick the candidates you do? (I.e what resumes stand out?)
I like to see experience of some sort and how it is applicable. Even if they don’t have prior experience in the exact field they’ve applied for I like to see that they have learned other basic principles of work flow and ethic from other positions.
- How do you advertise the position?
We have recruiters that visit schools, our city website. But I think that word of mouth is the biggest contributor so far.
- What characteristics or answers would cause you to cut an interview short?
If they don’t seem teachable. Or if they don’t seem like they would be a good team player.
- Is it important to you to make the applicant at ease? What do you do to make them feel more comfortable?
I think partly yes and partly no. Yes because you want them to give genuine answers without being too nervous. Partly no because it is an interview and we are in a professional setting. I would expect them to be professional at the interview and upon hire throughout their career.
- Do you attempt to establish a rapport with the applicant at the beginning of the interview?
I am friendly and open to questions. But I do not seek to be necessarily friends
- What is your process after an applicant has left your office?
If I liked them, I will put a star on their resume and highlight their strengths or why I liked them. This allows me to compare candidates after I’ve interviewed all of them.
- Do you prefer a structured interview or unstructured interview format?
I think both have their strengths and weaknesses. Structured gives everyone an equal playing ground. But unstructured allows you better insight into the candidate sometimes.
- Have you ever hired a candidate on the spot?
- What was their response that made you know they were the best candidate?
The people that I think are the best candidates are usually those I perceive to be the best “well rounded”.
- Do you ever making judgments on candidates based on how the look, how they are dressed or their social media accounts?
Social media can play a large role. Even though social media isn’t really supposed to be on the playing ground it often makes its way there. If the candidate is well dressed and looks punctual, I would hope this would carry over into their career.
- Do you ask each candidate the same set of questions?
I try to ask general questions and then if they would like to expand or if the interview takes another route then I’m ok with it.
- Do you ever offer the candidate feedback after the interview is complete?
Not necessarily. I just tell them the next steps or they can expect to hear from and when.