Importance of Personal Interviews in a Selection Process

Holding personal candidate interviews are a great way to sharpen interview best practices for hiring managers.

From understanding the importance of interview in selection process to reviewing interview guidelines for employers, hiring managers and HR staffers should get into a practice of documenting interview notes to hire the best candidates.

represent a bridge that candidates must cross to move from job seeker to new hire. However, many interviewees fail to appreciate personal interviews as a pre-acceptance tool that can help them avoid making a career mistake.

These types of interviews help the candidate and employer make an informed, mutually beneficial employment choice. Candidates who understand both sides of the interview-hiring process, per, stand to have a more successful job search.

Hiring the Right Talent

Human resource departments approach recruitment with a keen awareness of the financial side of employment: A company's workforce represents its largest or second largest expense. A senior manager will be in touch with a company HR department to determine how much to pay an employee, per Freshbooks career website. A good hire can be a blessing to a company, but a bad hire can cost as much as 150 percent of the new employee's annual compensation. There are also intangible costs associated with picking the wrong candidate – lost productivity, a drop in morale, reduced customer service – adding to HR's concern.

Successful hiring requires more than discovering the ideal resume; it needs conversations – personal interviews – to assess a candidate's capabilities and or fit, with the organization's culture, according to

Getting the Right Fit

Cultural fit reflects the working environment: how employees dress, comport themselves, interact with each other and their supervisors, make decisions and treat customers. Dr. Charles Handler, a recognized thought leader in talent assessment, dubs a worker's compatibility to company culture as "person-organization fit."

For the organization, the cultural fit importance translates into employee engagement, productivity, low absenteeism and reduced turnover. For the candidate, it means the difference between enjoying a job and being miserable at work. Personal interviews let both parties judge P-O fit.

HR may value personal interviews so much that the department will solicit opinions from other staff members to get a sense of the cultural fit for a candidate with the organization. The candidate can use these conversations to learn more about the employer and the position as well as to visualize how he might forge working relationships with would-be colleagues. Appearance, tone of voice and body language give everyone involved clues about cultural fit.

Getting the Personal Interview

An interview invitation for a job candidate indicates that a job-seeker's credentials have triggered curiosity as a potential solution to the organization's needs. The personal interview gives the candidate an opportunity to learn the exact nature of the company's needs. In this interview, the candidate can use the personal interview topics to sell the marketable skillset, while discovering more about the position and the organization.

Research the Company

Prior to the personal interview, a candidate should prepare common interview questions as they research the company, according to INC magazine.

Preparing questions for an interview is half information-gathering and half showcasing competence. A candidate should prepare questions to learn more about the department's role in the organization, challenges faced, why the position is open, training, possibilities for promotion, performance evaluation, benefits, compensation and work style.

Interview the Interviewer

Getting invited to spend time under a potential employer's roof gives a glimpse into life on the job for the candidate. Watching employees at work provides insight about camaraderie that may or may not match the candidate's desires. Touring offices and related company facilities can also provide insight into company stability, pride and worker respect.

A candidate can glean valuable information about the company's stability and prospects by interviewing the interviewer. Feel free to ask about competition, how the company defines success, management's leadership style and how the department supports the organization's mission statement. Just like the candidate, the company needs to sell itself as an employer of choice. When the match feels right, it is time to move ahead with an offer.