Simple steps for effective candidate selection…

Conducting selection interviews can be a time consuming and frustrating process and let’s face it, most managers both hate interviewing and generally are not very good at it as they don’t interview frequently enough to develop the necessary skills.I once read that interviewing will only give you the right candidate 14% of the time, so the margin for error is wide, but if you can improve and get this right you can gain incremental benefits for your business.

So what are some of the simple solutions to effective candidate selection?

Much like every other facet of your business, the key to effective interviewing is simple – practice, planning and preparation – this will minimise the failure rate and enable you to make more  effective hiring decisions.

Here are a few basics to get you off on the best foot…

Know what you are looking for…

Clearly outline the technical and social skills that are important for a candidate to possess to be successful in the role you seek to fill. Use the job description and your own knowledge to define and outline the key characteristics that you seek. Once completed you can use this to evaluate the candidates and design the necessary questions to obtain the information you need to uncover.

Structure the meeting

Make sure your interview has a precise structure that you can follow and doesn’t wander all over the place as the conversation develops. Structure ensures that things run smoothly and give you the best opportunity to thoroughly evaluate the candidate.

Welcome and outline the structure of the meeting to the candidate so that they understand it. Set the candidate at ease – getting them talking is usually the best place to start.

Acquire the information you need through carefully planned questions and discussion. Do this by reviewing their CV and establishing what further information you need to find out through your carefully planned questions.

Provide information to the candidate regarding the position, company, and culture to help them understand the role and responsibilities. This is your opportunity to sell the job and ultimately convince them that your opening is one that they want – people hate to make mistakes and you may need to help them overcome this natural resistance.

Ask for candidate questions and feedback.

Explain the process post interview and your time-frames – are there further interviews? When, where and how long before they hear more?


Make sure you take notes during the interview and objectively evaluate the candidates at the conclusion of the process. The person you liked most may not necessarily be the best person for the position.

Ineffective interviews can have a serious impact on the success of your hotel and can have far reaching implications, such as poor service, guest complaints and poor morale amongst the rest of your team. Take the time to thoroughly plan your next recruitment campaign – even better enlist the help of a professional hospitality recruitment partner like Elite Search… 🙂

About the Author

rsz_tim_johns_cc1Tim Johns is a former Hotelier and Managing Partner with Elite Search – a leading hospitality recruitment firm. For more information about Tim and Elite Search visit and The Elite Hotelier

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