If you were inclined, you and your team could hold unstructured interviews and follow the process where it led you. You could, for example, simply sit back at the beginning of the session and give the candidate a prompt like “Tell me about yourself.” Then you could simply follow the conversation down a winding path wherever it took you, and you could glean unsolicited data about the candidate along the way. You might learn a bit about their personality, and you might gain insight into their approach to problem-solving or their questionable habit of blurting first and correcting later. You could use this unstructured method to identify red flags or allow your candidate to boast about their past without being prompted.
But here’s the problem: You also might not. Without structure, you simply don’t know what you’ll get out of the process before it starts, and while you may leave the session with volumes of data, you may also leave with no meaningful information at all. So to limit this possibility, maintain a few elements of solid framing, even if you conversation wanders slightly off the path. Here’s how.
Know what you’re looking for.
Long before your session begins, create a list of must-haves for this role. Know the difference between what you want to see (a positive attitude, a cheerful smile) and what you must see in order to make an offer (SQL certification, proposal writing experience). No matter what other topics come up, make sure you ask about each of the items on your list at some point and check them off as you go.
Know what won’t work for you.
Regardless of your personal feelings, your company culture is not ephemeral; it’s real, it changes slowly, and cultural fit is often non-negotiable. Even if your candidate excels at the job, a clear cultural mismatch will drive them away eventually, so find the alignment you need or keep looking. For example, if your teams are collaborative and your culture rewards teamwork and cooperation, don’t hire a competitive, solitary shark. They’ll find Their match elsewhere, and the sooner you spot the disconnect, the better.
Rely on testing.
For some quantitative, measurable skill sets, there’s only one clear way to gauge readiness: testing. Foreign language fluency, math, grammar, and certain software proficiencies can be easily put to the test with a few pointed questions or a structured exam. Don’t miss an opportunity to get out your measuring stick.
Work With a Top Recruiter in Scottsdale
Creating a structured process with assessments and metrics may come at a cost, but in the long run, the benefits will be worth it. Stay fair, clear, standardized, and consistent and you’ll come out ahead. For more on how to choose the right candidates during your hiring process, work with a top recruiter in Scottsdale and contact the ACCENT Hiring Group.