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Building a Winning Team: An Effective Interview Process to Find Top Talent

Building a Winning Team: An Effective Interview Process to Find Top Talent

BLD Connection Magazine Member News Industry News/Information Rikka Brandon Hire Power Building Gurus

Rikka Brandon - Building Gurus - Hire Power

Note - this is the fourth article in a series of 12 provided by Rikka Brandon. Read the next article "3 Types of Interview Questions" in the March 2024 issue of Material Matters

Interviewing is the most crucial part of the hiring process—and unfortunately the area where you can lose your confidence very quickly. Simply put: Interviewing job candidates can be very stressful if you don't feel confident in your process.

To give you a bit of a boost, here is an easily replicable time-tested interview process:

Step 1. Share the deal breakers
Don’t waste time on candidates who object to a certain detail of the job or company—be honest with any less-than-ideal elements of the position up front. This could be working weekends, a location in a questionable neighborhood, or being far from public transport, to name a few. Similarly, what are your deal breakers? Do you require that your hire have a college degree, a car, or a specific certification? Disclose these details in the first few emails so that a candidate doesn’t go farther down the interview process. This one step will save you (and your candidates) so much time!

Step 2. Conduct a phone interview
The phone interview is my favorite way to start the interviewing process—even if your candidate is local. A phone interview can provide insight into their general demeanor and how they come across on the phone—particularly important if they’ll be working in a sales or public-facing role. Again, this can help you eliminate underwhelming candidates before they get deeper into the hiring process.

A phone interview can also be a time saver. You can end a phone interview after 5-10 minutes, something that would be impossible with an in-person interview without offending the candidate getting a bit offended.

During the phone interview, focus on what I call “functional” interview questions. We’ll get deeper into functional questions in the next column, but essentially, these questions help determine if an applicant can do the job you are hiring for. For example: Have you ever managed a team of people? What design software do you use regularly?

Step 3. Conduct a face-to-face interview
When you meet your candidate face to face, you’ll get a better idea of their personality and how they present themselves. If you work remotely, are limited by pandemic requirements, or aren't ready to fly your candidate in for an interview, a video interview can be a substitute. For this interview, behavioral questions are best—these will help you get a good idea of how your candidate would deal with challenges, communicate, and fit in with your team.

For example:
Tell me about a time you went above and beyond for a customer.
Give me an example of a time a co-worker frustrated you & how you handled it.
Describe a situation when you had to resolve conflict in the workplace.

Step 4: Use your selection tools
Once you’ve narrowed it down to your final candidates, it’s time to use pre-employment assessments. This could be a personality profile like the DiSC or an intelligence test like the Wonderlic. There are lots of tools that will help you understand your candidate better.

A Pre-Hire Project is a task that tests a candidate’s skill in real time, with real challenges. It might be a quick design mock up, a sales floor simulation, or any number of things that are specific to your industry or position. These are an underutilized, yet highly valuable, selection tool—and they’re free!

Step 5: Extend the offer
This is (usually) the fun part! As you’re moving your candidate through the interview process, make sure you’re talking about compensation as you go. Also make sure that your candidates know about any other forms they might be asked to sign: non-competes, non-disclosure agreements, drugs tests, etc.

When all your documents are ready and you’ve prepared a compensation and benefits package you know they’ll fall all over themselves to sign, make the offer!

If you’re not feeling confident with your hiring process, start by breaking it down into these five steps to keep it manageable in your mind.

Rikka Brandon is a leading recruiting and hiring expert in the LBM industry. She’s the founder of Building Gurus, a boutique training, consulting, and executive search firm for building products manufacturers and distributors. She’s also the creator of Hire Power  an on-demand training for recruiting and hiring in the building products industry. If you’re interested in working with Rikka, schedule a call at

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Source : Rikka Brandon

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