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Once you have created and posted requirements for your SOC role to be filled, you will need to evaluate the potential candidates. The initial conversation can be a phone call, video conference, or web chat. The focus of the first interview is to exchange information about what is being offered by both the recruiter and the potential candidate to see if a potential match exists. According to Monster, a common mistake made by hiring managers is spending too much time describing or “selling” the position. It is important to also spend time listening to candidates so that you can assess their qualifications, skills, and personal characteristics. Not doing this leads to wasting time with follow-up interviews with candidates that are interested in the opportunity but not qualified or not a good match for the role. It is ideal to include a member of the team that has the job role opening to assist with the interview process, not only to help validate that the candidate’s skills are a fit but also to look for potential team chemistry. Candidates’ answers regarding specific qualifications or skills should be assessed by experts in those areas to ensure candidates are properly evaluated. Lastly, ensure that any special constraints related to the role are covered upfront, such as required travel or potential overtime.

Interview Prompter

One tool that can be used to standardize the questions delivered during the interview is an interview prompter template specific to the job role. Questions within the prompter can be developed and validated by internal team members and experts in the associated technology prior to the prompter’s usage. Experts can also be used later to review the responses that are provided by candidates during the live interviews.

An interview prompter template can include questions about the following:

  • General skills

  • Specific technical skills

  • Educational background

  • Years of experience and what the experience involves

  • Details about past projects and job roles

  • Work the candidate enjoys and doesn’t enjoy being involved in

  • Career and personal goals

  • Limitations and constraints, including salary and overtime availability

  • If employed, reason for leaving their current role and considering this role

  • Availability to start

  • Descriptions about the role

  • Overview of the position

  • Describe the team

  • Company business and culture

  • Company benefits

  • Compensation system

  • Associated projects and expectations

The interview prompter template is very helpful for organizing questions, but asking questions in the specific order listed in the prompter isn’t required. It is common for an interview to start with the interviewer providing an overview of the opportunity and then letting the conversation flow naturally from topic to topic as questions are asked by either the interviewer or interviewee. The interviewer can check off items on the interview prompter to ensure that all topics are covered within the interview time slot regardless of the order in which the answers are obtained. The prompter also helps ensure that the interviewer covers required topics within the allocated time for the interview using the task checkoff process.

Post Interview

After first-round interviews are conducted, qualified candidates might be asked for a face-to-face follow-up interview. Among the purposes of the second interview are to enable the candidate to meet with the team members or direct manager, to permit the candidate to assess the environment they would be working in if hired, and to have the candidate perform additional skill tests. Skill tests can include hands-on work with tools or applications, logical exams, or other methods to validate the expected knowledge and skills meet what is required to perform the job role. If both parties remain interested after the second interview, the hiring manager should provide a target date for a formal decision regarding whether the candidate will be offered the position. The offer can also occur at the end of the second interview and be verbal if time is required to develop a formal draft of the offer. There may be other circumstances that would postpone a formal offer, such as ensuring the candidate meets substance testing requirements before being formally offered a position.

When developing a formal offer letter, make sure all details are clearly defined. This includes the position, expected tasks, total compensation package, and start date. The offer letter should include the name of the new hire’s immediate manager and any additional document(s) that must be brought in on the first day. It is standard practice for the human resources department to develop and provide the offer letter to the new employee rather than the recruiter or hiring manager.

After providing an offer letter, the next stage of the hiring process is onboarding the new employee.

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