5 Reasons Why you Need an Interview Checklist

Recruiting and hiring and don’t know where to start? With an interview checklist! And here are 5 reasons why you need one.


Leen Sawalha

VP Product & Growth

Thursday, November 06, 2014


Recruitment and selection are some of the most important functions of human resources. No matter the organization, its location, or industry, interviews are always an essential part of the process. With such an important and common function, wouldn’t it make sense to have an interview checklist just to make sure everything goes according to plan? We certainly think so!

But if you need a little more convincing, here are 5 reasons why you need an interview checklist.

1 – Marketing? Yes, Marketing!

Just think of it this way, if the marketing department is responsible for marketing your product or service, the HR department is responsible for marketing your organization!

The interview is one of the moments when the interviewee decides whether or not they want to join your company. If we assume that organizations are looking to hire the best performing individuals, then it’s also safe to assume that these candidates are in high demand and have the choice of actually picking which company they want to work for. For this reason, it is crucial that they have the best first impression of your organization when they come in for the interview.

Therefore, using the interview checklist, you can ensure that you are taking all the necessary steps to achieve this great first impression, every time. You wouldn’t want to forget something important when the perfect candidate walks in the door, would you?

2 – The interview checklist improves your reputation

This might sound a little inhumane, but you almost have to think of your candidates as assets you’re looking to acquire. Except, unlike inanimate assets, human beings think, remember, and exchange information with others.

A marketing professor once told me that a happy customer will tell a friend, but an unhappy customer will tell the world – and this is the premise you should be following.

Whether you actually end up hiring the candidate or not, they will tell their networks about their interview and experience in your organization, and you really don’t want them telling the world negative comments about your company!

Especially in the age where social media rules, it is more important than ever to protect your organization’s reputation, both internally and externally. Use the interview checklist to organize yourself, and ensure you aren’t missing a step that could lead to a bad rap!

3 – Standardization with your interview checklist

With an interview checklist, you will be able to standardize your interview process because you will be following the same steps, all the time, and with every candidate. Standardization is essential for many reasons, but the main one is for reliability and validity.

There are so many errors and biases associated with the interview process, it’s difficult to keep track of them all.

Having an interview checklist makes sure you’re comparing apples to apples, and oranges to oranges. Having a reliable, valid, and standardized interview process helps you become more consistent and reduces your chances of hiring errors (which we all know result in conflict, underperformance, turnover, and a whole bunch of things none of us like!).

4 – An interview checklist for more credibility

The HR department always seems to be under the gun. There is always a great amount of pressure on them to get things done and get them done right. It’s like they don’t even realize that human resources is not an equation that can simply be followed to reach the expected result.

HR management deals with people; different and unique people, and there is no such thing as a straight line to success. There are so many things that are out of their control that errors are not only likely, they are inevitable. And this is all especially true when talking about the interview process.

Because you don’t really know the candidate, there is so much that is out of your control it would drive the sanest person mad! They could suddenly experience personal problems, get offers from other organizations, or even turn out to be a misfit with the job or the team. There are many things that can go wrong that you, as the HR department, really need to protect yourself against certain criticism.

It is for these reasons that HR personnel need an interview checklist to project credibility. Human resources management is a business partner to the organization, and executives should have faith in their business partners.

Use the interview checklist to manage all that you can, so that you have evidence to protect your decisions when they are bound to come under attack. It is only after you have covered all your bases that you will gain the credibility and trust you deserve.

5 – Legal requirements

HR functions are sensitive by nature and legal aspects are present in pretty much all of them! You really have to make sure your interview process abides by the legal requirements in your region. Consistency, standardization, reliability, and validity are crucial to ensure you are on the right side of the law.

There are also certain industries that are more sensitive than others. Non-profit and governmental institutes have even more pressure because of the nature of their business. The interview checklist ensures that you’re doing things right, respecting all legal requirements.

Ta-da! There you have it, 5 (compelling!) reasons why you need an interview checklist! If marketing, reputation, reliability, and validity don’t have you convinced, then maybe the fact that it can help you become more credible and legally-abiding will. Regardless of which reason caught your attention, the bottom line remains that you need an interview checklist! Need help getting started? We’ve got you covered!

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