jobs in mental health

How to Conduct a Better Job Interview for Jobs in Mental Health

The hiring process for jobs in mental health is rarely a piece of cake for any of the parties involved. This isn’t a low stress industry and it’s important that the right people be in the right seats on the bus at all times. The interview process can be stressful on all parties, even the hiring manager. If this is your job, here are some tips to help you conduct a better job interview:

How to Conduct a Better Job Interview for Jobs in Mental Health

It’s important, first and foremost, that you understand the job that you are hiring for inside and out.  What are the job requirements, experience requirements and the criteria used to measure success? Take a look at the people in the position, either past or present, and determine the jobs in mental healthcommon attributes of the top performers.  You may also want to consider what the bottom performers had in common to bring some perspective to the matter.  Take note of all of these factors as you enter the interview process.

Have a good list of interview questions ready.   Don’t launch into them right away but you also don’t want to be pulling questions out of thin air and asking each candidate a different set of questions.  The more uniformity you have to this process, the better.  Also, be sure to take notes as the candidates answer your questions.  You don’t have to write down what they say verbatim but, trust me when I say, you will not remember what candidate A had to say by the time you are sitting in front of candidate C.

Ask open-ended questions.  Don’t ask questions that can be answered with a simple “Yes” or “No”.  This makes for a very short, and boring, interview and you will not learn much.  Open-ended questions allow the candidate to go into more detail that will allow them to learn more about them and their past experiences.  A few examples are:

  • Tell me about your last position
  • How do you structure your time?
  • What interests you most about this company and this position?
  • What is your vision for yourself five years from now?

Pay close attention to non-verbal cues.  Is the interviewee sitting up straight or slouching?  Are they actually listening to you or do you need to repeat and re-phrase questions for them?   Is their appearance neat and groomed or wrinkled and sloppy?  A person who can’t be bothered to make a 100% effort in a job interview isn’t going to make even a fraction of the effort once they actually get the job.

Leave plenty of time for the candidate to ask you questions and expect that they will.  Good candidates should come prepared with at least a few questions for you.  Answer their questions without “selling” the company and position to them.  Be open and candid about everything.  Along these lines, don’t leave the candidate in the dark about the hiring process.  Let them know what the next steps are and the exact time frame in which you intend to have things completed.

Following up and providing closure is good business so be sure to do this as well when in the hiring process for jobs in mental health.

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