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Employers should always put their best foot forward when it comes to interviewing candidates for positions in their company.

Start with choosing the right Human Resource manager or recruiter to help with the process. That person’s guidance should make it possible to find and hire qualified candidates in a fair and equitable way.

The process begins with a requisition form, which is a formal request from a recruiter or hiring manager to create a new position or fill a vacancy.

The job description lists the qualifications you’re looking for in a candidate, including education, certifications and management experience. If a qualification is a deal breaker, use the word “mandatory.” If it isn’t, use “preferred” in the description. Other qualifications could include such physical requirements as sitting or standing for long periods of time or being able to lift heavy objects. Make sure to add that you’re an equal opportunity employer.

Roles may change

It’s possible the role may shift over time, so it’s important to add a phrase similar to “other tasks as assigned,” which allows an employer to change the duties when needed. State whether the position is full-time, part-time or a contract job.

At the top of the job description, include a sentence or two about the company and a sentence or two about the position. Note whether you’re expanding the team or hiring a replacement. You want to attract as many applicants as possible.

Sifting and sorting

 Once the job is posted, it’s time to sort through potential candidates. Screening enables you to bring down the pool of applicants to a manageable size. Employers have two options for screening: manual or automated. Automated screening will review the applications against the qualifications. To reduce the number further, for example, you could add language requiring a specific amount of experience, such as five years.

With a shorter list of applicants in hand, start interviewing as soon as possible. You should do a screening interview and one or two rounds of face-to-face interviews. If you take too long to finish this process, you might lose a qualified candidate. Keep your preferred candidates informed about the progress of your search. Don’t wait for someone to come back from vacation to close the deal.

Be prepared

Prepare five or six interview questions in advance. Be sure your questions get to the heart of what you’re looking for in a candidate. A second round of questions should help you ascertain whether the candidate is a good fit for your company’s culture.

Your company might have a rating system to help you determine why one candidate is better than another. Did one have a better skillset, for example, or a better connection during the interview?

Narrow down the candidates to three, then two.

Before reaching the final step, you should have done some work behind the scenes. Talk to the hiring manager about how far you can go with a job offer. What are the negotiable points? Can you offer more vacation time, for example, to entice the candidate?

Closing the deal

Once you’ve chosen a candidate, it’s time to close the deal.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) offers five tips for closing the deal:

  • Keep the closing in mind throughout the recruiting process.
  • Be consistent and transparent throughout the process to build trust.
  • Be authentic with candidates from the beginning to get to know them.
  • Maintain contact with the candidate every step of the way to ensure they’re still interested in the position.
  • Be ready to handle a possible counter or competing offer.

Present a fair and reasonable offer and pay the right wage for the work that needs to be done.

Once you’ve hired a candidate, make sure you have good onboarding and orientation as a follow-up to the process.

If you have any questions about interviewing, the hiring process or closing the deal, contact me at melody@melodybeachconsulting.com.

50+ Job Seekers workshops

The 50+ Job Seekers Networking Group’s workshops are free and virtual on Zoom.

Upcoming November workshops are:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 15, 10 to 11:30 a.m.: Self-Assessment interactive workshop with Melody Beach.

Join us as we discuss hiring assessments and personality tests. You’ll have the opportunity to take multiple assessments and decide for yourself whether they work.

Completing a self-assessment before applying for jobs can help your job search.

  • Tuesday, Nov. 15 and Wednesday, Nov. 16, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: New England Job Fair.

Join us for the first virtual New England Job Fair and find your next rewarding job. Veterans, career changers and all job seekers are welcome to attend – from entry-level to experienced.  The job fair will be held on Premier Virtual and allows employers to interact with job seekers through a virtual booth, instant message or chat, and view resumes.

If you have questions, contact your local MassHire Career Center.

Register at https://bit.ly/3flQGaD.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 16, noon to 1 p.m.: “In Control at 50+: How to Succeed in the New World of Work.” Kerry Hannon, a nationally recognized workplace futurist, author, work flexibility advocate and financial strategist, will discuss her most recent book, “In Control at 50+.” She will provide strategies and tips for navigating the post-pandemic workplace.

This event is being offered by Flex Professionals. Register at https://bit.ly/3NovJrS.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2 to 3 p.m.: “An Afternoon at the Improv,” a new event that provides a fun and different way of preparing for interviews and networking conversations – improv!

This event is being offered by 50+ Job Seekers and sponsored by the Institute for Career Transitions.

  • Monday, Nov. 21, 10 to 11:30 a.m.: Interview Practice with Melody Beach.

For good or bad, first impressions matter. Join me to learn how to respond to a variety of questions that may be presented to you during an interview.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 30, 11 a.m. to noon: “Win at Networking for Your Next Job,” with Paul Adler, founder and principal of Global Business Consulting.

In this session, networking master Adler will share the unusual tips, tricks and strategies he has learned that turn networking into a game everyone can play and win. This is not a typical networking session. It’s a chance to learn firsthand from a pro. Come with your questions about networking strategy along with your concerns and challenges.

This event is offered by Encore Boston Network and sponsored by 50+ Job Seekers in Massachusetts.

Register at https://bit.ly/3DRtFpq.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 30, 6:30 to 7:45 p.m., Savvy Seeker Series: “Understanding (& Practicing) Disability Inclusion in a Work Setting,” with Lisa Drennan, who has a 38-year career supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities on being active and engaged in their communities. Drennan started her company, MERGE Inclusion Consulting, in 2018.

In this webinar, attendees will learn the 101 of Disability Inclusion, beginning with a clarification of the term “inclusion,” and a review of disability etiquette, proper terminology and top inclusive strategies for peers or supervisors in the workplace.

  • Tuesday, Dec. 13, 10 to 11:30 a.m.: G2G (Give to Get)

Give to Get is an open forum for Q&A, breakouts to work on homework assignments, and plenty of time to network and connect with fellow 50+ job seekers. Every attendee’s name will be added to the Wheel of Names. You could win a free coaching session!

Reserve a spot for an event offered by 50+ Job Seekers of Massachusetts through your online registration/login account at https://50plusjobseekers.org/login/. If you haven’t registered, you will be asked to complete the registration form.  If you have questions about the process, contact 50plusjobseekersadmin@mcoaonline.com.

The virtual doors open 15 minutes before each program starts.

How can I help?

Contact me by downloading my digital business card by texting HRPRO to 21000 or emailing me at melody@melodybeachconsulting.com.


Melody L. Beach Consulting Group
Proud Member of
Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA)
Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA)
Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA)
Webster Dudley Business Alliance (WDBA)
Webster Dudley Business Alliance (WDBA)
AARP (American Association of Retired Persons)
PARWCC The Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches Woman in Business (WIB)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
BNI Referral Champions Worcester Chapter
Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
50+ Job Seekers
Massachusetts Councils on Aging (MCOA)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Human Resources Management Association (HRMA) of Central Massachusetts
Women's Information Network (WIN)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce

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