The interview may be the most important part of the hiring process. Businesses and individuals get to feel each other out and determine if the arrangement will be a good fit. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to host an effective interview. Here are five secrets to effective interviewing to help you along the way: Step#1: The first step in the interview process is to review the applicant file. This step separates the qualified from the unqualified. If you want to hire qualified individuals for your company, you have to weed out the many unqualified applicants in the bunch. Assessing each candidate’s application file will tell you about a candidate’s skills, education, and experience. Also, it will provide content for telephone screenings or interview questions. Solidify this information through objective Testing/Assessments. Review only the best/most suitable applicants. Define hard requirements to set up application filters which push the best to the top of the pile. If you want to hire qualified individuals for your company, you have to spend your time on the best candidates. Step #2: Conducting a telephone interview is the second step. A telephone interview helps the employer eliminate unqualified candidates without the time and effort of hosting an in-person interview. If a candidate lacks experience or has in-congruent salary expectations for your company, a telephone interview is a quick way to gain this knowledge. Step #3: Third, brief your company’s interview team. The role of the interview team is to ask specific questions to elicit needed information. The goal of the interview questions is to determine if the candidate will make a good fit in your company. The answers to these questions should shed light on a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. Be sure to ask legal questions, because illegal interview questions could result in a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lawsuit.