How To Conduct An Effective Job Interview
The virtual stack of resumes in your inbox is winnowed and certain candidates have passed the phone screen. Next step: in-person interviews. How should you use the relatively brief time to get to know and assess a near stranger? How many people at your firm should be involved? How can you tell if a candidate will be a good fit? And finally, should you really ask questions like: Whats your greatest weakness?
What the Experts Say As the employment market improves and candidates have more options, hiring the right person for the job has become increasingly difficult. Pipelines are depleted and more companies are competing for top talent, says Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a senior adviser at global executive search firm Egon Zehnder and author of Its Not the How or the What but the Who: Succeed by Surrounding Yourself with the Best. Applicants also have more information about each companys selection process than ever before. Career websites like Glassdoor have taken the mystique and mystery out of interviews, says John Sullivan, an HR expert, professor of management at San Francisco State University, and author of 1000 Ways to Recruit Top Talent. If your organizations interview process turns candidates off, they will roll their eyes and find other opportunities, he warns. Your job is to assess candidates but also to convince the best ones to stay. Heres how to make the interview process work for you and for them.
Learn Valuable Information About Your Candidate
Interviewing a job candidate gives you an opportunity to learn more about your prospective employee, which can help you determine whether they’re qualified for the position. For example, you can learn about their qualifications and whether their personality matches your company culture and their prospective team.
Provide Detailed And Transparent Feedback
Building off the idea of introducing candidates to your company and culture, Brian Abraham, Talent Acquisition Manager at ClearCompany strongly recommends taking the time to provide feedback and guidance to candidates. These applicants deserve to know what your teams expectations are for each interview so they can prepare for the meeting to the best of their ability. Heres how his team does it at ClearCompany:
Explain The Interview Process And Next Steps
After the interview, let candidates know what they can expect. Explain your companys hiring process, especially if its complex and involves multiple rounds or conversations with other interviewers. Be clear about what next steps will be. Should they expect a phone call or email? How long will it take for you to make a decision? When are you hoping to fill the position?
Interview Questions For Emotional Intelligence
Increasingly, hiring managers are seeking candidates who score high in the area of emotional intelligence â their ability to identify emotions within themselves and others along with controlling and adequately managing emotions. These skills are often considered essential to working well with fellow employees and/or interacting with customers, suppliers, and others.
Examples of questions related to emotional intelligence that you may want to consider asking include:
- How do you handle a day when everything seems to go wrong?
- How comfortable are you asking for help at work?
- How well do you cope with stress and pressure?
- What’s your method for handling conflict with a co-worker?
The answers you receive can potentially tell you a great deal about how well an individual will fit into your company culture. For example, when asked about handling a day when everything seemed to go wrong, those with above-average emotional intelligence will likely describe how they found effective solutions to problems or reframed those problems in an effort to feel less overwhelmed. In other words, they seek out ways to manage their reactions to issues, rather than dwelling in negative thinking.
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Make Sure To Confirm The Interview
Most medical providers have recognized the value of confirming appointments. A simple confirmation call or text has been shown to reduce the no-show rate by 62%. Unfortunately, many employers havent adopted this practice into their hiring methods. Similar to a doctors appointment, interviewers can reduce the amount of wasted time they experience by texting their candidates a day before to confirm the appointment. Team Engine can help automate these confirmations, taking work off your plate and saving you time.
When it comes to blue collar work, there are oftentimes multiple employers that can get a new hire working in the shop or in the field the same day they apply, so constant engagement helps you avoid reschedules, which can give candidates time to get a job somewhere else
Interview Tips For The Interviewer
So youve had a crazy day, with a million deadlines and a thousand small crises. Now you have to interview candidates for a critical position that you need to fill. If you dont have a human resources department to guide you along, here are some tips for interviewing someone and for conducting a job interview from the other side of the desk.
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Beware Of Interviewer Errors
While we all may be prone to making snap impressions of someone we meet for the first time, it’s best to curb that impulse during a job interview. Left unchecked, a first impression can cloud everything that happens afterward. Stick to the prepared questions and leave your snap impressions out of the equation.
Similarly, beware of the so-called “halo effect.” This happens when a candidate’s strong point colors the interviewer’s experience. Any single factor shouldn’t influence the entirety of the conversation.
Do your best to approach every candidate interview with an open mind.
Best Practices To Creating Inclusive And Equitable Interview Processes
Are your organizations interview processes inclusive and equitable? Or, are there more opportunities to counter bias in your interviews and welcome in candidates with a variety of backgrounds and experiences?
The following recommendations for creating an inclusive interview process are based on research from Harvard Business School faculty and Harvard Business Review contributors. They are designed to help organizations think through the details of their interview process to achieve their recruiting goals and create more diverse, welcoming, and successful organizations.
Start with Job Descriptions
To create a welcoming and inclusive environment in the early stages of your hiring process, it is critical to use inclusive language that invites candidates in. Educate team members who are writing job descriptions about removing gendered language, jargon, and idioms that can make potential candidates feel excluded. Job postings are an important marketing tool and should convey an inclusive message if you hope to build a more diverse team.
We also recommend explicitly stating your companys commitment to diversity and inclusion within job descriptions. Link to Employee Resource Groups, codes of conduct, and other company-wide initiatives to help candidates understand how your organization supports its employees. Also include a reasonable accommodations statement that ensures candidates with mobility, vision, or hearing needs can participate.
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The Best Interviewing Techniques And Practices Explained
Are you good at interviewing candidates?
The first time I interviewed candidates, I made so many mistakes.
I designed the role we were hiring for, so I knew what skills we needed in a new hire to get the job done.
I walked into interviews with a resume in one hand and a blank notebook in the other. That was the extent of my preparation.
I asked different people different questions. I talked half the time. I brought in colleagues to help evaluate.
This meant I didnt establish strong enough connections with the candidates to understand their competencies and their values beyond the surface. I also didnt give them an experience that allowed them to feel excited about the role or qualify themselves against it.
I ended up recommending we hire the people I liked or gave me the right gut feeling. I had notes, but very little evidence of why one person would be a better match for the role than another.
And I knew I was failing. I never felt confident in interview settings, but instead doubted myself constantly. I dilly-dallied. I made bad decisions and worse recommendations. I even had candidates turn down offers they later admitted they should have taken.
I made this guide so you dont have to repeat my very unsuccessful first foray into interviewing, but immediately start with the techniques that work best.
From Our Employer Interviewing Guide To Recruiting Strategies We Can Help
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Preparing & Conducting Interviews
Being well prepared and then conducting an interview methodically will help you make the most of this important recruitment tool.
When interviewing job candidates, you want to determine what sort of people they are, how good their interpersonal skills are, how they might react under stress, whether they have the skills for the job, and whether they have been honest in their resumes.
Ensure Everyone Gets A Fair And Inclusive Interview
With an increasing number of candidates from non-traditional backgrounds, ensuring an inclusive interview experience is key. You can achieve this by:
- Offering skill-based screening At the top of the hiring funnel, measure applicants skills directlyrather than relying on resumesto decide which candidates should move forward. For developer roles, coding tests are used to screen candidates.
- Structuring your processes Treat all candidates equally by asking them similar questions and using the same structured framework for each interview to ensure that questions are presented in the same order and format.
- Creating a diverse interview panel A homogenous panel will add to the candidates discomfort and make your interview prone to bias.
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Nine Tips For Interviewers
Remember that during the interview process, candidates are just as much as youre trying to decide whether to hire them. You have only about an hour to make a good impression on the candidate and to obtain the critical information you need about their skills, experience and personality.
As you gather the latest insights about todays job seekers, here are nine tips for interviewing someone that you can use to prepare for your next interview:
Carefully Review The Candidates Resume And Cover Letter
One of the most important interview techniques is to take time to carefully review each candidates resume and/or cover letter shortly before the interview. This way you can easily recall important information about the candidate.
Beyond asking the specific interview questions you prepared in advance, encourage conversation by asking the candidate to explain and elaborate on the bullet points in their resume. You can also ask them to clarify any employment gaps, job hopping or unusual job titles.
Carefully reviewing the candidates resume will help you formulate the right questions, guide the conversation and gain better insight into how well the candidates skills and experience match the job duties.
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What Are Interviewing Best Practices
Best practices for interviewing are commonly held as the gold standards for conducting interviews with candidates. These practices and processes will help both the candidate and the TA team get the most from an interview and help your company avoid any out-of-date or inappropriate interview faux pas.
What To Look For In Prospective Employees
Let me suggest this perspective: you are looking to find the person who is the best possible or the closest match to
Determining the closest or best possible match has two important components. First, having a written job description, and second, conducting an effective interview.
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Create A Great Job Description
Create a job description listing the essential skills and experience.
If you want to hire the perfect person for a position, you need to have a really good description of the position. Don’t get caught up with lots of bullet points, like “Office Experience,” and “Computer Skills.”
A good description shouldn’t over-describe. It should focus on what is absolutely necessary for someone to be successful in the position, and describe what success looks like over specific periods of time typically 30, 90, 180 days, and 1 year.
Use the job description as a roadmap for creating questions.
For example, if you’ve determined that customer service skills are essential, you’ll want to create questions related directly to that. How do they define customer service? What is the best customer service experience they’ve ever had? Review all your essentials in the description and build questions directly related to them.
Write out your questions beforehand.
You might think you can remember all of your interview questions, but the reality is that the greatest weakness of most interviewers is exposed when they try flying blind. Write down your questions, and be sure to give yourself enough blank space to jot down notes.
Jot down notes during the interview.
Get specific details and come back to them.
Make sure you’re on the same page with salary expectations.
Ask detailed questions about roles that lasted less than two years.
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Grow Your Team With The Right Candidates
As youre establishing a partnerships team, its essential to hire the right people to support your efforts. Including different team members in the interview process, using video conferencing tools, and getting tactical are all great strategies for finding strong-fit candidates.
Dig into the hard & soft skills required for different roles in partnerships in our Career Progression Playbook. You can also apply to join Partnership Leaders, where hundreds of professionals go to bolster their partnerships skills, improve as a professional, and connect with others in the industry. Members get free job posting credits to our Job Board, which can be used to find all-star talent in the industry.
How To Interview Candidates
Effective interviews expose potential red flags, reveal strengths, ensure that expectations fit with salary, compensation, and personality, and verify qualifications, skills, and abilities. They’re an essential part of the hiring process.
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Ask For Specific Details
Since candidates have the potential to exaggerate their contributions to their previous employers, seek the truth by asking specific questions. For example, consider asking how many people they supervised with their management position or their sales numbers from last year.
Get as many numbers or dates as you can and bring them up again later in the interview to help you determine their validity. If they lied about the details they provided you, they’re more likely to forget the information they gave you earlier in the interview.
Don’t Make The Interview About You
Do not monopolize the conversation during the interview. While the candidate needs information from you about the position and the company, they also need the opportunity to present their qualifications and demonstrate how they are the ideal for the position. The ratio of talking should be 80 percent from the candidate and 20 percent of the interviewer.
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Advantages Of Using Open
Using these approaches will give you a significantly greater understanding of the candidate, particularly when you ask a core or critical question about their behaviors in each of the jobs on their resume or in their work history.
For example, in a customer service situation: Describe for me a very difficult customer service situation. What was the nature of it? How did you handle it? What was the outcome?
If you ask those open-ended questions about customer service situations, and each job a persons resume for jobs that are related to customer service, you will get a far more comprehensive look at how a person probably will behave in your customer service function.
Also, give you a deeper appreciation as to whether they are the best possible match for the job.
Choose Where To Hold The Interview
Location plays a significant role in the effectiveness of your interview. Finding a quiet place will allow you to connect with a candidate without distractions.
Unless youve planned to include colleagues in the interview, be sure to hold the interview in a place where you can maintain a private, one-on-one conversation. This way, the candidate wont feel pressured by people nearby who may overhear them.
For businesses in traditional office spaces, make sure to reserve your interview room as soon as possible. If your company culture is more relaxed, you may wish to conduct the interview in a casual setting such as in a lounge area or cafe off-site. Businesses like retail shops and restaurants often interview candidates in a back office, break room or another quiet area inside their place of business .
Double check that everything is in order before the interview takes place. This will ensure a smooth and effective interview experience, and leave the candidate with a good impression of your company.
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