Interview Dos And Don’ts
What have we learned about how to interview? Weve learned that the interview process is a long one, before, during, and after. Here are the main takeaways, and the dos and donts of conducting a job interview.
- Prepare beforehand
Choosing the right questions, reading up on the candidates, and knowing the details and requirements of the job can make the interview go smoothly.
- Put the candidate at ease
Engaging in small talk during the introduction and maintaining a friendly yet professional tone can help relieve nervousness or anxiousness in both interviewer and candidate.
- Listen attentively and take notes
Focus and what the candidate is saying and write down your assessment of the answers provided. This will make the scoring go much smoother.
- Allow the candidate to ask questions
Provide a space for the interviewee to ask follow-up questions and clear up any doubts they may have about the role and the company. Sell the position to candidates you feel are right for the job.
- Ask about controversial or sensitive topics
Religion, sexuality, politics, race, ethnicity, marital status and other topics that do not inform about the candidates competence for the job should not be discussed.
- Lose control of the interview
You determine the pace of the interview and the topics being discussed. Listen attentively to the candidates answers so that you dont have to repeat questions.
- Interrupt or talk over the candidate
- Ignore a candidates questions
More Questions About How To Conduct An Interview
Interviews are definitely a challenge for candidates, but theyre just as challenging for the employer. You need to know the right questions to ask to find the job seeker that will best fit your needs. But theres good news. Monster has decades of experience helping employers like you. With ongoing free access to the latest hiring resources, including recruiting tips, job market trends, and management strategies, we can help you get to your next terrific hire.
Tell Me About Work That Youve Done Previously That Will Help You Succeed In This Role
This question will help you determine the interviewers grasp of the job and what they will need to do to be successful. You may also learn about strengths and accomplishments the interviewer possesses that dont necessarily show up well on a resume.
For example, if a freelance writer is applying for a marketing position, the following may be a great answer. As a freelance writer, Ive learned how to create content that drives traffic to my clients sites. I can take my knowledge of SEO, networking, and social media marketing to help grow your businesss online presence as well.
However, this answer wouldnt be so great. As a freelance writer, Ive learned how to write quickly and efficiently. Ive also learned how to be a self-starter and manage my time well.
The attributes mentioned in that quote are positive. But they are general traits that apply to just about any kind of work. And the answer doesnt really show that the interviewer understands what specific skills they would need to succeed in a role.
Even if youre potential employee has never worked directly in the role that theyre applying for, you want to know that they have a firm understanding of what the job would entail.
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Questions To Ask The Interviewer
At the close of the interview, most interviewers ask whether you have any questions about the job or company.
If you dont have any questions, this can make it seem like you are apathetic about the opportunity. It’s always a good idea to have a list of questions ready, and to be prepared to discuss them.
What Is Your Greatest Strength
This is one of the questions that employers almost always ask to determine how well you are qualified for the position. When you are asked about your greatest strengths, it’s important to discuss the attributes that qualify you for that specific job, and that will set you apart from other candidates.
When you’re answering this question, remember to show rather than tell. For example, rather than stating that you are an excellent problem solver, instead tell a story that demonstrates this, ideally drawing on an anecdote from your professional experience.
Read More:Examples of the Best Answers
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Developing Your Story For Job Interviews
- Take a comprehensive inventory of the chapters of your life. Think about major events, memories, and turning points that shaped who you are. Make notes about your feelings, expectations, and frustrations, or what you learned, accomplished, and experienced. Organize your chapters by time periods or jobs.
- Focus on memorable aha moments. These stories need to have vivid dimensions so people will experience that moment with you. It may have been a moment with your mom on the porch, or a trip you took to a faraway place, or what a boss or mentor told you. The stories dont have to be dramatic, just meaningful to you.
- Uncover the themes in your story. What emerges as your passion? Mentoring others, doing research, helping a specific type of client, advancing knowledge in your field? What gives you joy? Are you a teacher, a leader, an entrepreneur, a risk taker?
- Reflect on your career path. How have you arrived where you are today? Why did you make certain choices? Who helped you along the way? What motivated you then and now? Have your career goals remained the same or have they changed? Are you someone who likes new projects? Or executes the details of someone elses vision?
Pack Your Bag Ahead Of Time
Whatever purse, backpack, or briefcase you carry should be large enough to hold your everyday essentials, plus your interview musts, such as extra resumes and a notepad, as well as a special emergency kit stocked with what you might need in an unexpected situation . Heres a general checklist of what to bring to an interview so youre super prepared. And clean out that bag! If you have to dig past candy wrappers, phone chargers, and old receipts to get that resume, youre going to look a little disorganized.
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Wrap Up The Interview
Be Ready For The Small Talk
Getting the small talk right can have big consequences. Its a way for people to build rapport and affinity, and start to generate that elusive, intangible quality of chemistry that characterises all effective business relationships.
So as part of your interview preparation, its a good idea to think ahead to some likely topics that might come up, so as to help keep the conversation flowing smoothly. The key is to come up with topics where you have a shared interest, so that youre able to both ask and answer credible questions.
For example, if you see a picture of your interviewers family, perhaps you could ask about them and be ready with a family anecdote of your own. Or if youre a sports fan and you spot signs that your interviewer is too, perhaps you could ask a suitable question that youve also got an interesting answer to .
Think, too, about topical themes. For example, has your potential employer been in the news recently? Or could you ask about the potential impact on the company of a recent development, such as Brexit or falling share prices or a serious malware attack? In each case, make sure you have an interesting thought of your own to contribute too.
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Don’t Give Questions In Advance
I don’t prepare questions in advance and I always say no to people who ask me to send them a list of questions. Partly, this is because I don’t work that way and partly I don’t want people over-preparing.
My interviews tend to be quite free-ranging. Journalists rarely give copy approval to interviewees but when interviewing for corporate work , it is the rule.
When Was The Last Time You Changed Your Mind About Something Important
It allows you to see how and if the candidate’s belief system or set of core values has changed. How did a powerful experience or impactful person shift the candidates worldview? she says. Follow up with more questions to find out what they felt before, during and after the experience of being challenged that will tell you a great deal.
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Figure Out Where Youre Going And How Youre Getting There
Whether youre driving or taking public transportation, make sure you look up your route ahead of time . Buy any needed tickets, add needed money to your metro card, fill up your tank, or do anything that could slow you down on the way to your interview. Know how long it should take you to get there and add plenty of extra time in case of traffic or transit delays.
Prepare A Reference List
Prepare a reference list, whether you think youll be asked for it or not. For each reference, include a name, title, organization, division or department, telephone number, and email address, as well as a sentence briefly explaining the relationship . If you have an in-person interview, a hard copy is a good idea, and for any later-round interview, being prepared to send off the file as soon as youre asked for it shows how you prepare ahead of time.
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What Can I Tell You About Working Here
A few years back at our CTO Summit, Kellan Elliott-McCrea gave an incredible talk on how Etsy grew their number of female engineers by 500% in one year So we werent surprised that his take on interviewing was similarly deep and insightful.
The former SVP of Eng at Blink Health and Etsy CTO finds that the fundamental model we use to interview within the tech industry is wrong. It assumes we’re panning a stream of high performing technical specialists for a few gems.This may have been true once upon a time, but it isn’t the world we live in anymore, says Elliott-McCrea. Software is a straightforward technical project, but a difficult social, cultural and operational one.
Heres his take on what interviewers should focus on instead:
Treating the interview as a collaboration to make sure that the role is a good fit is the first priority. Making sure the candidate has a positive experience is the second priority. Everything else is a nice-to-have.
Ask The Right Questions
A major component of a successful job interview is knowing which questions to ask. There are several different types of interview questions you can use however, the specific questions you ask should be based on the job and the information you wish to learn about your candidate. The following are a few of the most common types of interview questions:
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Dont Forget About Your References
Dont let your references be the last to know about your job search, or even worse, get an unexpected call from a potential employer. Many offers are withdrawn over bad references. Why take that chance? Get in touch with your references right away to seek help and to avoid surprises on either side.
- Are your references relevant to your current job search? Who should you add or subtract?
- Are there any reference gaps? Gaps that an employer will question? What is your story about those gaps?
- Can a colleague, vendor, customer, or board member be added to replace or enhance the list?
- What is the current status of your relationship with your references?
Avoid The Standard Job Interview
Use these basic principles to avoid the common pitfalls of the interview.
A typical job interview is little more than a social call with some predictable choreography. A conference-room meeting, a pristine résumé and the standard questions: Where do you want to be in five years? What do you consider your biggest failure? What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Add in some small talk maybe the candidate and the interviewer have something in common, like an alma mater or an acquaintance from an earlier job and thats largely it. The candidate seems good, and the references check out. So an offer is made, and fingers are crossed that everything works out.
Then, a month later, the new hire misses an important deadline or starts complaining about the work. Cue that sinking feeling: You start wondering if hiring this person was a mistake.
Of course theres a better way. Here are three principles that can help you hire the right person:
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Interviewing Techniques Tip : Manage Stress
Interviewing for a job can make anyone stressed. In small doses, that stress can actually be beneficial, helping you perform under pressure. However, if stress becomes constant and overwhelming, it can impair the way you communicate during an interview by disrupting your capacity to think clearly and creatively. When youre stressed, youre more likely to misread an interviewer or send confusing or off-putting nonverbal signals.
If you cant quickly relieve stress in the moment and return to a calm state, youll almost certainly be unable to take advantage of the other interviewing techniques and tips. All our best intentions go out of the window when were overwhelmed by stress. Its only when youre in a calm, relaxed state that you can think on your feet, recall the stories youve practiced, and provide clear answers to an interviewers questions. Therefore, its vital that you learn quick stress relief techniques ahead of time.
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Answer The Candidates’ Questions
Aim to give the candidate about 10 minutes to ask questions toward the end of the interview. Candidates who come prepared with questions show they carefully researched the role and company and are eager to learn more. When responding, give honest answers that can help the candidate determine if they would be a good fit for the role. Thoughtful questions to expect include:
Why is this position open?
What is the work-life balance like?
How big is the team I’d be working with?
Are there performance milestones for the first 90 days?
What does the day-to-day of this job look like?
Are there advancement opportunities?
What are some of the biggest challenges this team faces?
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What Do You Want To Do Differently In Your Next Role
When he asks this question, Instacart co-founder Max Mullen usually sees two kinds of responses and theres one camp that the best candidates usually fall into.
I find that the best answers highlight what theyre running toward, rather than what theyre running from in their current job. If they launch into what they dont like about their boss or current company, that tells you a lot. It tests whether theyre a positive person and how they handle adversity, says Mullen.
I also can often pick up on what interests them about our company specifically, and get a sense for how much research theyve done. Finally, it gets into motivations if they bring up how theyre looking for a more challenging opportunity, you can probe how they want to make an impact or the types of problems theyd love working on, he says.
How To Conduct Interviews Effectively
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed’s data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Interviews are an opportunity to learn more about candidates’ backgrounds, evaluate their personalities and determine if they could work well with your team. Conducting an effective interview helps you in your hiring decision and allows the candidate to decide if the job is a good fit for them. Understanding how to adequately prepare for and execute an employment interview could help you gather more information about candidates and make more informed hiring decisions.
In this article, we outline the importance of effective interviews, explain how to conduct interviews effectively in 10 steps and share some additional tips that may help you improve your approach to candidate interviews.
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