Why Should You Conduct Interviews
Using an interview is the best way to have an accurate and thorough communication of ideas between you and the person from whom you’re gathering information. You have control of the question order, and you can make sure that all the questions will be answered.
In addition, you may benefit from the spontaneity of the interview process. Interviewees don’t always have the luxury of going away and thinking about their responses or, even to some degree, censoring their responses. You may find that interviewees will blurt things out that they would never commit to on paper in a questionnaire.
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The following interviewer tips will help you to conduct the perfect interview.
1. Understand what you are looking for
Before the job interview starts, its important that you know what youre looking for in a candidate. You need more than a well-written job description.
Think about how your ideal employee would behave in the role. As the interviewer, you need to ask interview questions that test your interviewee against your expectations.
Writing a checklist of these expectations will help you compare interviewees and make it easier for you to make a decision on who to hire.
2. Know what questions to ask
Its essential you prepare a list of questions when running a job interview. The balance of question types is equally important.
You should include competency questions to see how the interviewee would approach the role. Character questions test how the candidate will fit with your team. Asking about career goals lets you learn what motivates your interviewee. Remember to ask open questions that cant be answered yes or no to encourage the candidate to talk in more detail.
Preparation is key: from greetings to the final question, make sure you have all bases covered.
3. Prepare beyond the job interview
Dont underestimate the importance of little details in the job interview. You want your interviewee to be comfortable enough to get their true personality across.
4. Practice makes perfect
5. Make it a conversation
6. Listen more
7. Be aware of unconscious bias
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Create A General Structure For The Process
Sketch out a basic schedule that will allow you to cover all the key areas you want to address during interviews. A well-organized process also shows candidates that you respect their time.
As for scheduling the interview, be flexible. You might think, with so many people working remotely now, finding a time to meet during the day would be easy. But for some people, its more challenging. For example, a best practice prior to the pandemic was to schedule interviews early in the day, before work would kick into high gear. However, if people are managing children at home, the morning may not be an ideal meeting time.
So, if possible, offer a few time slots for the candidate to choose from. To simplify things further, you might even consider using an online appointment scheduling tool.
What To Know Before Conducting An Interview
The process of recruitment and selection can be one of the most difficult HR processes in a company. But, as any recruiting manager knows, a good hire is worth their weight in gold.
Before the candidate walks through the door, you should set aside a sufficient amount of time to prepare for the interview. How can you best transmit your company culture and values? What skills will be most useful for the position the candidate will be filling and the duties within their role?
In advance of the interview, youll need to prepare to conduct a detailed evaluation of the candidate. Adequate preparation beforehand ensures that the interview follows a structure that allows you to gather all the pertinent information required to assess the candidate.
With that said, here are your tips for conducting a job interview.
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Preparing To Conduct Interviews
You expect candidates to come to interviews prepared: having researched the company, written down questions, and appearing energized and professional. Interviewers need to do the same.
To get ready to conduct interviews:
Heres some more advice on interview preparation:
Understanding The Positive Aspects Of Employment
By understanding the positive aspects of employment with your organization, it will also make it easier for you to retain critical employees and improve your workplace productivity. You will have the information you need to make the changes necessary to provide a desirable workplace.
Because you are allowed to ask almost any question in an exit interview, it’s a good time to inquire about compensation and benefits at competing companies. You may discover you top the list. You could also ask the person that is leaving for any positive information they want to share about managers, the organizational mission, the vision of the company, and if your organization excels at communication.
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Design Your Game Plan
You and the rest of the hiring team are probably clear on what technical skills your new employee should have, but have you thought about what personality traitssuch as the ability to communicate directly, be quiet and analytical, or build relationshipswork best for the role? Is your job description merely a list of tasks, or does it tell the interviewee how the role is linked to the companys mission?
Once youve answered those questions, create a blueprint for the interview, with interview questions to ask at each phase that will help bring out the specific information youre looking for. You also want to be prepared for questions the candidate might ask youincluding inquiries about compensation.
Having a plan is useful, but think of it more like a set of guideposts than a strict road map. You want to come into any interview with a healthy dose of curiosity about the candidate, and if youre too worried about sticking to a rigid plan, you might miss the opportunity for spontaneous conversations that will help you learn more about the person youre considering for your team.
Be Prepared For Candidates Interview Questions
Consider the fact that great interviews should be a two-way street. Therefore, encourage candidates to ask as many questions as they possibly can about the company, the role or the duties and responsibilities that come with the job position. Note that an excellent candidate is one who takes this opportunity to ask intelligent questions about the company culture, current or future projects and the expectations of working in the company. Additionally, candidates who ask questions demonstrate interest and enthusiasm for joining your company as well as the fact that they have done their homework.
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Study Up On The Candidate Before The Interview
This is the last but most crucial step to preparing for an interview. Plan to spend at least half an hour reviewing the candidate in advance.
You only have a limited window to get to know each candidate. You dont want to spend too much of the interview making them repeat whats on their resume. So its wise to review the candidate’s information in advance. Get to know their job history, check out their LinkedIn profile, review their assessment results, and review any other materials they may have provided before the interview.
If there are any gaps or confusing points in their resume, you can add them to your list of questions to ask the candidate.
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How to Conduct a Job Interview: Ask the Right QuestionsBy using the criteria you have decided on, you can form pointed questions that make the most of your time with the candidate. Tom S. Turner, a Vancouver-based independent consultant who designs selection systems, uses a list of about seven to 12 criteria and develops four questions for each factor he is looking for. Two questions are positively worded, meaning they ask the candidate to speak about something he or she did well. One question is negatively worded, meaning it asks the candidate to think about a time when they made a mistake and how they dealt with it. And the last question serves as a backup in case the candidate draws a blank on one of the other questions.
There are many different approaches to creating job interview questions:
Fact-based or general questions: “How many years did you work at Most interviews include some questions that clarify information listed on the candidate’s resume. Questions that ask about why the candidate wants to pursue a job in a specific field or with your company also fall into this category.
Because they are generally accepted to generate the most accurate responses, most professional recruiters dedicate the majority of each interview to these type of questions.
How to Conduct a Job Interview: Interview Structure
How to Conduct a Job Interview: Have a Rating System
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Assessing The Candidates Desire Factor
Theres no excuse for candidates not having researched your company, its achievements, competitors, and challenges prior to an interview. Still, some will go out of their way to articulate their understanding of who you are and why theyre so excited about joining your firm.
What youre really trying to get to here is whether the candidate wants a job or whether they want this job. Try questions like these to isolate those who are hungriest for the opportunity that you offer:
- What do you know about our organization?
- Why would you want to work here?
- In your mind, what makes us stand out from our competitors?
- If you were to accept this position with us today, how would you explain that to a prospective employer five years from now?
- How would this role with our company provide a link to your future career progression?
Dont Be Too Quick To Judge
During your preparation for the interview, be mindful not to form any preconceived ideas or opinions about the candidates suitability for the role. Perhaps, after reading their CV, you are concerned about a possible skills gap or career decision that they made. While these concerns may well be justified, dont rule any candidate out or make any snap judgements before or while interviewing them. Keep an open mind and give the candidate a fair chance.
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Discuss Your Personal Leadership Philosophies
If the interviewees responses to your questions make you believe they are a good fit for the position and your companys culture, then you also need to determine whether your company will be a good fit for the company and your team. This is where you will discuss your companys values and your personal leadership approach to determine whether they align with what the candidate needs to be successful.
For example, if your leadership philosophy is that an error is only a mistake if they learn nothing from it, then relaying that information to the candidate gives them some insight into how you manage. The same thing applies for discussing topics such as your personal management style, how you and the company feel about employees contributing new ideas and suggestions about how to improve the department or organization and how you see the responsibilities of their role changing.
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Activity: Tips For Effective Interviews
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Work On Your Questioning Technique
When preparing interview questions, most hiring managers cover off all the necessary technical skills required to perform the role successfully.
Dont forget to also cover:
Soft skills: Some interviewers may neglect to ask those questions which will reveal more about the candidates soft skills, such as being well organised, the ability to build rapport with stakeholders or good listening skills. These are traits that cant always be taught but are essential to the role or business culture. So identify the necessary soft skills required and ask questions designed to reveal their abilities in these areas. For example, Tell me of a time you built a lucrative relationship with a client. How did you do it?
Cultural fit: Many new hires dont work out simply because they dont suit the company culture in some way or another. Ask questions that will help you determine how well the candidate would fit in with the team and company culture. For example, if they need to be team spirited to fit in with your culture, you could ask, How would you describe your style of working? or Can you give me an example of a time when you worked well in a team?
Ask about their ambitions: This new hire is an investment. More than likely you will want her or him to remain with your organisation long-term and progress their career internally. Therefore ask questions about the candidates career ambitions, areas in which they would like to develop, and their longer term goals.
Optimize Your Interview Process
Whichever employee you end up sending a job offer letter to, you want to optimize the candidate experience for each applicant. Using recruitment software will make it easy to see all the candidates currently in the pipeline for various roles.
It will also provide key recruitment metrics which will provide insight into whether you need to recruit externally or promote internally and whether you have understaffing or overstaffing problems.
Resources for HR professionals
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Study The Candidates Resume Or Cv
Look over the candidates resume. Using a blind resume might offer an opportunity to limit the influence of unconscious bias. You can familiarize yourself with their work history and background. Reviewing the CV in depth ahead of time ensures that you maximize the time you have in the interview. Why?
Many general questions are often easily answered with just a quick scan of someones CV. When you start with this knowledge already in hand, you can take advantage of the interview to really dig deep into the candidates skills and abilities.
You can also take the time to highlight any areas in their resume that may seem vague or unclear, or perhaps that contains something that may be unknown to you, such as a unique hobby. Allow the interviewee the opportunity to expand on those areas as it may reveal possible behaviors or personality traits that will have an impact on effective job performance.
Welcome Questions From The Candidate
Dont forget the welcome questions from the candidate. This is important not only so that the candidate has the chance to ask anything that will help them feel secure about the job that he or she is applying for.
It is also an important opportunity for you to see how invested the candidate is in the company and whether theyll be a good fit. Are they asking about day-to-day tasks? What about the big picture? This is a great opportunity to see if the candidate will be a cultural fit at your company.
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What Is A Stress Interview Strategy
A stress interview is an interviewing style that companies use to gauge a candidates response to stress. The idea is that itll give the hiring team an idea of how youll respond when juggling various high-priority tasks, dealing with challenging clients, or facing a difficult co-worker or manager.
Determine What Youre Looking For In A Candidate
While the job description likely outlines the essential skills, a candidate needs to be successful in the role, there are also additional factors to consider to ensure you choose the best candidate for the position and your company. It is important to consider how the personal characteristics of a candidate will impact your companys culture. Maintaining a positive company culture is important because it affects employee satisfaction, productivity and efficiency. For instance, if a role requires a lot of interfacing with the public, you may want to hire a more extroverted candidate.
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