How To Conduct An Interview In 6 Simple Steps: A Pocket Guide
Ji-A Min / Mar 23, 2021
Youre hiring a new employee and youve done the hard work of attracting, prescreening, and shortlisting your candidates. Now for the last crucial step in the process: how to conduct an interview.
Figuring out how to interview candidates the right way can be stressful and confusing. Thats why I created this handy pocket guide on how to conduct an interview in 6 simple steps, including a list of sample questions at the end.
How To Conduct A Job Interview
Its important to prepare ahead of time for an interview so you can ask intentional questions that give thoughtful insight into a candidate and their skills. Consider carefully assessing the job opening you have and structuring questions that can best help you find out an applicants suitability for the position. Here are 12 steps you can take to conduct a strong job interview:
Listen Carefully To The Candidate
Listening carefully to the candidate is an important component of the interview, both for you and the candidate. Make sure you give the proper amount of time for the candidate to respond to each question. Focus not only on their response but also on their expressions and tone. When you actively listen, you get a better idea of who the candidate is as a person and as a professional.
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Take The Right Amount Of Notes
Writing down useful notes makes it easy to remember each candidate and the experience you had with them. Instead of writing down what they say word for word, use keywords to remember important points of the interview. For example, if the candidate details their day-to-day work at their last job, you can write down one or two words for each responsibility. You can also highlight or circle certain parts of their resume and make notes in the margins.
How To Conduct An Interview: Questions To Ask
Lets face it, conducting an interview isnt always fun and it doesnt come all that naturally to many people including hiring managers. Often interviewers are unarmed with the appropriate interview questions, unable to follow-up up on candidate responses, and unable to fill the void that often results when two strangers sit together for the first time.
But the stakes are exceptionally high when it comes to building your team and furthering your own success. Thats why, in addition to understanding the job market, its important to know how to conduct an interview the right way.
Here are a few simple tips that, when consistently applied, will help you identify candidates who are geared for progression in their careers and who can make an immediate contribution to your organization.
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Screen All Candidates With Pre
The easiest way to have great job interviews is to have great candidates sitting in front of you. But its tough to identify the best candidates from their resumes alone. And you’ll spend a lot of time reviewing resumes if you don’t take a more efficient approach.
Especially if you have a high volume of job applications, which makes it hard to give each resume the attention it deserves. An eye-tracking study showed recruiters spend only 7 seconds on average skimming a resume. But thats not a winning strategy for identifying the best candidates.
Even if you did have all the time in the world to read every resume from front to back, a resume doesnt tell the full story. People can embellish their skills or even outright lie on a resume. Pre-employment assessments help solve that problem, giving you a more efficient alternative to resume evaluation.
A pre-employment assessment is a collection of tests given to a candidate as part of the application. You can test candidates on:
- Programming skills
- Software skills
By delivering these assessments to each candidate, you will reduce bias in your hiring process by giving you a view of each candidate that doesnt depend on a recruiter scanning thousands of resumes. That’s because resumes include identifying information that can trigger unconscious bias.
After The Interview Look To Improve Your Interviewing Techniques By Seeking Feedback
One of the most effective tips for conducting interviews that get great hires is to constantly improve your interviewing skills by seeking candidate feedback.
To do so, you can follow up with your candidates with an email asking them about their interviewing experience and what you could do better.ca
For more pointed feedback, you can send them a proper feedback form. If youâre a Recruitee user, you can design custom questionnaires/surveys for evaluating a candidateâs interview experience.
Also, sign up for career websites like Glassdoor, where candidates can share their interview experience with your company.
Keep monitoring them, so you know when anyone posts about their interviewing experience at your company.
You can also seek feedback from your current employees with a message like:
Hey there,Thanks so much for being a part of the family.To find even more amazing people like you to join us, weâre working on improving our interviewing process.It would be great if you could share your feedback on your interviewing experience with us.Thanks so much,.
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How To Prepare For The Job Interview
The interview team was selected at your earlier recruiting planning meeting, so the interviewers have had time to prepare. You will want to use the list of qualities, skills, knowledge, and experience you developed for the resume screening process.
Use this list to make sure each interviewer understands their role in the candidate assessment. Review each interviewers questions, too, to make sure the interview questions selected will obtain the needed information.
Immediately Take Any Additional Notes
Before you do anything else, jot down notes on anything you didnt have time to write down during the interview. You should also reflect on the totality of the interview, taking notes on your overall impression of the candidate. Youll value these notes later once youve interviewed half-a-dozen other candidates.
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Why Are Effective Interviews Important
Effective interviews are important because they help you choose the most qualified person for the job. Interviews are a great way to get to know your candidates and learn about their experience, skills and talents.
During an effective interview, you inform candidates about job responsibilities, expectations and the work culture. An effective interview gives the candidate plenty of time to give thoughtful answers and ask questions about the company and team. This approach allows both you and the interviewee the chance to learn about each other.
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?
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How To Conduct A Good Interview
Recruiting and hiring quality employees is a foundational part of running a successful business. In todays challenging economic environment, you simply cant afford the costs of a bad hire. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that the average cost of a bad hiring decision can equal 30% of the individuals first year potential earnings. More recent analysis, however, indicates that this estimate may be conservative. According to a recent survey done by CareerBuilder, 27 percent of U.S. employers reported a single bad hire cost their company more than $50,000. When you also take into account a bad hires effect on team morale and productivity, sales opportunities lost, potential legal issues, strained client relationships, and resources used in recruiting, hiring and training, the real costs of a bad hire on your organization become clear. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, estimates that bad hires have cost his organization over 100 million dollars.
Prior to the Interview
In order to hire the best people that you can, it is important to have a consistent process for conducting interviews in place. There are a number of things youll want to accomplish prior to each interview you do:
Determine the Business Need for the Position
Create an Evaluation Form
Determine the Interview Format
Create an Itinerary for the Candidates Visit and a Structure for the Interview
Schedule the Interview for an Appropriate Length of Time in a Comfortable Setting
During the Interview
How To Ensure Culture Fit
Company culture is one of the five most important factors job seekers consider before accepting a new job, according to a Glassdoor survey. In our Top 25 Companies for Culture & Values list, we found shared themes including having a supportive, team-oriented atmosphere, a family-like environment and genuinely standing behind company values. Highlighting these characteristics can help you attract talent, and help you hire someone who will fit into your companys culture.
General Culture Fit
To elicit a candidates values and work behaviors, be sure to ask questions about work habits, ideal role, problem-solving, and how they handle challenges. For each question, analyze the response based on how well it complements the way other employees at your company function.
To develop questions, list your companys values, then craft an associated question designed to illuminate how a candidate might react or behave in that environment or circumstance. For example, if agility is one of your values, consider asking a question such as, Tell me about a time you were thrown into a new environment and how you handled that. Then, evaluate the candidates response based on how well they demonstrate that they can embody that value.
Acknowledge your own bias. If youre aware of the biases you might hold, you can check them in the interview process.
Cultural Fit Question Worksheet
General Cultural Fit Questions
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How To Conduct A Good Programming Interview
Any software engineer who has ever looked for a job has had the interview experience: being locked in a small room for an hour, asked to write code to solve some arbitrary programming task, while being grilled by one or two interviewers whether or why the code they’ve written is correct.
You can find lots of material online about how to ace the interview as an interviewee, but very little has been written about how to conduct one as the interviewer. This post will lay out a coherent set of principles and cover many concrete steps you can use to make the most out of the next time you find yourself interviewing a potential software-engineering hire.
About the Author: Haoyi is a software engineer, and the author of many open-source Scala tools such as the Ammonite REPL and the Mill Build Tool. If you enjoyed the contents on this blog, you may also enjoy Haoyi’s book Hands-on Scala Programming
When recruiting software engineers, you typically conduct a whole battery of interviews to try and decide if a candidate is someone you would want to work with. While the line-up of interviews may change, there’s almost always a programming interview: writing code on a whiteboard/computer, to solve some arbitrary problem, to answer the question “can this person actually write working code?”.
Looking For Compatibility Not Just Likeability
We all tend to hire in our own image, but when it comes to how to conduct an interview, you need to look beyond immediate chemistry by asking questions such as:
- How many hours a day do you find it necessary to work in order to get your job done?
- How sensitive are you to accepting constructive criticism?
- Describe the pace that you typically work in the office moderate, fast, or hair-on-fire?
- How much structure, direction, and feedback do you generally prefer on a day-to-day basis?
- Do you generally ask for permission or forgiveness when making decisions?
Some natural follow-ups to these types of questions would be to inquire about specific examples. So, for example, a natural follow-up to the last question above would be:
- Tell me about a time when you may not have erred on the side of caution when you should have.
These types of questions help you to better match an individuals personal style to your departments corporate culture. Without rounding out these questions, you could end up with someone who can do the job technically but whos totally out of sync with the rest of your team.
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Properly Introduce Yourself & Your Co
Whether its in person or over a video call, start the interview by introducing everyone to each other. Put the candidate at ease by explaining who you are, what your role is, and a little about the company.
You should also lay out what the interview process will look like. Showing you have a plan will reflect positively on your organization and it will keep the interviewee relaxed.
How To Conduct A Successful Job Interview
As a manager of a growing team, interviewing other people properly is essential. For the most part, a good interview technique will help you to put the candidate at ease, get the very best out of them and ultimately make a fair and educated assessment of their suitability.
However, this skill is too often overlooked and not given the attention it deserves. Moreover, many people forget that an interview is a two-way process, and that you too are being assessed by the candidate.
To help you run a successful interview, we suggest you:
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Every Interview Question You Need To Ask
There are hundreds of questions you could ask job candidates during an interview. Choosing the best questions, however, is imperative to an interviews success. From behavioral questions to tough questions to fun questions, here is everything youll need to ask to find the best candidate.
Questions to Ask When Youre Strapped for Time
When youre trying to fill a role, you dont always get as much time as youd like to find and vet prospective hires. Instead of a warm and unhurried half-hour conversation, sometimes youll need to find out if an applicant is a good fit with five interview questions or even less.
If youre strapped for time or simply want to weed out less qualified candidates quickly youll want to ask strategic questions to help you find the best candidates as fast as possible.
Here are five questions to ask when you need to find the best candidates, fast:
- Whats your availability for this job?
- What attracts you most about this position?
- What was the best thing about your last job?
- What was the worst thing about your former job?
- How would you solve this problem?
Behavioral-based interview questions rarely come in the form of questions. Instead, they are usually statements that guide candidates into sharing a situation from their past experience.
Here are 17 behavioral interview questions you may want to ask:
Here are eight situational questions you may want to ask:
How To Conduct An Interview
Even if youre a veteran of interviewing candidates, its still a good idea to make sure youre following the right process. If you are unsure of what the entire hiring process entails, you can, before starting the process of recruitment.
Here are the key points HR managers should follow to ensure a successful interview process.
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B Technical Interview Questions To Ask Candidates
These questions are at the core of technical interviews. If youre the hiring manager or a team member who does a similar job as the position youre hiring for, youll want to ask these questions. Note that technical does not mean tech-related in this case, it means specific and job-related.
To find the best technical interview questions to ask potential employees, search for the role youre hiring for in our vast library of 350+ interview question samples. Here are examples of jobs companies are often looking to fill:
Technical questions are usually part of the second interview questions to ask candidates who have been shortlisted after the initial interview or screening call. In this stage, youre evaluating the candidates ability to actually do the job.
Learn As Much As You Can About The Candidate
The changing factor of each interview is the candidate, so focus as much as you can on learning about the candidate. The candidate might be a potential coworker and a part of your company. The interview is an opportunity to discover who candidates are and what they can do. You want to make sure that the candidate has all of the right qualifications and that they can be a cohesive part of your team.
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Types Of Topics In Questions
Note that the above questions can be asked in terms of past,present or future.