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How To Conduct An Employment Interview

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Prepare Specific Questions For The Role In Advance

How to Conduct Interviews

Its easy to get caught up in conversation during an interview. Having interview questions prepared in advance ensures you cover all the bases you wanted to cover.

Most companies have a base set of questions they ask every candidate and then specific questions for each role. Giving the same base questions to every candidate allows you to compare candidates more directly to each other.

To make sure you elicit answers that help drive your decision-making, use a mix of question types. Use a variety of close-ended questions, open-ended questions, hypothetical questions, and behavioral questions.

For example, asking a behavioral question like tell me about a time you dealt with a challenging manager is more likely to dig into how the candidate deals with conflict as opposed to asking them directly how they deal with conflict.

And while its good to be prepared, leave room for organic questions that come up naturally. If theres something in particular that stands out , dont be afraid to ask follow-up questions.

Know The Appropriate Questions To Ask

It is a good idea to prepare the questions you will ask during the interview prior to conducting it. Doing this will allow you to ensure your questions will cover every topic you want to address and will also give you time to consult with your human resources department if youre unsure of what you can legally ask. Certain topics such as race, religion, sexual orientation, pregnancy and number of children, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship and marital status are protected classes that should not be discussed during an interview.

Clarify Essential Job Functions

Ask questions designed to help you determine if the applicant has the ability to handle the essential functions of the job. Example questions include: This job requires standing for eight hours per day. Is there any reason why you would not be able to do that? The person who is hired for this job will be required to work until 7 pm two nights per week on a rotating schedule. Is there any reason why you would be unable to work this schedule?

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Why Do Employers Conduct Interviews

Employers interview because they help the employer get additional information about the experiences and character of the people they believe to be a good fit for the company based on the resumes and applications. Interviewing is one of the most important steps in the employee selection process because they help you clarify how well a potential candidates skills align with your companys needs.

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Ask Specific Questions Related To The Job

How to Conduct an Effective Interview

Before getting started with the interview, it is always useful to have a list of questions ready related to the job. Such questions can give the interviewer an opportunity to see how closely aligned the candidate is with the duties and responsibilities of the position. Going over the job description carefully can help the interviewer understand how to ask the right interview questions. If there are multiple candidates, preparing a list of questions beforehand can also help us compare the answers of different candidates.

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Start With More General Questions

Keep the opening questions broad to allow candidates to introduce themselves and relax into the interview. Questions such as, âtell me about your previous experience’ or ‘why did you decide to apply for this position?’ are great ways to start the formal question-and-answer part of the interview. Candidates usually prepare to answer this type of question and can use the opportunity to highlight their strengths.

Related: What are competency-based interview questions?

Why Is Interviewing An Employee Important

Here are some common reasons why an employee interview is important:

  • It ensures you hire the most qualified candidate for the open position.

  • The interview complements other checks such as background checks and references.

  • It enables you to ask questions about a candidate’s resume.

  • It helps the company make the most of its resources by hiring the right applicant.

  • It allows you to answer questions posed by candidates and help them learn more about your company.

  • It helps create a transparent hiring process.

Despite alternative processes, such as evaluating test scores, interviewing is still a widely popular method of employee selection. It’s also common for employers to set up multiple interviews for the same position to make sure they have the right person for the job.

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Build A Picture Of Exactly What You Need

If you dont have a proper idea of the type of person that you need in terms of skills, experience and personality, then how are you supposed to determine a candidates suitability? Before the interview make a checklist of all the requirements for the role and then tailor your questions and means of assessing the individual so that you can evaluate all of the factors.

Research The Candidate You’re Interviewing

How to Conduct an Interview

It’s important to know who the person you’re interviewing is. Depending on the situation, you may contact their references or previous employers to learn more about how they performed in their other roles. Social media can be a useful tool for better understanding who someone is and how they spend their time.

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Discuss The Role And What The Company Is Looking For

Tell candidates what the job entails and what you’re looking for in a candidate. Job descriptions and advertisements might be limited by word count, so you can now provide more details to the candidate without limitations. Keep the tone conversational and offer the candidate opportunities to ask questions about the role to best understand the position and make sure the job is right for them. Be clear about what you’re looking for and be honest about any aspects of the role that are non-negotiable.

Related: 71 good interview questions to ask candidates

Start With Casual Conversation

Instead of diving right into the job-specific questions, take some time to get to know the candidate. Start by introducing yourself and ask a few easy questions like hows your day going so far? or do you live in the area? Feel free to follow up on these with a bit of small talk to get to know the candidate more.

Asking these questions will allow the candidate to relax and feel comfortable with the interviewer before diving into the interview questions. The aim here is for the candidate to open up and share their true colors throughout the interview.

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How To Conduct An Interview For A Position

Follow these steps to conduct an interview that encourages a natural and honest conversation and helps you find the best candidate for your position:

  • Begin with a friendly opener.

  • Next, complete introductions.

  • Set expectations for the interview.

  • Make the interview a conversation.

  • Gather important information from the candidates responses.

  • Discuss your personal leadership philosophies.

  • Allow the candidate to ask questions.

  • Discuss next steps and end the interview.

  • Gauging The Candidates Level Of Self

    How to Conduct Better Interviews

    As you try to determine a candidates awareness of themselves and how they fit into organizations, consider opening your interview with a question like:

    • Walk me through your progression in your career leading me up to your current role.

    This is a good way to get a candidates job history as well as their view of their progression. Once you have their answer, follow up with questions such as:

    • How have you had to reinvent your job in light of your organizations changing needs?
    • What makes you stand out among your peers?
    • What would your most respected critic say of your strengths, areas for development, and future potential in your field?

    In addition to probing an individuals assessment of themselves, you also want to ask questions about how they assess their organizations, with questions like:

    • How many employees does your company have?
    • Whats your organizations annual revenue base?
    • How is your department structured in terms of reporting relationships?
    • How exactly does your company make money, and what are its two biggest expenses?

    Depending on the level of the candidate youre interviewing, their responses can provide excellent insights into their level of business acumen and self-awareness.

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    Gather Important Information From The Candidates Responses

    You can phrase most interview questions in a manner that makes the candidate you are interviewing believe there is not one specific wrong or right answer and encourage them to answer truthfully. By doing this, the candidate is more likely to provide you with more information that you can use to evaluate how suitable they are for the position.

    For example, discovering that a candidate is self-taught in Microsoft Excel may show they need additional training if you offer them the position. However, this same information can also show you the candidates ability to take initiative in learning new skills that will help them reach their goals.

    The most important thing to accomplish during the question and response phase of an interview is to gather enough information to determine whether the interviewee is right for the position you are offering. Your questions should help you determine how the candidate will use their experiences and skills to add value to the position and your organization.

    Tips For Conducting Effective Interviews

    These are some helpful tips you can use when conducting an interview:

    • Use online calendars to schedule meeting times: Online calendars can ease the scheduling process for interviews. They can allow you to publish your available times and allow candidates to schedule their own time slots for interviews.

    • Provide the candidate with resources to prepare: You may consider sending the potential employee information about the company, information about yourself and a list of questions they can use to prepare. This can help the interview be more effective and may increase the candidate’s performance and comfort.

    • Create a comfortable interviewing atmosphere: Choosing your space for the interview can be important. You can consider how large or small a room is, how many windows it has and the amount of privacy it offers when planning where to conduct an interview.

    • Take notes to remember important details: Taking notes can indicate active listening and allow you to refer to what a candidate said. This can be especially useful when conducting several interviews in a single day or week, as it may allow you to differentiate each candidate.

    • Use confident and approachable body language: You can aim to practise smiling, making eye contact, listening actively and using approachable body language when interviewing. This can help candidates perform better by making them more relaxed.

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    The Difficult Parts Of Conducting A Job Interview

    When it comes to conducting a successful job interview, preparation is key, particularly when it comes to formal interviews with a multi-step process. Planning things like the structure of the interview, the questions youll ask, and how youll grade each candidate may seem like a fruitless task, but it will make the entire process much smoother and more successful.

    Having a clear plan in place will also help to prevent inconsistencies across interviews from appearing. Its extremely common for interviewers to let personal biases, moods, or distractions, get in the way of the impression the candidate has made. Ensuring you have a streamlined scoring system to mark candidates the same across the board will help combat these biases.

    Finally, one of the most challenging parts of conducting interviews is interview fatigue. Arranging all your interviews in one day may seem like a great way to speed up the hiring process. But can you honestly say that if you were to set back-to-back interviews over an entire day, youd give the last candidate the same attention level as the first? Of course not, none of us would.

    To combat interview fatigue, schedule no more than four interviews per day. Be sure to allow for regular breaks between interviews, giving yourself enough time to jot down immediate thoughts, before moving on to the next candidate.

    Begin With A Friendly Opener

    HR Series – How to conduct a job interview

    Start the interview with a friendly and light opening topic that will help both you and the candidate feel more relaxed and comfortable. For example, you can open the conversation by making a statement about what a nice day it is or that you hope the candidate could find the office without difficulty. Using a light, friendly opener can set the tone for a more natural conversation throughout the rest of the interview.

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    Prepare The Candidate For The Job Interview

    Weâve said it before and weâll say it again: Job interviews are a scary process for a lot of candidates. When your candidate is at ease, youâll get a better and more accurate impression of them as a potential team member. The best way to do this is to give your candidate a wonderful experience during your hiring process.Follow these steps after you’ve selected the candidates for the first round of interviews.

    10. Share place & time

    Make sure the candidate knows when and where the job interview will take place and what they can expect from the job interview. Explain the process and cover how many interview stages there will be, right from the get-go. Giving candidates all the information they need ahead of the interview will help put them at ease, allowing them to be their best on the day of the job interview.Hereâs what information we suggest sharing with candidates before their interview:

    • Who theyâll be having the interview with
    • What topics youâll be covering during the interview so they can prepare in advance
    • How long the interview will last

    11. Give some homework

    Make The Interview A Conversation

    When you use a conversational tone to freely discuss the topics you want to address during the interview rather than simply asking questions and waiting for an answer, you establish a stronger connection with the person you are interviewing. This approach could help you gain more insight into who they are and what makes them a great candidate. Instead of asking the standard questions most interviewers ask, use your conversation to gather the same information in a manner that invites the candidate to answer honestly rather than with a prepared answer.

    For example, instead of asking what was your most challenging position and why?, phrase the question as I noticed on your resume you have experience working as a cold call telemarketer. I can imagine how challenging that must have been. Doing this encourages the candidate to either agree or disagree with you and offer additional information to substantiate their response.

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    Set Expectations For The Interview

    Establishing the agenda and setting expectations for the interview should help the candidate feel more comfortable and better prepared for how the interview will flow. Doing this can also help you both stay on track and prevent the conversation from becoming irrelevant. For example, What wed like to do is start by getting to know you and what you can offer to our organization within this position. Then well discuss our personal philosophies and what were looking for in a new team member.

    Take Notes About Their Responses

    Be prepared to answer candidates

    Writing down useful notes makes it easy to remember each candidate and the experience you had with them. Instead of writing every word they used, 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. Limiting your note-taking may help you connect with the candidate, make eye contact and notice their non-verbal cues.


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    Why Is It Important To Conduct A Strong Interview

    Conducting a strong interview helps you find the best candidate to fill a position by ensuring you receive informative responses. A well-conducted interview can expound on the details of a candidate’s resume and cover letter, show you whether they possess the required skills for the job and reveal how well their personality fits with the organization.

    A strong interview is also a well-organized interview, so it can affect subsequent interviews by giving you enough time to prepare and transition. Conducting an effective interview can leave a positive impression on top candidates, too, increasing the chances that they accept an offer.

    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.

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    Make Sure To Take Notes

    While we are interviewing a candidate, our sole focus is on how to perform an interview. It is quite likely that we may forget vital information gathered during the interview, especially if there were multiple candidates. Taking down notes during an interview can help us remember important details after the interview is over. When making notes, we should write about our first impression of the candidate and any other information that we can glean from their answers. We should also write down about the body language of the candidate during the interview to gain an insight into their personality.

    However, it is extremely important to strike a balance between active listening and note-taking. We should ensure to fully engage in the conversation and only pause once in a while to take down notes.

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