Friday, December 2, 2022

How To Hold An Interview

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Experiment With A Different Interview Format

Soft Skills – How to Take an Interview

Unstructured interviews that flow like friendly conversations make the process pleasant for both candidates and interviewers. But, they arent the most effective way to hire the best candidate.

Structured interviews are better predictors of job performance, more legally defensible and better for record-keeping. During structured interviews, you ask the same questions to all candidates in a specific order and score them with a predetermined rating scale. Your Applicant Tracking System may have built-in checklists or interview scorecards to help you rate candidates this way.

Related: The pros & cons of interview scorecards

The Rise Of Video Interviews

The use of video interviews has been increasing for some time. In 2018, research showed that 60 percent of hiring managers used video in some form.

The coronavirus pandemic accelerated this rise one report noted a spike in video interviews of 67 percent.


Video communication is now an integral part of many organizations’ remote-working practices. Our article, Managing Virtual Teams , and our Bite-Sized Training session on the same subject, both include advice about remote working in general, plus specific tips about video interviews.

Empower Candidates By Explaining The Star Method Of Answering Upfront

Another way to streamline your interview process and avoid rambling answers is to outline the STAR method of answering at the start of every interview. Explain that this is a recommended way of answering behavioral questions concisely yet thoroughly, using four simple steps. These are:

  • Situation: What were the circumstances? What was the challenge?
  • Task: What goal were you working toward?
  • Action: What did you do specifically to address the situation?
  • Result: What was the outcome? What did you learn?

Equipping candidates with this technique further bolsters their trust in your company and allows you to gather the information you need in a more effective manner. Alternatively, you can send information about this method in your preinterview email or include it on your website. That way if a candidate uses it, youll know theyve done their homework.

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Review Past Interviews And Take Notes

Ahead of a video interview, review your notes from previous conversations with the candidate so the next one is as productive as possible. Take notes on what the candidate says, how engaged they seem and their general demeanor during every interview. Note that its important to inform the interviewee that youre taking notes to reference later and that youre still paying full attention to the conversation. They cant tell what youre writing, and to them, it may seem like youre not paying attention.

Most platforms generate transcripts of meetings, which makes it easier to capture the entire conversation and share it with other stakeholders. Still, jot down notes on things that stand out to you during the interview

Share Next Steps In The Interview Process

How to Take Good News Interview Notes

Near the end of the interview, consider outlining the next steps for the candidate to help set expectations. For example, share your intended timeline of making a hiring decision, when they can expect to hear from the company, or if another round of interviews is likely. Allowing the candidate to ask clarifying questions can also help establish an understanding of the next steps and expectations, too.

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Dont Make It All About What You Want Find Out What The Candidate Wants From The Role Too

Evaluating a candidates skills and experience is important. But if the interview is focused solely on their abilities, it can come across as a little cold.

Sprinkle in a few questions that help build an emotional connection with your candidates. Ask them what theyre looking for in a role and in an employer. Find out what kind of skills theyre interested in learning or developing. Discuss interests that arent directly related to the role. Structure the questions so that answers will give you additional insights into the candidates soft skills and personal values.

These types of questions serve a dual purpose. First, they show candidates your company is interested in getting to know them as people not just as names on a clipboard. Second, they can also help you gain a better sense of their potential, giving you an idea of where they might best fit in at the company.

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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Confirming The Interview Time

Confirm the time of the interview. Nothing makes a poor impression like showing up an hour after your scheduled interview because you had the time wrong.


Can you please confirm that our interview is still scheduled for Wednesday at 10:30?

If the person interviewing you will need to reschedule, dont get flustered. Simply ask when is a good time to reschedule.


Im sorry to hear that day and time no longer work for you. Can we reschedule for the following day at the same time?

I understand you need to reschedule. Can you let me know another day and time that work for you?

Be Conscious Of Your Body Language

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Treat a video interview like you would an in-person one. Just because theres a screen between you and the candidate does not mean that common courtesies are off the table. A whopping 55 percent of communication is nonverbal, and another 38 percent is conveyed through tone of voice your words only amount to seven percent.

In short, the way you present yourself is extremely important, even in a video interview. Make eye contact, sit up straight and nod to show youre following along with what the candidate is saying. Dont forget to smile!

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Ask The Right Types Of Questions By Sticking To Behavioural And Situational Interview Questions

For a situational interview question , you can describe a major job requirement that the candidate will be doing on the job.

Using an example of a sales rep, you can ask candidates how they prospect for leads, and have them walk you through their approach.

For a behavioural interview question , ask the candidate how they handled situations that are likely to happen in the role youre hiring for.

Create An Interview Scorecard Using A Rating Scale

Create a simple rating scale and use it to rate your candidates answers during the interview.

Record or take a few notes about candidates answers to justify the ratings you give.

Using a rating scale ensures you can use candidates overall scores to compare them with each other instead of relying on gut instinct and first impressions.

An example of an interview scorecard

Remember: our gut instincts can be very unreliable especially when it comes to candidates who are often masters at selling themselves. Use the data to hire instead.

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How To Handle The Interview

Listen. The best job interviews often feel like a conversation . To achieve this, remember to focus on listening, not just waiting for your chance to speak. Not only will you be able to respond more effectively to their questions, youll also demonstrate a valuable soft skill.

Handle Questions About Salary the Right Way. Dreading the salary negotiation portion of the interview process? Youre not alone. Less than half of respondents to a CareerBuilder survey said that they negotiated salary after receiving a job offer. And 51% of those non-negotiators said that they resisted because they were uncomfortable asking for more.

There are few things to keep in mind during the salary negotiation process. The first is that its often best to let the employer raise the topic of salary first.

When they do, keep in mind that its likely a good sign: employers typically dont broach the subject of salary requirements unless they’re contemplating you coming aboard.

Need help navigating the money conversation? This guide will show you how to negotiate the highest possible salary without alienating the hiring manager.

Remember that salary is only one part of your compensation. Its also important to evaluate benefits packages when youre deciding whether or not to take a job.

Before you go into the interview, make sure your phone is turned off or is on silent. The last thing you need is your phone going off in the middle of a job interview!

How To Cancel An Interview Politely

Should You Take Notes During An Interview?

How to Cancel an Interview Politely. Cancel interviews as a last resort, because cancellations can leave top-notch job candidates with a bad impression of your company. In any case, remember that the most impolite cancellations offer no information about why an interview was canceled or if the applicant might still

Qualified Applicants Cancel interviews as a last resort, because cancellations can leave top-notch job candidates with a bad impression of your company. In any case, remember that the most impolite cancellations offer no information about why an interview was canceled or if the applicant might still find a position at the company. Qualified Applicants Cancel an interview in a way that informs a candidate that his qualifications dont have anything to do with the cancellation. For example, tell a candidate you will keep him in mind if another position becomes available that suits his qualifications. This approach is useful when an advertised position is no longer relevant and wont be filled but you think an applicant may be a good fit for your company in the future. Filled Positions Avoid providing details about why youre canceling the interview if someone else will fill the position. For example, you dont need to reveal that the person chosen for the job has better qualifications. In such cases, just tell an applicant that the interview is being canceled because the position has been filled.

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B Teamwork Interview Questions

  • Describe a group project you worked on. What was your role and what did you achieve?
  • Has your team ever failed to reach a goal? If so, what went wrong and what did you learn from that experience?
  • Tell me about a time you had to work with a colleague you didnt get along with.
  • Imagine you have submitted a piece of work that you thought was finished, but a colleague returns it to you with multiple corrections and comments that would take you hours to address. What would you do?
  • Your manager hates your latest work. What do you do?
  • Describe a time you were assigned new tasks How did you adapt?

Different Types Of Video Interviews

The most widely used formats for video interviews are:

  • Prerecorded session: applicants film themselves answering your questions. You can then watch, analyze and respond to their submissions. This is often the first round in a longer interview process, and allows you to see many applicants in a short space of time.

Some recruitment apps allow you to limit people’s thinking time, or to control the number of “retakes” that they can do.

Alternatively, you can send applicants a list of questions, and allow them to choose how they record and submit their responses.

  • Artificial Intelligence interview: technology detects significant details in what people say, how they say it, and even the ways in which their face and body move during the interview.

This is another way to manage large numbers of candidates. It also lets you home in on characteristics that are important to a particular role, using clues that may not even be noticeable to the human eye.

Research shows that this is now a widely used recruitment technique.

  • One-on-one conversation: this is still the most common type of video interview, and is often conducted via a video-chat platform such as Slack, FaceTime, Messenger Rooms, or .

It allows you to question people in more depth, and to answer any questions that they may have about the role. Good telephone skills are important for this type of video interview, along with all the techniques and tips outlined in this article.

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Now Consider These Factors To Help You Evaluate Candidates:

Now that you have a complete overview of the best interview questions to ask, theres one last thing to do: be prepared to answer common questions from candidates. Theyre interviewing you too, after all. That way, candidates can also get useful insight on whether your company is a good fit for their skillset and motivations and hopefully, youll get to convince the best among them to join your team. Happy interviewing!

Creating An Ideal Candidate Profile

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Before you start your interviews, its important to figure out who you are looking for to fill your open roles. At CareerPlug, the planning stage is an important part of the hiring process and involves creating an Ideal Candidate Profile using the following components: specifics for the role, key culture drivers, and the job description.

Heres an example of an Ideal Candidate Profile for a sales position at CareerPlug:

You cant know if youve found the right candidate if you dont take the time to figure out what youre looking for! Making these considerations before you interview can help you ask the appropriate questions and make better hiring decisions. To get you started, weve created a free Ideal Candidate Profile template you can use for your own hiring needs. Download it by clicking the button below.

For more on creating your Ideal Candidate Profile, check out this quick video from Natalie Morgan, our Senior Director of Human Resources:

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Choose Install And Test Your Equipment

Regardless of which interview software you select, its important to understand and have experience with the nuances of your equipment before conducting an interview. Do some research beforehand to find out if the candidate needs to have certain log-in credentials, a particular email address or download a platform in order to join the conversation. Make sure to provide all of this information to candidates long before the interview so they can test out the software on their end.

Additionally, hold a few test interviews with your team members to ensure everyone understands how to set up video and audio functions, mute themselves, share their screen and chat during the interview. Go the extra mile and research pain points other software users have identified to practice solutions for common mishaps.

Thankfully, video conferencing is not a new concept and there are a plethora of excellent applications available. In response to the current situation, several providers are offering extended free trials and upgraded services. In a later section, well discuss 10 of the most popular video conferencing software options.

Stay Up To Date With The Latest Employer Insights & Events

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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Prepare For The Interview

Taking into account the checklist that you have put together of all the qualities you are looking for, prepare a list of questions that will help to assess the candidates suitability in relation to these factors. Though some of the questions will be more generic or related to the specific role, try to tailor some questions towards the individual and their background. Do your homework beforehand, by thoroughly reading the candidates CV to familiarise yourself with their work history. You can also learn a little more about a candidate by checking them out on social media, so that you can ask them about some of their interests or hobbies.

Remember Its Just A Conversation

Questions To Ask In An Interview â Interview Tips &  Advice

Finally, remind yourself that youre not jumping out of an airplane, or battling a shark. Youre facing one, maybe two people, and having a nice conversation about your career. Muse writer Richard Moy, in his article How to Keep Your Cool When You Interview With Your Dream Company, put it perfectly: As much as you want to work for them, theyre also really hoping youre the one. So, not all the pressures on you. Remember that this isnt just going to be them grilling youyou have questions you need answered, and theyre probably nervous about making a good impression, too.

Now go out there and kick some butt. And if you find a trick that works wonders for you, let me know on !

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