What To Know Before Conducting An Interview
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.
What To Bring To A Job Interview
It’s important to know what to bring to a job interview. Items to bring include a portfolio with extra copies of your resume, a list of references, a list of questions to ask the interviewer, and something to write on and with.
It’s also important to know what not to bring, including your cellphone , a cup of coffee, gum, or anything else beyond yourself and your credentials.
Questions Not To Ask In An Interview
Pre-employment interviews have traditionally been instruments for eliminating, at an early stage, unqualified persons from consideration for employment. They have also, unfortunately, often been used in such a way as to restrict or deny employment opportunities for women and members of minority groups.
If you have 15 or more employees, you are likely subject to federal laws prohibiting discrimination in hiring. Many states also have laws that mimic federal discrimination laws and apply them to smaller employers, sometimes even those employers who have one employee. Therefore, you are limited in what types of questions you can ask.
What if you’re not subject to anti-discrimination laws? Even if you are not subject to laws prohibiting certain types of inquiries, we recommend that you stay away from them.
Therefore, in seeking information from a job applicant, you should ask yourself:
- Will the answer to this question, if used in making a selection, have an inequitable effect in screening out minorities or members of one sex?
- Is this information really needed to judge an applicant’s competence or qualifications for the job in question?
Basically, stay away from any question that concerns:
- national origin
Some questions that could be considered discriminatory include:
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Begin With A Friendly Opener
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.
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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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:
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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Introduce Yourself And Set The Scene
First impressions are everything. Introduce yourself and welcome the candidate respectfully.
By greeting the candidate in a polite manner, you will help ease much of the tension that he or she may be feeling. Tell them a little bit about who you are and then ask them how their day is going or if they have any weekend plans. This will help break the ice.
Youll also want to make sure the interview space is clear of any kind of distractions so that you can both focus on the conversation. If the interview is virtual, make sure you have a clean background and space to chat.
Talk About Communication And Feedback
Communication is a broad topic. Theres interpersonal communication: how one delivers and receives information from others. And then there are the technical aspectsi.e., the software that is used in communication. Use this time to ask your interviewee about both. What platforms do they use at their current or former job? Which one, if any, would they choose for a difficult conversation? Share which forms of communication are favored in your workplace and get a sense of the candidates level of comfort with them.
Its also useful to understand how prospects respond to feedback because it’s an essential part of work life. Ask interviewees if they can recall a good experience of receiving feedback. How was the feedback delivered? How did they grow as a result? This answer can give you a lot of information about their temperament, work and leadership style, and ability to collaborate.
As you learn about their openness to feedback and what forms of communication theyre comfortable with, youll be able to see how the candidate measures up and how much of a learning curve there might be for them to get up to speed with your organization.
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Perform Research On The Company And Role
Researching the company youre applying to is an important part of preparing for an interview. Not only will it help provide context for your interview conversations, but it will also help you when preparing thoughtful questions for your interviewers.
Researching the company and role as much as possible will give you an edge over the competition. Not only that, but fully preparing for an interview will help you remain calm so that you can be at your best. Here are a few things you should know before you walk into your interview:
Research the product or service:Even if the role isn’t directly related to the company’s product or service, you’re still looking to be part of the team. It’s important to learn all you can about the product or service the company produces and promotes. You don’t necessarily need to understand each and every detail, especially if it’s a technical product, and you’re interviewing for a non-technical position, but you should have a basic understanding of the main products or services the company offers.
If possible, request a sample of the product to familiarize yourself with the customers perspective. The more you can tell them about the product from both a company and customer standpoint, the better you’ll perform in your interview.
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Welcome The Candidate And Introduce Yourself
Greet the candidate with a friendly opener and thank them for coming to the interview. You may wish to offer them a beverage and make small talk to help them feel more comfortable. As candidates may be nervous, easing into the interview process can help them relax. Once you’re both settled, formally introduce yourself and provide candidates with a brief introduction to the company, what the company does and what your role is within the organisation.
Prepare And Develop Questions
Preparing for an interview lets you best evaluate a candidates abilities. Start by reviewing their cover letter and curriculum vitae to assess if the education, background, and skills of the candidate align with the role or what areas of their professional career you want to learn more about during the upcoming conversation. You can also connect with leaders and colleagues who collaborate with the person in this role to ask if there are specific questions they want to be presented in the interview.
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Common Mistakes During A Phone Interview
Not charging your phone. If you are planning to use a mobile phone for your interview, be sure to charge it on the day of the interview. Having a fully charged phone can help you feel at ease and also ensures a productive interview.
Forgetting the interview. It is important that you add the interview schedule to your calendar so you can remember it and prepare for that specific date and time. This can also help you allot time ahead of the interview to mentally prepare.
Answering the phone poorly. Your opening phrases, such as ‘good morning’ or ‘good afternoon,’ should be enthusiastic, engaging and outgoing. Strive to impress the interviewer at all stages of your conversation.
Lack of proper considerations when arranging an interview. Some candidates tend to arrange their interviews without ensuring that they’ll be in a suitable location to take the interview calls. When organizing your phone interview, plan where you will be at the time of the interview. This will ensure you can answer your interview call in a quiet and distract-free location.
Use of slang. Refrain from using colloquialisms during a phone interview such as ‘at the end of the day’ or ‘draw the line.’ Although your interviewer may understand these references, using more formal, professional language can help you stand out.
Make The Interview Interactive
A good interview may be an interactive meeting, where both interviewer and interviewee ask questions and contribute to the discussion. Invite candidates to ask questions they might have about the details of the job. They can ask questions about the salary, responsibilities and opportunities for advancement.
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How To Conduct An Interview: A Step
If you’ve ever seen a great interviewer in action, you may have the impression that it’s easier than it really is. Don’t let that mistaken assumption leave you unprepared! It can be very difficult to ask the right questions in the right way so that you get the answers you need to evaluate a candidate. If you want to make sure you’re ready, this guide will explain how to conduct an interview.
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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Listen Actively And Intentionally
While you want the conversation to flow somewhat naturally, an interview isnt a typical back-and-forth conversation. Your main job in the interview is to listen.
A reasonable benchmark as the interviewer is to aim for the 80/20 rule: 80% listening and 20% talking.
Actively listen for the specific qualities and skills you identified as crucial to the role in advance. And listen for potentialyou may discover motivations or hidden nuggets that didnt show up on their resume.
Sell The Job And Company
The first few minutes of the interview should then be spent providing the candidate with information about the company, what you do, the reasons for hiring and what the role involves. It is just as important for you to sell the opportunity to the candidate as vice versa, as if they do not get a good vibe from you they may look elsewhere.
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Carefully Examine The Job Description
During your prep work, you should use the employers posted job description as a guide. The job description is a list of the qualifications, qualities and background the employer is looking for in an ideal candidate. The more you can align yourself with these details, the more the employer will be able to see that you are qualified. The job description may also give you ideas about questions the employer may ask throughout the interview.
The Best Ways To Prepare For An Interview
A study from JDP reports that applicants spend up to seven hours researching the company before their interview. Many candidates also research their interviewer. Because interviewing is often stressful, 70% of those survey practice their responses out loud, and 62% prepare anecdotes to share with the interviewer.
Here’s how to research the job and company, how to practice interview questions and answers, how to dress for the interview, how to follow up after the interview, and more interview preparation tips.
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What Is A Job Interview
A job interview is a professional meeting between a prospective employee and an organization, company, or business to ask questions about someones qualifications, education, background, and experience. Its an essential part of the hiring process and allows you to understand the content within a candidates cover letter and resume better. Job interviews can take place in person, over the phone, or by video, and depending on the role, you might give one interview or multiple rounds of interviews per candidate.
Allow The Candidates To Ask Questions
A job interview is not just about the interviewer asking questions and the candidate answering. During a job interview, it is important to give the candidate a chance to ask questions about the job and the company. It gives them an opportunity to assess if the position is the right fit for them and also gives us a chance to measure their interest in the job.
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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.
Tell The Candidate What Comes Next
While you shouldnt give any candidate an assessment on the spot, you should give them an indication of what comes next, should their interview be considered a success. At the end of the interview, let the candidate know what the next steps in the process look like, including when they can expect to hear back.
For example, if theres a possibility of a second interview, let them know approximately when that may happen so they can adjust their schedule if needed. After that, thank them for their time and tell them to enjoy the rest of their day!
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Give The Candidate A Chance To Ask Questions
Hopefully youve been leaving space for questions throughout the interview, but it helps to offer some structured time at the end as the interviewee collects their thoughts. Transition the candidate into this phase of the interview by saying, OK, I think Ive gotten everything I need to know at this stage, thank you. Is there anything more you would like me to know? Do you have any questions?
Keep in mind: You dont have to launch into long explanations for every question they ask. You may not even know the answer if the question is highly technical, and its fine to say so. Just make it a point that you will get back to them with an answerand be sure you follow up!