Do Give Your Candidates Questions Before The Interview
Sending out questions before the interview gives you an activity assessment for your candidates. Rather than having the candidate tell you how they feel its important to always be prepared, give them an opportunity to prove it. Additionally, you should be able to have more productive and meaningful conversations because your interviewees should be better prepared.
Some employers value the opportunity to assess whether candidates can think on their feet in the interview process. You can still measure this when you send out interview questions ahead of time. Just be prepared to ask good follow up questions!
Do Research The Employer
The quickest way to fail an interview is to know nothing about the employer or to ask uninformed questions like, What do you do here? Your research should include what the company does, where they are located, who works there, and how they are viewed.
Check the organizations website, as well as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social networks. Also, use a search engine to learn more about them, search on terms like reviews. Read for more ideas.
The best news is that the research will not only prepare you for the interview, including giving you good questions to ask during the interview, it will also give you a better idea if you want to work for the employer. Read 50+ Good Questions to Ask in Interviews for more tips.
Make A Great First Impression
This interview do is broad and all-encompassing. The ultimate goal is to leave a lasting impression. Your interviewer will likely speak to many people during this hiring process. You want to stand out!
There are a few ways you can do this .
However, the best way to stand out is to be personable. Practice your interview questions before the big day and get comfortable speaking about yourself. Do what you can to leave the nerves at the door and focus on being confident and having a good conversation.
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Express Gratitude For The Interview
At the end of the interview, thank the interviewer for giving you the opportunity to be considered. A little gratitude can go a long way, especially if others being interviewed come off as entitled or dont appear to appreciate what the job could offer them. In cases such as this, you can stand out simply because youve thanked the interviewer for their time.
Dont Make Inappropriate Small Talk
You should avoid asking questions about relationships, age, religion, gender and race. These characteristics can create bias and are not conclusively related to how well the candidate will do the job. Theres no harm in small talk, so long as you discuss the weather or whether they found the place easily. However, asking specific questions that delve into their private lives can create bias in the hiring process. For example, if you discuss how they had to drop their young children off at school that morning, you might unconsciously feel less inclined to hire them because of concerns about childcare. They might be more than perfectly capable of carrying out the job, but your unconscious biases may come into play and cause you to believe that they wont be able to fully commit to the job. Who will look after the children in the school holidays? Will the candidate need to leave work early to collect the child from school if theyre feeling ill?
This isnt just discrimination, but in most cases, illegal. Asking questions about the candidates age, religion or other characteristics is incredibly invasive and is not a predictor of their performance. To avoid a lawsuit on your hands, prepare your questions well in advance and get feedback from your colleagues to ensure theyre legal and unbiased.
For more information on bias and diversity in the hiring process, read our blog post: Hiring Managers: How To Hire For Diversity.
Dont Let Any Past Rejections Infringe On Future Ones
Finding a new job can be taxing, make sure you approach every interview as a new opportunity and learn from past interview mistakes. If you have several interviews lined up, try to leave some space between them to ensure you are at your best.
For further interview advice and some examples of competency based questions, please download our full
- what are the top five things you should always do before or during an interview? 1. Do your homework 2. Make a good first impression 3.Listen and respond accordingly 4. Prepare smart, open ended questions to ask the interviewer 5. Sell your strengths and expertise
- what are the top five things you should not do at an interview? 1. Don’t speak poorly about your present or former employers 2. Don’t falsify information 3. Don’t speak over the interviewer 4. Don’t assume it isn’t an interview 5. Don’t let any past rejections infringe on future ones
Dont Fidget During The Interview
Fidgeting is common when youre nervous, but it can also be portrayed as a sign that youre not confident in your abilities. During the interview, take precautions to keep from fidgeting, such as clasping your hands on your lap in front of you or placing a hand on each knee. You want the focus to be on what you have to offer the company, not on your hands that are constantly moving.
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Do Brush Up On The Candidates Job Search Touchpoints
Its always a good idea to walk into the interview prepared. Imagine how embarrassed youd feel if you asked specific questions about their careers, but mixed up two different candidates. You were meant to ask Tony about his experience in Order Fulfillment, not Catherine! This would leave a bad impression of you and create a bad candidate experience, which could cause top-talent to slip through your fingers all because of a daft mistake.
To prevent this from occurring, allocate time to re-read their job search touchpoints before every interview so that your memory is refreshed of each candidates background. Doing so might also prompt some additional questions to ask the candidate about specific projects theyve managed. By personalising each interview, you demonstrate interest and create an excellent candidate experience.
Dont Be Overly Modest
Finally, leave the overt modesty at the door.
Being humble and gracious is always a plus. But this is a job opportunity, and you should spend time talking about what you do well. Interviewers want to know what you have to offer, and they like to see confidence.
Theres a difference between confidence and arrogance. As long as you avoid boastful language you should be just fine. Stick to the facts.
This is your time to shine and put your best foot forward. Dont waste it trying to be super modest. You can be confident while still maintaining a sense of professionalism and respect.
Beware Of Interviewer Errors
While we all may be prone to making snap impressions of someone we meet for the first time, it’s best to curb that impulse during a job interview. Left unchecked, a first impression can cloud everything that happens afterward. Stick to the prepared questions and leave your snap impressions out of the equation.
Similarly, beware of the so-called “halo effect.” This happens when a candidate’s strong point colors the interviewer’s experience. Any single factor shouldn’t influence the entirety of the conversation.
Do your best to approach every candidate interview with an open mind.
Do: Run A Background Check
To prevent a negligent hiring claim, make an offer contingent on passing a background check. Keep in mind your process must comply with local, state, and federal laws that protect applicants and employees from discrimination. This includes getting the candidate’s written permission to do the background check. If there are flags on the background check, be sure that you conduct an individualized assessment by considering how much time has passed since the offense. Also, consider if the offense impacts the job.
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What Not To Do In An Interview
Understanding what not to do in an interview can be pretty self explanatory, but there are always a few things that slip through the cracks. This is especially the case when we get nervous and are not acting like ourselves. Thats why weve put together a few interview donts so you can give the best first impression possible.
Keep Your Cellphone Quiet
There are just some places where you dont want your cellphone to go off and a job interview is one. Before walking into the building, put your phone on silent. During the interview itself, keep it in your bag or pocket, or set it next to you. Holding your phone in your hands the whole time can make you want to fidget with it, which can distract the interviewer. It might also make them wonder if your phone will get in the way of doing the job, which could be a huge turn-off.
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Practice With A Mock Interview
The more you practice doing something, the more comfortable you feel. The same is true with job interviews. Ask a family member or friend to go through a mock interview with you. Go through each step as if it were the real thing. If you cant find someone to practice with, look for other options. For instance, students at Ultimate Medical Academy have access to our Career Services team which can do a practice interview with you.
Do: Make Reasonable Adjustments
Under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010, employers must make reasonable adjustments to the work environment to allow employees with a disability to work productively and safely. In terms of the interview setting, some common examples of reasonable adjustments may involve the following:
- Allowing a sign language interpreter to attend the interview.
- Providing wheelchair access.
- Allowing extra time for a candidate to complete assessments.
- Offering further assistance when a test takes place on a computer.
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Interview Do’s And Don’ts
Regulations and US Law provide extensive protection against discrimination in employment. Many companies and organizations you will encounter state explicitly that they follow Equal Opportunity Employer guidelines. Basically, this means that they do not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, marital status, religion, or sexual orientation, to name just a few of the classes protected by federal and/or state laws.
The Persons with Disabilities Acts also specifically protects people with physical or mental disabilities or handicaps in addition to providing special accommodations for them . Because of these laws, organizations are increasingly careful about the way in which they ask questions in interviewing no one wants to be the subject of a lawsuit claiming discriminatory hiring practices. Generally, employers must focus on what they need to know to ascertain whether the candidate is capable of doing the job. All questions must be directly relevant to the job for which the candidate is applying.
While no specific federal, state or local entity specifically provides a list of illegal interview questions, there is sufficient precedent in court rulings, legislative decisions, regulations, and constitutional laws to govern certain categories of questions. Some of these questions may be perfectly acceptable outside of the US and so, may appear to be benign.
Talk About Your Strengths And Your Weaknesses
Being able to confidently talk about your strengths is a green flag for an interviewer, but you may also be asked about your weaknesses. Discussing a weakness may seem uncomfortable or awkward in an interview, and not every interviewer will ask a related question, but its always good to prepare. A great way to use this to your advantage is to explain how you want to turn this weakness into a strength by working for the company youre interviewing for. This will impress the interviewer.
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Essential Interview Tips For Employers
- Human Resources
In today’s tight labor market, preparation for the interview process can be especially crucial for employers and hiring teams. The process of interviewing candidates not only drives the search for a great new hire, but it also offers an opportunity for you to portray your business as a coveted “employer of choice.”
Effective interview tips for employers focus on a wide range of factors. These can include:
- Adequate preparation beforehand
- Finding ways to engage the candidate on a personal level
- Standardizing the interview approach for all candidates
- Asking open-ended questions
- Watching out for job interview “red flags”
Focusing on effective interview strategies may tilt the odds in your favor of finding qualified candidates for your open position.
Create A List Of Questions
Utilize the same questions for each candidate you interview for your position. Try to avoid yes or no questions and keep the questions open to allow a candidate to express their thoughts and ideas. This will give you a better understanding of how well they communicate and present themselves under pressure.
Keep in mind, this is not an interrogation, this is a conversation about work responsibilities.
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Do Let The Candidate Ask Questions
A job interview is as much an assessment of you and your organisation than it is of them. Due to this, its usually commonplace to switch roles at the end of the interview and allow the candidate to ask you questions. This should be encouraged rather than resisted it allows them to get a clearer picture of what it would be like to work you. A candidate that asks a lot of questions demonstrates their interest in the role, compared to a candidate that has no questions to ask and is clearly more incentivised by the higher salary.
To answer your candidates questions in a succinct manner requires preparation. You should brush up on your knowledge of the organisation before the interview to prevent yourself from being tongue-tied because of an unexpected question. Failure to provide effective and informative answers could result in top-talent slipping through your fingers.
Keep in mind that candidates that only ask about hours and salary are more likely to be clock-watchers. They may be able to ace their responsibilities, but they certainly wont go above and beyond or contribute much else.
Dont Brush Off Your Weaknesses
Youre supposed to talk about your strengths during an interview. But that doesnt mean you should brush weaknesses aside. Be upfront about them and address those shortcomings head-on.
Interviewers will appreciate the honesty. You can highlight how youve changed and what youve done to work on those weaknesses. It could be a bad experience, an old termination in your work history, a hole in your skillset, etc.
Whatever the case may be, find a way to address it and put a positive spin. This is your opportunity to handle any potentially negative impacts those weaknesses might have before it becomes something that affects your chances of getting a job offer.
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Dont Ask Personal Questions
Be careful of what is discussed in the initial moments of the interview. It is common to attempt to ask about family or area of living and transportation but these questions should be avoided if possible. Let the interviewee bring these items up if they wish to discuss them. If these items are discussed they cannot be considered job-related and cannot be used when reviewing a candidate for the position.
Dont Chew Gum Or Suck On Candies
Are you someone who always has a stick of gum in your mouth? Or maybe you like to suck on candies when you feel nervous? Both of these can distract the interviewer, especially if it causes you to make smacking or sucking noises. Spit out your gum before walking into the building or, if you have candy in your mouth, either chew it up and swallow it or spit it out too. If your breath is a concern, brush your teeth right before the interview to freshen it up.
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Take Extra Copies Of Your Resume
Your interviewer will likely have your resume before them. However, there are times when this doesnt happen, such as if your resume was misplaced or if youre being interviewed by a panel of people and they didnt make enough copies for everyone. Having extra copies with you shows that you want the interviewer or interviewers to know your qualifications. It also shows that youre prepared.
Set The Candidate At Ease
A job interview can be stressful. Setting candidates at ease â something as simple as offering them a glass of water â could help them be more comfortable and open about themselves, which in turn can lead to a more fruitful interview.
As you get started, offer a brief introduction of what you want to achieve, give an indication of the proposed length of the interview, and let them know if there will be time afterward for their questions.
Setting the scene as described above is a way to build rapport with your potential employee, sets the tone for the forthcoming interview, and has the potential to uncover a candidate’s most heartfelt responses. The result is a more authentic view of the candidate’s personality, rather than a situation where he or she feels on edge, and tries to give the answers they think you want to hear.
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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: