At its core, an interview is a conversation. It’s an opportunity for you to learn more about the candidate and understand their motivations for applying for the position. However, many employers cannot easily discern whether they’ve found the ideal candidate. If this sounds familiar, here are some tips to guide you when conducting an interview.
Be Time Conscious
One of the critical steps in conducting an interview is that time is of the essence. You don’t want your interviewee to feel rushed or uncomfortable, so allow them adequate time for their responses. It’s also essential to avoid distractions from e-mail notifications, phone calls, or disruptions from other staff. Doing this can significantly lower stress levels for both parties.
Build Rapport With the Interviewee
Consider building rapport with your interviewee, as this will make it easier for them to open up and be honest. You can get the interviewee to relax by talking about something familiar. For example, ask about their background and interests; this way, you can also get an idea of bio-data without being too direct.
It’s also helpful to introduce yourself as a sign of courtesy and mention something about your organization and the recruitment process. This will help set the stage for the interview.
Use a Mix of Open and Closed Questions
Since you’ll likely be interviewing various candidates, you will interact with different personalities. It’s best to use a mix of open and closed questions. Some may feel more comfortable responding with a simple yes or no answer, while others might provide more detailed responses to open-ended questions.
Closed-ended questions are good for gauging the candidate’s knowledge and skills. Open-ended questions are better for getting a feel of the candidate’s personality and work ethic. When asking close-ended questions that require a yes or no or other limited response, it’s often best to follow up with an open-ended question to ensure that you fully understand the reasoning behind their answer.
Prepare Follow-Up Questions in Advance
After getting the interviewee’s answers, it’s time to consider how you can further interrogate their thoughts and feelings. This is a great time to throw in follow-up questions. You can use a variety of approaches: open-ended, closed, or both.
Give Candidates a Chance to Ask Questions
It’s only fair to allow candidates to ask questions even as they respond to your queries. This will help them assess whether the position and the company are a good fit for them. Their inquiries will assist you in determining whether candidates are genuinely interested in the position and have appropriately prepared for the interview.
Conclude the Interview
Once done, always give an estimate of how long it will take to make a final decision. Giving a timeframe for when applicants can expect to hear from you on the outcome or the next phase of the hiring process gives them peace of mind.
The most important thing to remember is that you have the power to make a difference in your interviewees’ lives. With careful preparation, you can use these tips for conducting an interview to improve the quality of your interviews and reduce uncertainty about whether or not your candidate is suitable for the job.