21 Tips for Interviewers (Plus 5 Interview Techniques)
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Effective interviewing requires practice and preparation. By preparing your interview questions ahead of time, you can ensure that you ask the right questions as they relate to the open position. This helps you stay organised and on task, assisting you in selecting the best candidates for the company. In this article, we discuss tips for interviewers and interview techniques to consider.
21 tips for interviewers
Here are some tips for interviewers to consider as you prepare to conduct an interview:
1. Understand the details of the position
Ensure you understand the requirements of the job so you can best select the ideal candidate. Before you schedule interviews, discuss the position with team members or the new hire's manager or consider shadowing the department for a day. This may help you better understand the qualifications, skills and traits an ideal candidate for the position needs.
2. Conduct a pre-interview
Use a pre-interview, such as a brief phone or video interview, to learn more about candidates. This can help you narrow down your options to ensure you only invite the most qualified candidates for in-person interviews. Ask the candidate questions about their interests and qualifications.
3. Review the resume before the interview
Review the candidate's resume before you interview them. This helps you focus on the candidate better during the interview and provides you with the option to note any questions you want to ask them. For example, you may notice a gap in employment or a specific work experience that you'd like them to address.
4. Rehearse the interview
Consider rehearsing the interview to ensure you're comfortable with the process. Try practising asking questions in front of a mirror. Look for opportunities in everyday life to practise your handshake or improve your active listening skills.
5. Maintain organisation
Being organised can help you effectively manage multiple potential candidates. Consider creating a document to help you monitor where each candidate is in the recruiting process, and think about creating a file for each applicant with their resume, cover letter, interview notes and other important documents. Also, be sure to schedule interviews with enough time in between to review your notes and consider what you learned.
6. Open with big questions
Start the interview with big questions about the position, such as if it requires non-traditional work hours or relocating to a distant location. If you included these questions on the application, it's a good idea to ask again to verify the candidate's answers. This helps gauge a candidate's interest and receive agreement regarding important stipulations.
7. Be creative
Try creative techniques to evaluate how a candidate reacts to different situations. For example, you may schedule some group interviews, have candidates complete example tasks or include role-playing scenarios. This may provide you with a better understanding of the candidate's skills and represent the company culture to the candidate.
8. Limit small talk
Limit making small talk with candidates. This helps prevent asking questions that may be too personal or provide you with information you cannot legally use when making a hiring decision. Instead, try to focus your conversations on the job and the candidate's experience.
9. Ask about more than experience
Learning about a candidate's experience is important, but it's important to learn more about their soft skills, too. Consider asking questions about their dependability, morals, professional goals or work ethic. Similarly, you may ask questions about problems they've previously solved at work.
10. Use behavioural interview questions
Behavioural interview questions help you evaluate a candidate's potential performance and success. These questions help you assess their soft skills, such as communication or problem-solving. Asking these questions often involves asking a candidate to tell you about a time they did something, such as working with others or missing a deadline.
11. Ask open-ended questions
Open-ended questions are questions that a candidate cannot answer with a simple yes or no. Instead, these questions encourage candidates to provide longer responses. This allows you to gather more information about the candidate.
12. Take notes
Take notes during your interview. Make note of specific words or phrases that may help you remember a candidate's answers or things you want to ask them about more. This may help you remember important details at the end of or after the interview.
13. Consider the value of each interviewee
During an interview, you may discover a candidate is not the right fit for the job they're currently seeking. However, they may add value to the company in other ways. Before ending the interview, think about other open positions they may qualify for, and consider telling the candidate about them.
14. Designate time for questions
Be sure you have enough time in your interview for the candidate to ask you questions. Encourage candidates to ask you questions about the company in general or the specific position. Be sure you're prepared to discuss topics like the expectations of the position, company benefits or training programmes.
15. Discuss the next steps
Establish your clear hiring processes before the interview to discuss the process with the candidate. Share what the next step in the process is and when they could expect the company to make a decision. This is courteous to candidates and provides them with an understanding of when to expect an answer about their status.
16. Involve other team members
Consider including other team members in the interview process. This may include introducing candidates to team members or inviting team members to take part in the interview. Ask these team members for their feedback about the candidates.
17. Follow up with all candidates
Provide all candidates with an update about their status. While many candidates will follow up with you about an update, it's polite to inform all candidates once you fill the position. In general, a personal email is a satisfactory update.
18. Recognise your strengths and weaknesses
Think about your strengths and weaknesses as an interviewer. After each interview, think about ways you could improve your skills. Use this as a guide to motivate yourself to become a more effective and successful interviewer.
19. Review samples before the interview
Revise samples of the candidate's work before you speak to them. For example, you may review their portfolio or specific pieces the candidates submitted. This gives you a better understanding of their abilities and may provide you with a reference point of what to discuss during the interview.
20. Prepare a list of questions
Write a list of questions before the interview. Reference the job description when preparing your list, and consider speaking to the position's manager about what to ask. Use this list as a guide during your interview to ensure you learn the right things about a candidate.
21. Learn about biases
It's important for you to evaluate each candidate without bias or judgment. Learn more about unconscious biases or prejudices that may affect your decision-making. Becoming more aware of your biases may help you work to ignore them when interviewing to ensure you pick the best candidate.
Top 5 interview techniques
Here are the top five interview techniques you may use to help you choose the right candidate for a job:
1. Traditional interview
A traditional interview involves asking a candidate about their experience and skills to assess how well they meet the requirements of a position. Traditional interviews are often one-on-one interviews, but they may also be group or panel interviews. However, these interviews may require a lot of time and resources. They may also be ineffective at evaluating soft skills and weaknesses and can allow for recruitment bias.
2. Virtual interview
A virtual interview is often similar to a traditional interview, but the participants meet virtually rather than speaking face to face. These interviews may be over the phone, but they typically require using a video conferencing platform. While virtual interviews may be convenient and provide flexibility through the interviewing process, they may limit your ability to read a candidate's body language and facial expressions.
3. Casual interview
A casual interview involves meeting with a candidate at a location other than the office, most often meeting them at a restaurant to share a meal. This allows you to view how candidates behave in casual settings, evaluate their communication and social skills and learn more about their personalities. A casual interview may also make a candidate feel special, making a good impression.
4. Selling the job interview
A selling the job interview focuses on highlighting a company's unique benefits and values to persuade a candidate that your organisation is right for them. This type of interview is most common when recruiting for C-level or executive positions. It involves discussing a company's benefits, opportunities for growth, history, mission and vision and how these unique features could benefit the candidate specifically.
5. Job simulation
A job simulation interview, or a job audition, requires a candidate to complete a task as they would if you hired them. This allows you to observe the candidate's skill set and performance to determine if they would succeed in the position. Similarly, this allows the candidate to better evaluate how much they would enjoy this job.
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