- May 26th, 2014
The Internet abounds with suggestions on how to give a great interview. What may be harder to find are tips on how to conduct an excellent interview. The emphasis tends to be on landing a job with a stellar interview, but if you’re a company hiring new recruits, you may need some advice on asking the right questions to find the best new employees. Here we’ve compiled some helpful dos and don’ts to give you a leg up on the interviewing process.
DO ask general, personal questions to start off.
To get the best answers out of an interviewee, you’ll want them to be comfortable and relaxed, ready to present their best self. Instead of firing off intense, work-related questions, ease them into the interview process by beginning with easier, personal questions. You might ask where they grew up, where they attended university, or even ask a more open-ended query, such as their overall career goals.
DON’T ask questions without truly listening.
Many interviewers make the mistake of securing a list of questions, but then failing to genuinely listen to the interviewee’s responses. Take notes if it will help you, but make sure you’re maintaining eye contact and really listening. Prospective employees will tell you a lot through their interview answers. Make sure you’re not simply reading off questions.
DO encourage the interviewee to ask questions.
A great candidate will be curious about the position available, and should come prepared with some insightful questions about the position. Be encouraging about this, and give the interviewee plenty of opportunity to approach you and the rest of the interview panel with his or her questions. Provide thoughtful answers to the prospective employee’s questions, and try to give them the best sense of the position and company as possible.
DON’T hold onto rigid expectations.
Although in the hiring process you will likely know what you’re looking for in a potential candidate, you should be open to the fact that this candidate may not come in the expected package. It’s important to keep an open mind and remain flexible when interviewing recruits, as you may find what your company needs in a surprising individual. Remaining flexible and engaged in the interview process might help you find an ideal employee for the open position, or may give you ideas about a different position. You never know who you will encounter in an interview setting.
DO have a list of specific questions.
Prior to the interview, jot down a list of questions you plan to ask the candidate(s). This will help you stay on track during the interview and keep you from missing any important points you hope to cover. A list of questions can also give the interview process a nice flow, and provide a logical endpoint. Of course, remain open to the possibility of new questions that may occur to you, or ways in which the interview could take a different turn. Different approaches often work better for different candidates.
DO allow the interviewee to guide the process somewhat.
Though you have your prepared list of questions, your interview prospect may have certain areas they wish to speak about extensively or certain subjects that take more time. Don’t force the list of questions if the interviewee has a good deal to say elsewhere. You might get the answers and information you need when you let them guide the conversation. It’s always good to keep the interview as much like a dialogue as possible. This keeps the candidate and interviewer relaxed and makes the time as productive and informative as possible.