Preparing for an interview is not just done by the interviewee but also by the interviewer. As an interviewer you need to understand your candidate’s profile first and prepare your set of questions in order to keep a focused interview. It is also your gesture of respect to your interviewee – knowing your candidate’s basic info based from their resume will help you create more relevant questions to screen them if they are a good fit or not.
I have set out in three stages, ways of conducting an interview. Read on to get the best practices on how to make it effective:
Before the day of interview
- Confirm that the candidate you scheduled successfully passed the requirements for the position to be filled. Skim through their resumes again, or check your records and look for the candidate who’s scheduled for an interview.
- Review the job description for the role, make sure that your questions revolve around this to get the right fit for the role. Do not be deceived with your candidate’s impressive resume and smooth rapport during the interview. Preparing a set of questions or sample work to assess a candidate is advised. As they say, if you want to hire a cook, he should know how to cook.
- Identify the criteria your candidate should meet. This can be their level of communication skills, tone, confidence, work ethics, and body language.
- Read through your candidate’s resume, look for red flags and prepare questions to uncover them. Be ready for follow-up questions to better understand them.
Day of the interview
- Be professional and be on time. You are creating your company’s first impression by making sure you don’t leave your candidate waiting. If it’s a video call, make sure you make yourself available at least 10-15 minutes before the call itself. Show up in the room before your candidate does.
- Introduce yourself and your colleagues (if you have someone to help you conduct the interview) to the interviewee and set expectations on how the hiring process works.
- Some candidates would come in for an interview so nervous that they often experience mental block. Have an ice-breaker ready to help the candidate feel at ease. It can be a question on how they began their day or how they feel about being interviewed.
- Observe the candidate on how well they adapt from being nervous to being calm. This would show you how they can handle stress and their level of adaptability.
- Watch your candidate’s body language. Learn to read and interpret body language beforehand – you will find it handy and useful. Knowing how a candidate carries themselves before and during the interview will help you identify key behavior and attitude.
- Throw in your questions as you prepared. Make sure to take down important notes. Be watchful of their responses. Ideally, a candidate should answer your questions using the STAR approach. (We’ll talk more on this in my other blogs)
- Wrap up your interview by sharing them an overview of your organization – history, what you do, benefits, and so on.
After the Interview
- Encourage the candidate to ask questions. Make sure to respond to them accordingly.
- Set expectations about the next steps of the hiring process, how long should the candidate wait for the results or how to reach you if they have further questions.
- Debrief with your colleagues once the candidate leaves so you can come up with the decision whether to move the candidate to the next level or not while the information and the conversation with them is still fresh.
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