If you are a recruiter, there’s one part of the job you can’t avoid – interviewing candidates. If you thought going through an interview is tough, wait till you are sitting on the other side of the desk – conducting the interview.
Conducting an interview is not as easy as it looks.
And that is why we will look at some tips on how to interview someone.
This is a crucial part, not just of the recruiting process, but of the productivity of your organization as well. After all, the candidate you pick will become part of the production process of your organization.
It’s not a simple issue of asking random questions, however.
You have to be strategic in the way you ask your questions. Questions that will reveal more about your candidate than meets the eye.
What exactly are you looking for in your candidate?
3 Things to Look for When Interviewing a Candidate
Before the interviews, applicants were screened by vetting their letters. And those that remain all have the potential of filling the post your company advertised.
But in most cases, most of the remaining candidates are too many for the post(s).
And that is why you have to carry out interviews – to get the best candidate to fill the vacancy in your organization.
So what exactly do you look for when conducting the interview?
One of the most important values you need in a candidate is a good character. And that is one of the reasons for conducting a job interview.
Although most of the intellectual capabilities of the candidates are evident in the cover letter and resume, the candidate’s character cannot be conveyed by paper.
This is why some of the questions you ask in the interview should help reveal the candidate’s character.
Another reason for conducting an interview is to determine the competence levels in your candidates. This will help you select the right fit for your organization.
Even though the resume and cover letter include the candidate’s experience and abilities, it’s always best to ascertain the claims the written documents present by asking the right interview questions.
The interview also helps you to see just how confident your candidate is.
Confidence is a great quality as it also helps reveal that the candidate believes in themselves and their ability to do the job in a satisfactory manner.
Confident people are also usually self-driven and take initiative when situations call for it.
The interview process is one of the most important aspects of any organization as it determines the quality of the workforce that will drive the organization forward.
Carrying out an effective interview exposes potential red flags, reveals the strengths, weaknesses, and personality of candidates and also helps you verify the qualifications, skills, and abilities of your potential employees.
10 Tips on How to Interview a Someone Effectively
As said earlier, an interview is not just about asking questions for the sake of asking questions. It has to be a strategic process that will help you select the right candidate for the job.
So how do you interview a person effectively? The best way is to be prepared for the interview.
Let me give you 10 tips to help you be prepared for an effective interview.
1. Create a Clear Job Description
The interview does not start in the interview room, it starts with the way you present the job listing. It has to clearly explain the position and the required skills, experience, and abilities.
This does not mean you have to explain everything about the job, keep it brief by listing the essential skills needed.
A well-crafted job description will help you attract the right candidates and also help you prepare the right interview questions.
2. Use the Job Description as a Roadmap
A proper job description will help you create the base from which you will direct your interview. Not only will it help you have a good starting point but it will also help you build questions that are directly related to the job. This will also help the interviewee be better prepared for the interview. After all, the interview is not about making the candidate fail.
3. Write Down Your Questions
No matter how many interviews you have conducted, and how confident you may feel in asking the questions, it’s always advisable to write down your questions.
Flying blind is one sure way to reveal your weakness as an interviewer and increases your chances of getting off track.
Writing down your questions also helps you to ask each candidate the same questions. This ensures consistency and an equal platform to rate all candidates fairly.
4. Make the Interviewee Comfortable
Before you start the interview, make your candidate comfortable. A warm handshake and smile are good enough to start with. Then ask the candidate how they are, offer them s refreshment like tea, coffee, or water, and give them directions to the restrooms.
Once the interview is underway, maintain the comfortable atmosphere by taking a conversational approach to the interview.
Don’t fire them with questions.
The best way to conduct an interview is to be as natural as possible. Even if you have your questions scripted, don’t be a robot.
This will allow the candidate to relax and feel free to be open. The result is that they will better articulate themselves.
5. Take Notes During the Interview
Once the interview is one, be sure to take notes.
Especially if you are interviewing a number of candidates, you’ll want to have a way of keeping track of each one and help you have a reference for each candidate’s interview session.
Taking notes will also help you recall specific details such as dates and numbers.
It’s unfortunate, but people tend to exaggerate or cook up events, especially when they are desperate for a job.
Taking notes will help you get the truth out of your interviewees by comparing your notes to the resume and cover letter and also by following up on the questions at a later stage of the interview.
It’s difficult for people to remember details they have just invented.
6. Ask Appropriate (Legal) Questions
Yes, not all questions are legal when conducting an interview, even for the sake of breaking the ice.
Avoid asking about the candidate’s religion, race, political affiliation, and other questions that are personal. This can put you and your organization in trouble.
Make sure you know which interview questions are illegal and which are legal or appropriate for the interview.
If, however, a candidate volunteers information about a question that would be illegal to ask, it is best to steer away from the topic – diplomatically of course and without sounding any alarms.
7. Be Detailed and Specific When Enquiring
About Past Positioning
Especially when enquiring about short-term roles, try to get as much information as possible about why your candidate left – and more especially if they’ve really been job hopping.
Their responses will reveal a lot about their character. If in their response, they complain about their previous bosses and workmates, that’s a red flag right there. It’s an indicator that your candidate is difficult to get along with.
If they have complaints about their past roles, then they’ll definitely have co plaints about the role you are offering.
That brings us to our next point in interviewing a person effectively.
8. Listen and Look Well
Want to know how to interview someone effectively?
The key is not just asking the right questions, but listening well as well.
The right way to interview is to carefully listen to your candidate’s responses, whatever they have to say, and everything in between.
Besides listening to the words, watch their body language for clues. Body language will tell you a lot about your candidate, it can even help you tell if they are being honest with you or not.
Body language in an interview is very important and as an interviewer, you should be able to read it well.
9. Give the Candidate the Opportunity to Ask Questions
Don’t make the interview about yourself. Give the candidate the opportunity to ask their own questions and express some concerns that they have.
This is important if you are to avoid grievances that will be brought up after you have already hired the person. An interview is the right setting to iron out everything between you and your candidate as long as it is related to the position they applied for.
10. Close the Interview on a Good Note
Regardless of the outcome of the interview, try to close the interview on a good note for both parties. This will leave both you open for future communication.
How to Interview a Person – The Right Information Will Give You the Right Candidate
An interview, conducted well, will tell you a lot about the candidate’s work ethic, job history, future career aspirations, and even their expectations of your company. All this information will help you select a candidate that will be the right fit for your company and avoid a lot of grief down the road.