Conducting an interview:
Our guide to conducting a job interview will make the search for your next employee easier. This guide covers everything from what questions you should ask in the interview process itself, helping your business find the right person for the role.
Preparation is key! From your greeting to the final question, make sure you have all bases covered.
Understand & know what you are looking for:
Before the interview starts, it is important that you know what you’re looking for in a candidate. You need more than a well-written job description.
- Think about how your ideal employee would behave in the role. As the interviewer, you need to ask interview questions that test your interviewee against your expectations.
- Writing a checklist of these expectations will help you compare interviewees and make it easier for you to decide on who to employ.
What questions to ask:
It is essential you prepare a list of relevant questions for the interview. The balance of question types is equally important.
- You should include competency questions to see how the candidate would approach the role.
- Character questions test how the candidate will fit with your team.
- Asking about career goals lets you learn what motivates your candidate.
- Remember to ask open questions – these can’t be answered with a yes or no and it will encourage the candidate to talk in more detail.
Prepare beyond the job interview:
Please don’t underestimate the importance of the little details when Conducting an interview. You want your candidate to be comfortable enough to show their true personality.
Check the interview room, for example:
- Is it private and comfortable?
- Do you have water on the table? Or will you offer tea or coffee beforehand?
- Did you remember a spare pen?
Introducing candidates to your team members before or after the interview is a great way to see how they interact with people from your business. It also allows the candidate a chance to learn more about your business.
Practice makes perfect:
Running through your questions and expectations with a colleague before an interview will boost your confidence. It is always worth asking a second team member to join you in the interview to take notes. This gives you more time to focus on the interviewee and respond to their answers.
Make it a conversation:
A job interview can be an insightful and enjoyable experience for both the candidate and the interviewer. Help your candidate get the most out of the interview by putting them at ease at the start. Conversational questions will help you get to know the candidate and encourage them to talk freely before the more challenging interview questions begin.
As the interviewer, you will be thinking about your questions and how to guide the job interview. Remember that your aim is to learn about the candidate. A popular rule is to talk about 20% of the time and listen for 80% of the interview. Silence can be unnerving but give your candidate time to think about how to answer your questions and resist the urge to break the silence yourself.
You should also encourage the candidate to ask their own questions, during the interview and at the end.
Be aware of ‘unconscious bias’:
As the saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover. You get your first impression of someone in just seven seconds and this is driven by your unconscious brain.
When running a job interview, it’s important that you are aware of this bias. Remind yourself not to make your final decision too quickly. Stick to your planned questions and use a standardised checklist to give every candidate a fair chance.
Don’t promise what you can’t deliver:
It’s natural to want to paint a positive picture of the job on offer. However, be careful not to oversell or misrepresent the role or your company.
The CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) describes this conversation in an interview as a “psychological contract”. If the reality of the role is different
to the expectations set at interview then the psychological contract will be broken, which can lead to a new hire leaving.
Consider the next steps:
Conducting an interview process doesn’t stop when the candidate leaves the room. Put yourself in their shoes and think about how they experience the next steps.
- You should tell them when they can expect to hear back with a decision and let them know if there are any delays in the process.
- Don’t rush into a final decision during the interview itself.
- Take time to review all your candidates and how they have performed during the interview before updating everyone on the outcome.
Always be willing to offer constructive feedback should a candidate request it. One of the biggest complaints we hear is the lack of feedback when a candidate has been unsuccessful. They are looking for this feedback to help develop and improve themselves.
To find out how Verus Recruitment could help your business find the best people, please feel free to get in touch.