Interviewing Candidates for Your Open Position

Interviewing Candidates For Your Open Position

Chances are you have been through the interview process at one time or another. As scary as it is to interview for a new job, it can be just as intimidating for the person conducting the interview. I have been on both sides of the desk, so to speak, and have found that conducting a good interview does not come as naturally as you might think. In fact, many hiring managers fear interviewing and hiring.

Most of the time, you find yourself face to face with a stranger, and if you are not prepared, there can be a lot of awkward silence. The following tips have helped me to conduct better interviews. I hope they will make yours more productive and a positive experience for both you and the candidate.

Be prepared. Have a list of qualifications and key responsibilities for the position alongside a list of questions relating to those responsibilities. Review the candidate’s resume before the interview. This demonstrates you have taken time to learn a little something about them. A prepared interviewer improves the odds of hiring the best person for the job by putting the candidate at ease while presenting a positive image of the company.

Make the candidate feel welcome. Offer them a glass of water or coffee. Introduce them to anyone else attending the interview. If it is a group interview, make sure the candidate knows in advance. It is uncomfortable to walk into an interview unaware there will be a group of people instead of just one.

Be conversational. Make the process feel like a conversation between friends. Ask about their hobbies and interests to break the ice and get them to be more open. Ask the candidate about their skills and qualifications, and allow them time to tell you about their past employment history.

Ask open-ended questions. Ask questions such as “tell me about a time when you …” or ask for specific examples of past performance or behaviors. This allows you to see how the candidate handles particular situations that may arise.

Look for nonverbal clues. Nonverbal clues can indicate the level of the candidate’s interest and honesty. Watching their facial expressions, body movements, posture, and eye contact are especially important and can communicate many things, including interest or hostility to certain situations.

Follow up. Whether by email or phone, follow up to let the candidate know the status of their application, regardless of whether they got the job or not. Let them know when you expect to have a decision and if the search period has been extended. These are professional courtesies that leave a good impression of your company.

By following these simple tips consistently, you can identify candidates who are best suited for the position and will help you build a high-performing team for your company.

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