So you’ve had a crazy day, with a million deadlines and a thousand small crises. Now you have to interview candidates for a critical position that you need to fill. If you don’t have a human resources department to guide you along, here are some tips for interviewing someone and for conducting a job interview — from the other side of the desk.
Nine Tips for Interviewers
Remember that during the interview process, candidates are deciding whether they want to work for you just as much as you’re trying to decide whether to hire them. You have only about an hour to make a good impression on the candidate and to obtain the critical information you need about their skills, experience and personality.
As you gather the latest insights about today’s job seekers, here are nine tips for interviewing someone that you can use to prepare for your next interview:
1. Make a List of Questions That Directly Relate to the Job’s Responsibilities
If you don’t have a job description, then list the key responsibilities of the position, and create a list of questions that relate to those responsibilities. If you have time, reach out to employees in your company who interact with this position on a daily basis for their input.
2. Ask Behavioral Questions
Behavioral questions are a great way to tap into a candidate’s potential to fit into your organization. Ask for specific examples of past performance and behavior, with questions such as “tell me about a time when you…” Previous successes are a good indicator of future performance.
3. Review the Candidate’s Resume Before the Interview
This may seem obvious, but by preparing your interview questions and reviewing the resume, you’re showing the candidate that you’ve taken the time to ensure a productive interview. It also saves your time and can help you to avoid any potentially embarrassing questions based on a misread of the resume during the interview.
4. Outline the Interview Structure for the Candidate
Give the candidate a roadmap for the interview as you get started. Begin with a brief description of the company and the job duties. Then let the applicant know that you will be asking job-related questions, followed by an opportunity for the candidate to ask questions. Providing this structure early on sets up the parameters of the interview, keeps you both focused, and gives the candidate an idea of what to expect.
5. Don’t Talk Too Much During the Interview Process
Hiring managers should only talk about 30 percent of the time. Allow candidates time to describe their skills and qualifications during the interview. Make sure to get to all of your questions and that you haven’t missed anything to avoid the need for additional follow up.
6. Extend Professional Courtesies
Offer candidates a glass of water, and ask if they had difficulty finding the place. Be on time. Consider giving them a tour of the office. Give them an opportunity to speak with other team members or prospective coworkers, if appropriate.
7. Watch Nonverbal Signals
Just as you’re looking for eye contact and appropriate dress, the candidate is looking for those unspoken signals from you. Be sure your tone of voice is appropriate and professional. Clearly articulate the job’s duties and the company’s mission. Dress as you normally would and pay attention to manners. You’re a representative of your company and department, so make sure your actions reflect this.
8. While Being Polite and Professional, Don’t Get Too Chummy
Keep all of your questions job-related. If you spend the interview chatting, you may make a hiring decision because you liked the candidate versus whether the person is truly qualified for the job.
9. Whether It’s by Email or Phone, Follow Up
It’s important to let candidates know whether they got the job. This is one more way of extending a professional courtesy and gives the interview process closure for both sides.
Need More Tips for Interviewing Someone?
The hiring process is hardly a walk in the park, and the job interview may very well be the trickiest part. But the good news is that you have an expert who’s willing and ready to help. With Monster, you can get free access to cutting-edge hiring resources — from interview insights to job market trends, and more — to ensure that your business is attracting and hiring top-level talent.