How you conduct an interview is vital to the success of the hiring process, the success, and employee retention of the company. Successfully interviewing candidates takes practice, preparation, and skill.
The ultimate purpose of an interview is to evaluate if the candidate is right for the role, company, and culture as it is for the candidate to evaluate whether or not the company is a right fit for them.
The aim is to find the right fit in which value will be added to both the company and the candidate’s future success. Placing candidates that are the wrong fit ultimately costs the company valuable time and financial expenses.
When interviewing job candidates, you want to determine what sort of people they are, how good their interpersonal skills are, how they might react under stress, whether they have the skills for the job, and what value they can bring to the company.
Here are the 7 must-do’s for an interview.
Set aside plenty of time to prepare for the interview, not only will this make the process run smoothly it will also allow you to find the best way to transmit your company values and culture. Remember that how a candidate feels about the company is just as important. Read through the candidates resume, and plan questions you wish to ask that will best determine if they are the right fit for that specific role. Be clear on the job description and duties. Make notes of any questions you may have from the candidate’s resume.
2. Create a stress-free environment
You want to give your candidates a chance to show off their best qualities. It can be difficult to perform well under some stress. You may want to inform the candidate of how they can prepare in advance and give them some interview guidelines, eg. What type of attire will be suitable for the interview so they know what to expect. This will help them feel more comfortable so they can show up in their best light. It is also important to keep note of your body language. You should aim to sit in a relaxed position, make eye contact frequently, and don’t fidget. Remember to maintain good eye contact. This proves your seriousness towards the interview and most importantly shows them you care.
3. Introduce yourself and set the scene
Introduce yourself and welcome the candidate, greeting them courteously, showing respect, and helping to put them at ease. Tell them something about yourself and the company, you could ask them how their day is going so far, this will help to break the ice. Explain the interview process and how long it will most likely take. This will show you are organised and know what you are expecting.
4. Talk about the company and the role
This is the time to take a few minutes and sell the company, be specific about the background of the company, what the values are and what vision it has. Be detailed about the role, what it entails and what is required. Deliver the most accurate description of the business, company culture, and role as possible. This will allow you to draw in the candidate, develop their interest in the role and see if it is something they are interested in.
5. Start the pre-prepared questions
Now is the time you delve into the questions that are prepared, The types of questions you ask, play one of the most important roles in the hiring process. It’s important to ask about the candidate’s interest in the position, find out who they are, how they deal with situations, what value they added in the past to a position, and what they can bring to this one. Avoid asking questions with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers, you have limited time to really get to know the candidate and find out if they will be an asset to the company. Make sure to listen attentively to the candidate so you can easily ask follow-up questions related to what they have said.
6. Welcome questions from the candidates
Applicants should be given the chance both to answer your questions and to ask questions of their own to determine if the job and the company are right for them. Their questions can help you assess whether candidates have adequately prepared for the interview and are genuinely interested in the job. Confidently answering questions asked to you means it’s vital you know all aspects of the position. This is beneficial for both you and the candidate.
7. What is expected next
Once both you and the candidate are satisfied with the interview, it’s time to explain the next steps of the process. Provide an estimated length of time as to how long it will take for them to hear back from you and what the next step will be if they are moving on from the job interview. Remember, it is neither considerate nor professional to leave the applicant with no communication when they’re expecting a response. It reflects badly on your company, employer branding, and the wellness of the candidate.
Round up the interview, and make sure to thank them for their time and interest in the company and role. End the interview in a respectful manner leaving both you and the candidate in a positive and accomplished frame of mind. Regardless of whether the candidate was successful or not.
The way you end the interview contributes to the lasting impression the candidate will have on you and the company.