How to conduct a successful job interview
In the process of meeting their staffing requirements, companies need to be sure that the applicants they select to fill vacancies are equal to the task. . There are different ways to gauge candidates’ competency, but one of the most popular ways is job interviews. There is an art in perfecting how to conduct a job interview.
A job interview is a formal meeting in which a job applicant is asked questions and engages in conversations with a recruiter or potential employer to determine the applicant’s suitability for the job. It’s usually the next step in line after the candidate screening process.
A properly conducted interview helps a company identify the right candidate, gather additional vital information and enhance its reputation.
Seeing the essence of job interviews, it’s imperative for brands and recruiters to master the craft of interviewing candidates. This post discusses the steps recruiters and employers can employ to appropriately interview candidates for positions in their company.
6 steps for conducting a job interview
Below are the various tips for interviewing a candidate.
1. Come prepared
As a recruiter, in-house or agent, preparation is the first step towards ensuring that you conduct a successful job interview. Begin with creating an ideal candidate profile for the role you want to fill. You need to identify what you want in a candidate. This ensures that you craft the right questions to adequately assess the candidate.
It further involves analysing the position you’re trying to fill and scrutinising the candidate’s resume and CV to be sure that they have the desired qualifications and personality traits. This helps you get a good idea of the candidate’s work history too.
Preparing for the interview embraces dedicating enough time and space to it. Whether the interview is in-person or virtual, the setting should be appropriate. Noise and other forms of distraction should be reduced to the barest minimum.
Rushing through the interview is unacceptable; enough time should be allotted to ensure proper communication. Statistically, in-person interviews last from 45 to 90 minutes; you can use that as a guide.
Sufficient preparation guarantees that you make the most of the interview. It also enhances the candidate experience and boosts the brand image.
2. Put the candidate at ease
It’s crucial to emphasise that conducting a job interview varies greatly from a CID interrogation session. Naturally, the candidate might be dealing with much anxiety and might even be somewhat stressed. As the interviewer, you want each candidate to give the best performance possible.
It’s recommended to set the atmosphere right to calm the candidate. One way to guarantee this is by informing candidates beforehand of certain matters.
One such issue is the dress code for the interview. You might also want to drop hints on the areas you’d like to cover so that they can get ready. Inform the candidate of the expected duration of the interview, the number of interview rounds and whether they’ll be expected to take tests.
This timely information sees to it that the interviewee doesn’t fall victim to any unpleasant surprise and highlights the actual expectations.
Beyond these, it’s essential to kick off the actual interview with a warm greeting. If it’s an in-person interview, welcome the interviewee with a firm handshake and inquire about their commute to the office. You’re welcome to ask about their day, their career goals and other non-invasive elements to prepare their minds.
This preliminary communication helps break the ice and poise the interviewee for what lies ahead.
3. Assess the candidate
The next best practice for conducting an interview effectively is to assess the candidate.
Firstly, implement a structured interview format. Structured interviews help eliminate bias, discrimination and favouritism to the barest minimum by making sure that all interviewees answer the same questions and take the same tests. A structured interview also erases the possibility of you forgetting some questions or the interview significantly exceeding the estimated time.
Proper assessment embraces skill/knowledge assessment as well as personality assessment. Engage the candidate in conversations and ask questions that gauge their knowledge of the profession and also reveal much about their character. For in-depth examination, leverage a combination of
- Behavioural questions
- Close-ended questions
- Open-ended questions
- Situational questions
Proper use of these question types will reveal the candidate’s motivations, preferences, tendencies, strengths and weaknesses.
Conducting the job interview effectively requires that you listen attentively to the candidate’s responses. The 80/20 rule – 80% listening and 20% talking – has proven effective for this purpose. As important as it is to jot down their responses, don’t let it impede your concentration. Furthermore, avoid interrupting them until it’s clear that they’re done answering each question.
4. Market the brand and the role to the candidate
Another good practice for interviewing candidates effectively is to sell the interviewee on the brand and the position you just interviewed them for. As an employer or recruiter, you might have noticed during the interview that the candidate seems promising. What you don’t want to do is miss out on a potentially great hire.
You have to seize the opportunity to point out the benefits of working in your company. Are there career development opportunities? Is insurance available? Is remote work an option? Let the candidate in on these perks. The reality of it is that when interviewing candidates for jobs, the candidates are equally screening you.
As long as you’ve found what you want in a candidate, don’t be shy to toss a gentle compliment their way. All these will display your brand’s strengths, keep the interviewee expectant and stop them from grabbing any other job opportunity that comes their way.
5. Hear from the candidate
When interviewing candidates, keep in mind that the job interview isn’t a one-way street but a two-way exchange.
It’s essential to give the interviewee the chance to ask questions about your company and the position. This practice gives them an in-depth understanding of the role, your organisation’s processes, culture, expectations, targets and ongoing projects while demonstrating their level of preparation and interest in the job.
If you confidently and satisfactorily answer the questions they have, it shows that you have good knowledge of the various aspects of the company and position. The answers you give will help them decide whether the company will be a good fit for them.
6. Tell them what’s next and close warmly
As the interview process rolls to an end, it helps to give the candidate an idea of what the next step in the process is. Naturally, the interviewee might be plagued with thoughts of their performance and whether they’ll make it to the next stage, whatever that might be.
Be kind enough to give them an idea of what the next step is and when they can expect to hear back from the company. Informing candidates of the post-interview steps has been found to boost candidate experience by 52%. If they don’t hear from the company by that time and shortly after, they can safely assume that your brand has moved in a different direction.
Part of conducting a job interview properly is ending it well. Whether or not the candidate is what you want, it helps to demonstrate some thoughtfulness as it all comes to an end. Thank them for their time, give them some words of encouragement and even walk them to the door if it isn’t much of a task.
When you conduct a job interview, you also serve as the company’s brand ambassador. Thus, it’s your responsibility to ensure that the brand is portrayed in the best light possible. These tips for conducting job interviews will ensure that you thoroughly assess your candidate’s capability while presenting a good brand image.