Interviews 101: Beyond The Questions


Although sometimes insightful questions can be a useful tool, not all interviews are based on asking wacky questions or analyzing a candidates’ shoes. In fact, if you want to effectively screen a candidate, it’s more about the little things. If you’re jumping into hiring and need to conduct an interview, follow these tips to make sure it’s a success:

Eliminate distractions
One of the most important parts of an interview is being able to pay full attention to the candidate. If you’re not paying attention, you may miss a warning sign or a great quality they possess. Before a job interview, it’s best if you can fully clear your schedule, find a quiet place to conduct the interview, and make sure people know you’re in an interview. A short but distraction-free interview is preferable to a long interview riddled with interruptions.

Show up
Being on time to the interview is just as important for the person conducting it as it is for the job candidate. Showing up on time shows that you respect the candidate. Leaving them waiting could be a huge faux pas, and may lead to some talent deciding they’d rather go elsewhere.

Talk shop
Keeping interviews strictly job-related is important. Although being conversational can seem friendly, it can also be distracting. If you hire a particular candidate, you’ll be able to become friends – however, for a job interview, you’re there to discuss the job at hand and how their qualifications make them a good fit.

Listen to interviewees
It can be tempting to talk about the company or position at length, but listening is more important, especially in early interviews. You’ll likely want to tell them about the company at the end of the interview, but an even better way to find out how prepared they are is to ask what they already know about the company. Showing up with a good list of questions shows that a candidate is prepared. Basically, let them do the talking, while you sit back and listen.

Probe for more information
Of course, you should take an active role in soliciting information. Sometimes, a single question isn’t enough to provide you with the information you need. In a case like this, try a follow up question to see if you can gather more information. A more detailed answer may help you make a better decision about hiring.

Get in touch
Just as job seekers are encouraged to get in touch after an interview to thank you for your time, you should get in touch once you know whether or not you’re hiring a particular candidate. Making them wait for weeks or worse, never getting in touch, could potentially burn a bridge. Keep in mind that, although a particular candidate might not be right at a particular time, you may be interested in hiring them down the road.

Although we’re huge advocates of a screening service during the hiring process, remember that this isn’t all there is to hiring. Moving beyond questions and learning how to screen potential employees could help you have stellar interviews that get the information you need to make the best choice for your company. Contact us!

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