how to conduct an interview

Interviewer Tips and Techniques: How to Conduct an Interview

Interviewing potential employees can be one of the most difficult aspects of management, but learning how to conduct an interview is a lifelong skill which will help you bring the most qualified talent onto your team. If you are preparing for an upcoming interview, here are some tips which will help you find the ideal candidate.

Prepare in Advance

Just as a job candidate should spend time preparing for an upcoming interview, you should also begin making preparations long before the actual interview takes place. If you simply walk into the interview with no plan of action and no idea with whom you will be speaking, you run the risk of passing over a perfectly qualified applicant. Before the candidate ever sets foot in the door, be sure to take the time to review his or her resume, check his or her references and employment history, and write out a list of potential questions you’d like to ask.

Start with Small Talk

Small talk may seem like a waste of time, but it is actually very important. Taking a moment to chat with a job candidate about the weather, the traffic, or the most recent national news will set him or her at ease and give you a chance for form a first impression. When the candidate is relaxed and not in “performance mode”, it will be much easier for you to gain an overall sense of who he or she truly is.

Define the Role

Make sure to be clear about the position’s required responsibilities from the very beginning of the interview. Be ready to discuss the specific tasks and duties that the job will entail, and keep these in mind throughout the meeting. Although it is important to select a candidate who will fulfill your company’s needs, make sure that he or she is not overqualified for the position. An overqualified candidate is likely to leave during the first few months at the job, which will force you to start the hiring process all over again.

Customize Your Questions

Rather than re-reading the same cookie-cutter list to each and every candidate, try to customize your questions to each individual applicant. While this will take more time, the extra effort will allow you to pinpoint each candidate’s personal strengths and weaknesses. For example, instead of asking broad, open-ended questions such as, “What was the most difficult challenge you have ever solved at work?”, you could ask more experience-specific questions such as, “When you worked at [company most similar to YOUR company], what was the most difficult problem you faced and how did you solve it?”

Listen Attentively

Let’s face it: when you are in the process of conducting multiple interviews for the same position, it’s easy to lose focus after the 5th, 10th, or 15th interview. No matter how many people you are interviewing, however, it is crucial to remain alert and attentive for each and every candidate. Be sure that you arrive at the interview well-rested (or, alternatively, well-caffeinated.) Focus on each candidate’s responses, body language, and demeanor. Is this someone whom you could see working effectively as a part of your company?

Find the Perfect Candidate with SL Staffing Staffing

We had so many interviewer tips to share, we simply could not fit it into one post. For even more interview techniques, click here to see Part Two of How to Conduct an Interview.

If you need assistance in finding the perfect job candidate, SL Staffing makes it easy with professional, experienced staffing services. For more information on our process, or if you would like us to help you find new talent, contact SL Staffing today.

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