Though there are no hard and fast rules for interviewing job candidates, an honest and meticulous analysis of your interview process can help you make some key improvements. It often happens that hiring managers or teams undermine the importance of preparing for interviews.
A lack of adequate planning can impact the outcomes in a negative way. Interviewers need to be well-prepared for asking the right questions and conducting the interview in an organised and smooth manner. At the same time, too much planning can mar the natural flow of questions and answers during an interview, so don’t go overboard with the preparation part.
It is incumbent upon the interviewer to make the process comfortable for the interviewees. For many candidates, this might be their first interview and they could feel anxious or stressed. Being a recruiter, you have to ensure that the interviewees don’t feel out of place.
Here are some simple yet useful tips and techniques that will help you with conducting hiring interviews in a more effective way!
Make a list of questions to ask in interview:
Based on the kind of position you are interviewing for; you need to prepare a list of the interview questions to be asked. Apart from the traditional questions like tell me about yourself, what are your aspirations and what are your professional accomplishments, add some questions that give you an insight into the mind and personality of a candidate.
Double-check your list and rephrase any questions that could have confusing connotations or words that can convey multiple meanings. Use another pair of eyes to modify and edit your question list.
Avoid small talk and improper questions:
Questions about religion, politics, and personal life should be avoided as they seem unprofessional and are likely to make the candidates uncomfortable. Do you go to church? Do you have kids? These are not good questions to ask in an interview.
While these questions don’t seem very inappropriate in social gatherings and people don’t mind answering them as conversation starters, during the job interviews, these can give a bad impression about yourself and the organisation you are representing.
Be careful when asking personal questions; these shouldn’t be about gender, race, age, and other topics that hint toward discrimination, make the candidates feel bad, or suggest any kind of bias.
Make the interview stress-free:
The pressure and stress that candidates naturally feel about attending job interviews can be lessened if not eliminated by the interviewers. The hiring managers have to be more empathetic during the interviews.
Making deliberate attempts to test or pressure candidates might be a trick to measure the ability of a person to endure stress, but most of the time it just makes the interviewees feel bad about themselves.
Instead, make the process comfortable for the candidates. People give out their best when their mind is at ease so skip the stress from the process to improve your chances of finding an amazing candidate for a position.
Let the interviewees adapt to the surroundings:
Whether it is or not the first interview of a candidate, their level of anxiety can increase during the process. You need to provide the interviewees time to adjust and adapt to the environment.
Getting familiar with the surroundings and fighting fear will get easier for the candidates and boost their confidence if you extend little courtesies like providing a glass of water or giving them a few minutes to settle.
Be a good listener:
One of the best tips for recruiters when interviewing is to listen attentively and patiently to the interviewees. Be all ears and don’t try to hijack the conversation if you feel that a candidate is elaborating more on a topic or providing you with details that aren’t necessary.
Keenly listening to their responses will enable you to prepare follow-up questions and there are likely to be positive outcomes from those answers. Don’t lose focus during the interview even if at some point you feel distracted or uninterested.
Writing things down is always a good idea:
When you have to conduct multiple job interviews in one day, there will be many things that you can forget, so note down pointers about every candidate. This will help you make a calculated decision.
Write down the positive attributes of an interviewee that you deduce from the responses alongside the weaknesses. Take notes of all the details that piqued your interest. Having the information in writing will aid you with the critical evaluation of the interviews.
Don’t bore the candidates:
The overused but popular questions to ask in interview include “what is your biggest strength and weakness” and “where do you see yourself in the next few years”. Most of the candidates come prepared for answering commonly or frequently asked questions in job interviews.
Instead of making the process predictable, ask questions that the interviewees feel excited to answer. If you don’t want canned responses from the candidates, add the element of newness to the interview.
Practise the interviewing process:
Just like candidates practise their responses, the interviewers should do the same with the questions and how to go about making the process more effective and result-oriented. Review the CV of a candidate and prepare questions to be asked accordingly. Decide on how much time you want to allocate for each response and in total for the interview.
Collecting candidate feedback post-interview will help you with finding loopholes in the process and improving it according to the experiences shared by your interviewees. Utilise their feedback to make the interviews more result-driven and provide the candidates with an environment in which they feel comfortable opening up and giving honest responses.
What other tips do you think can help the interviewers conduct better interviews? Share your thoughts with us…