When you think of interviews you often think of how nervous the interviewees are, how much preparation they’ve put in and how draining it must be to have to sit in a room for 30 minutes with total stranger bragging about their accomplishments.
The reality is that an interview is no less easy for an interviewer. Every time you interview someone you must bear in mind that this could be this individual’s big break, so don’t ask the wrong questions don’t be too forceful and above all give each person a fair shot at the job. Here are a few quick and easy tips to conducting a successful interview.
Start slow, safe and personal.
It’s important to ease an individual into the waters in any interview, ask them where they went to college or what their interests are, be relaxed and jovial but also firm. It is imperative that the person knows they’re in a safe place, but also that they’re having a conversation about a very serious job prospect. By relaxing the individual, you humanize the process and bring everyone back down to earth.
Coax, don’t hammer.
Sometimes a favourite strategy of many HR Departments is to devise a list of questions that might pressurise candidates. Evidence on the contrary now states that these questions are not as useful as they may appear. Why would the goal in the interview to suddenly hammer them with a barrage of questions that do not pertain remotely to the job description? Google is notorious for these types of questions and the reality is that they do nobody any favours. It makes the interviewee squirm and it makes you as an interviewer look unauthentic and not really interested in what has to be said. Both parties will prefer interviews that have the up-close, but a soft style that coaxes revealing, applicable, useful answers.
Make some questions open-ended.
All interviews require you to ask specific questions that get answered with narrow data points. “What was your last job title?” But it is often the open-ended questions that yield the most interesting and valuable answers “What is your vision for your organization five years from today?” is an excellent example of this. From this question you can gauge how ambitious or conservative someone is, or how hard working or lazy they see themselves, it’s a layered question which can open up a plethora of avenues. Another such question is “do you worry about any unintended consequences from what you are trying to accomplish?”
Be prepared. Find the overlooked.
It is imperative that you know all there is to ask when it comes to interviewing people, otherwise, it could be relatively easy for an individual to pull the proverbial wool over your eyes. If you are asking about biometric time clocks, know everything there is to know about biometric time clocks.
With the invention of Google, you have no excuse not to be fully prepared for all the questions you know that you are going to ask. It is important if you are seriously considering the person, to do actual research on the individual himself/herself as well, see what they were like at their previous job, see what their info is on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Do not leave any stone unturned or you could come to regret it by the time the interview rolls around.
Listen, really listen.
Remember The value of any interview comes out of what the interviewee says, not what the interviewer asks, so listen attentively to what is being said and how it is being said. Is the person over confident or brash? Are they timid or shy? Be wary of what is being said and bear in mind whether or not they will fit in with what you’re trying to achieve in the company. If you ask a question and the subject drifts off, there is often a good reason if you want a concise answer. Remember to ask a concise question.
If what’s being said is bland and uninteresting, be sure to stop the interviewee in his tracks. However, if the wandering comes to an area that might interest you or help garner more information, don’t be afraid to let the person off on a tangent. The key is to pay close attention to what is not answered and make on-the-spot judgements on why that area was skipped or glossed. Was it uninteresting to the subject? Unimportant? Painfully embarrassing?
As always the most important thing with any interview is to be relaxed and bear in mind that at the end of the day it’s just a conversation, treat it as such. Don’t be overbearing but equally don’t be lackadaisical, remember it’s in both of your interests that the interview goes well.
Human Resources Software is an ideal addition for any recruitment drive, helping the HR department searching for and hiring the best candidates. The Recruitment Module improves the entire process as it easily integrates with your department’s existing HR data.