Mastering Interview Techniques

October 25, 2016

Interviewing candidates can be a daunting and time consuming endeavor for hiring managers. It seems like it should be simple, but for some the interview process can become their worst nightmare: slow, awkward and ineffective. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

Interviewing candidates effectively is a critical step in the hiring process and is key to hiring the right person. The interview offers companies the chance to question the candidate’s experience and assess their skill level. It is also the first chance you will have to determine whether the candidate will fit into your company culture. Learning how to interview like a pro will speed up the entire recruitment process, saving your company and your hiring managers time and stress.

  1. The first step of interviewing effectively is to be prepared. You know your company and the position well, so it may be tempting to “wing” it. But without a structure to your interview you may find it difficult to compare and contrast candidates or miss critical information in determining overall fit.
  2. Make sure you know how to ask strategic questions that will help you evaluate the candidate’s potential fit within your organization. Technical questions about a candidate’s skills are important, but they alone may not be enough to find the right person for your company. You will need to prepare behavioral-based interview questions to help capture both the candidate’s experience and expertise while assessing their work style and personality. Be able to follow-up with additional and spin-off questions, but be sure that these questions still relate back to the job you are hiring for.
  3. Last, but certainly not least, know how to take effective interview notes. This is extremely important for evaluating multiple candidates.

It is important to learn how to interview candidates in a way that is both helpful in making a hiring decision and engaging for the candidate. Remember, your company is not the only party making a decision during this process. The candidate will also be using the interview as an opportunity to learn about your organization. Unemployment is low and candidates have lots of options in today’s market. You should anticipate and prepare to answer questions from candidates. This is your first face-to-face impression with the candidate. Make sure it’s a good one!!

Contributed by Debbie Lockwood, HR Business Partner, HR Collaborative, LLC.

View the on-demand webinar “Mastering Interview Techniques” with Debbie Lockwood.