How to Interview – Tips to help you conduct the perfect job interview

Joe McDermott | Employers
Employing the right person in the first place is much cheaper in the long run than skimping on the hiring process and taking on the first person that comes along, so it pays to take time to decide how to interview your candidates. Learning how to interview effectively is essential and here are some top tips that will help anyone to conduct the job perfect interview.

Stay Detached While Conducting The Interview

During the perfect interview the interviewer must be dispassionate, at least to some extent. Make the interviewee welcome by all means, and engage with them in order to see how they conduct themselves. But at the same time try to keep a part of yourself distant from the question and answer process as the interview progresses. That part should be checking how perfectly the person matches the personality traits and skills that have been identified for the role.

This will also allow you to counteract the often quoted fact that interviewers make their mind up in the first ten seconds. You may well be unable to stop yourself form making a quick subconscious decision as to how much you like the person. Learning how to conduct an interview while remaining dispassionate will enable you to get over that and assess whether the person is the perfect match for the role, which after
all is why you are both there.

Asking and Listening

The interviewer must listen. Make notes if necessary but try and keep them brief and give the interviewee your full attention. Occasional nods and the odd ‘yes’ will give them confidence that you value what they say. This will encourage them to open up during the interview, and the perfect listener will use this to learn more.

Ask a mix of open and closed questions, depending on the situation. A key tip when conducting a job interview is to ask mostly open questions. Occasionally closed questions will be necessary, particularly if you think you have picked up on a potential problem area and want to delve deeper.

Don’t be scared of silence

If you have asked a question and there’s no response, in a work environment the natural thing to do is to re-phrase and repeat the question. Although the perfect interviewer would not leave a job candidate hanging out to dry unnecessarily, try not to jump in to fill the silence straight away.

Give them time to think about their response and you may find that you get even more detail in return.Of course, only do this if you are sure that it is a question that you have asked in the right way, and that they should be able to answer.

Learning how to interview also means learning how to communicate effectively and using silences is a very useful skill.

Perfect Preparation Reaps Benefits

Employers should prepare to conduct a job interview by reviewing the job description and the job specification. Preparing relevant questions which should be about the skills, qualities and behaviours required and can explore how the applicant would deal with the practical problems that the person might face in their new post. Situational questions such as ‘tell me how you have dealt with a similar situation in your current post’ will elicit more than asking very general questions.

Remember that in most of today’s organisations a job interview needs to be a two-way process. It’s as much about the interviewee finding out whether the job and the company are right for them as the other way round. Consider what you want to say about the company and make sure the interviewee has ample opportunities to ask questions too. Those questions may well give you valuable extra insights.

Finally, if you have lots of interviews try to arrange them with five or ten minute gaps between each one. This will give the perfect opportunity to run through each interview
in your head, and make notes about the interviewee’s conduct, before the next person comes in and your focus shifts to them.

Want Help Conducting An Interview?

Key to a successful interview is making sure you have effective interviewing skills. These can be acquired by external training however not every organisation can afford this expense.

RecruitSure contains a complete interviewer skills training course with video, audio and animation and teaches you how to conduct the perfect interview without you having to leave the office. It is highly recommended and best of all comes at a fraction of the cost of a face to face course.

Online System for Employers and Interviewers

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“Interviewer training at a bargain price!”
Barry Poole, Mortgage Broker

Learn More About Recruitsure and How it Makes Interviewing Easy »