If you have never interviewed anyone before then it can be as daunting as sitting on the other side of the table and often some careful preparation is necessary. Here are some simple interview tips for the employer.
Do your homework on the candidate. If you can find out something about them before they arrive you can engage in a conversation. By doing your research on the candidate you will impress them as they will see that you and your company are thorough in what they do. Also, it shows that you have a genuine interest in them as you have bothered to do some background work into them which makes them feel valued by you as an interviewer.
Before you have an interview allow yourself time to set up for the interview. This may just be five minutes to log in to your computer and settle yourself. If you have enabled yourself this time you will enter the interview with greater composure and focus.
Ensuring you are dressed correctly will set the standard of the interview; although you may be rushed around prior you need to be looking at your best as you are representing your company. The interviewee may be considering other roles and a simple factor such as them thinking a competitor looks more professional then you could sway which way the employee goes when it comes to making a final decision
You don’t need to follow a structure question by question, as often the best interviews will flow in conversation and they will give answers to you for questions you may not have asked yet. What is important is that you maintain control of the interview. People can over talk in interviews as it is natural for people to get nervous in these situations so by throwing in some closed questions can help settle the interview. Some interviews are quicker than others. If the interviewee has given you all the information you need then you can finish the interview. Do not feel that you need to use the full allotted time if you don’t need to as you will be more likely to be going off topic and will look unprofessional in the process.
The reality is interviewers are often lazy in there questions. There are the same old questions such as what are your weaknesses? And tell me about a difficult situation and how you overcame the problem? These questions are expected and candidates will probably know a way to answer these (often with a made up story from interview practice). The other question to ask yourself if you use these kinds of questions is what do you and your candidates get out of these questions. You would be better asking better-worded questions which link into ambition such as ‘what areas could we help you develop in?’ or ‘how do you think we could help you overcome a problem you may have working with us? These questions will open the candidate up to more honest answers as they are not as negative so they won’t be as defensive in their answers
It may sound very simple but this is one of the most important things you can do and will affect your retention long term as well. Employees may say things in the interview which you may miss which could be critical when it comes to offering a job.
If the candidate gives an answer that is unconvincing or sounds too good to be true then don’t be afraid to probe until you are 100% satisfied you have uncovered what you need. Probing does not have to be intrusive. If you use 3rd figure referencing it can make it easier to ask for figures, breakdowns or even a reference. This can enable you to get to the information you need.
There are characteristics which are illegal to bring up in an interview these are; age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership and pregnancy and maternity. Alongside these topics you should consider what business appropriate is. It would not be acceptable to give a view on a controversial subject as you have just met the candidate and your views may not represent those of your organisation. Asking questions which are irrelevant to the business and the topic in hand can be counterproductive for both you and the candidate
As an interviewer you are generally a representative of Human Resources so you need to act on behalf of the employer. If it is your business then it is probably important they know about you and your values and what you expect from them on a personal level in the work place
You will need evidence of capability for some of your candidates and the simple way is to offer testing whether that be by yourself or by the client. In skilled jobs you have to be confident that you are able to have the person who can walk the walk, the easiest way to separate the chat from the skill is to get them to do an example of their talent. Any skilled person will use this as an opportunity to showcase their abilities and if they have the relevant competence then it will not be a problem for the candidate.
Once the interview is over it is always worth following up with the candidate to see how they felt about the experience as with anything you can always do better next time. You may find out that a number of candidates were uncomfortable with a certain aspect which has made them withdraw from the process. You also never know where people will end up in their career and they could even come back as your senior or give you a lead or recommendation for another employee in the future so by keeping in contact can help you build relationships which could prove valuable in the future.
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