Interviewing Can Make All the Difference
By Cory Minter, President – Trinity Employment Specialist
Conducting interviews properly and successfully can be a daunting task. However, once best practices are learned and put into action an interview can produce great results for a business. Interviewing is the best way to get to know a candidate and gauge their job expectations and skills. Knowledge of a few basics will help this process tremendously.
Put Them at Ease: Discussing small things that candidates are comfortable with are easy ways to start an interview, such as “I see you last worked at Company X. What did you like about working there?” Compliments are also a great ice breaker. Everyone likes to hear nice things. Putting the candidate at ease is important for developing a rapport. Candidates are more apt to discuss their feelings and past performance with someone they are comfortable speaking.
Ask the Right Questions: Plan out what questions to ask of candidates in advance of an interview. This will help keep interviews uniform and assist the interviewer in planning out the direction and scope of the interview. Going beyond asking simple questions that can be answered by yes or no will also improve the interview. Try to ask a lot of open-ended questions such as “How would your last boss describe your work ethic?” or “Tell me a goal you set and how you achieved it.” Questions like these will help get to know the candidate better and how they perform under pressure, but listen for rehearsed answers. If you hear an answer that sounds prepared, ask follow up questions and investigate further.
There’s More to the Story: If an answer sounds rehearsed, there may be a good reason why. Follow-up questions such as “How do you feel that decision affected your career path?” or “Knowing what you know now, would you have reacted differently in that situation?” Don’t be afraid to ask questions that dig deeper on a certain issue or event, and sniff out the details. Wait a few seconds before responding or moving on to the next question. Sometimes the silence will make a candidate disclose more on the topic. Also, watch for nonverbal indicators as well. These will resemble fidgeting and not making eye contact when speaking.
End on a Good Note: Closing an interview by letting candidates know the next steps and when they will be contacted are good just practices. Also, give a contact name and number in case candidates have questions after they leave. It helps candidates feel empowered and not left in limbo. Good managers will keep their word and follow through with contacting the candidate on or before the date stated. This will help build trust of a future employee or assist with building a good reputation for referrals if the candidate is not chosen.
It is essential to get the most out of the brief time with each candidate during an interview. Learning a few significant points on interviewing can make all the difference. Don’t stress about the process. It can be fun choosing the next member of the team!