The interview process can be an overwhelming task for not only the interviewee, but also for the interviewer. In addition to asking the right questions, it is imperative to decipher the candidate’s answers to determine if he/she can fulfill the tasks outlined for them in the job description. With a little organization, you can have an effective interview process and choose the perfect candidate to fit your needs.
At the start of the interview, confirm that the applicant has completed and signed his/her application. This will decrease the likelihood of any confusion during the discussion of the candidate’s credentials.
Set the candidate at ease with small talk and by offering a beverage. The more comfortable the candidate feels, the more he/she will let their guard down and give honest answers. Before diving into your pre-set questions, ask the candidate if he/she has any questions about your business. This is also a good opportunity to share a little about the company and yourself.
During the interview, focusing on the questions that elicit the most informative responses is a must. Use a structured interview format so every candidate is asked the same question and ask open-ended questions to allow the candidate the opportunity to give you examples of their work. A close-ended question, also known as “yes or no questions”, does not allow the candidate to go into description of what they’ve done. This requires the candidate to stretch a little beyond their rehearsed response. If you need further information, don’t be afraid to request, “Tell me more”. Lastly, ask behavioral based questions that focus on past and future behavior. You can ask the candidate to talk about a time when they solved a problem for an angry customer or how they would handle a particular situation. The goal is to find out what the candidate has done in the past in order to predict what they would do in the future. Ask about specific experiences that the candidate has had where he/she exhibited the competencies that are needed for the job. There are many sample behavioral based questions that can be found here:
When you ask the candidate a question, wait until he/she has given you a complete answer before preparing your next question. In order to effectively evaluate a candidate, attentiveness is important. Take notes during the interview with the applicant’s responses so you can reference them later. Make sure to keep the candidate comfortable during the interview and show them you are interested in what they have to say.
During the interview, show the job description to the candidate and discuss the qualifications. Have them verify that he/she can perform the functions of the job. Consider showing the candidate the environment where they will be working so they have a good feel for where and with whom he/she will be working with.
Monitor both your and the candidate’s nonverbal communication. It’s important that you are paying attention to the non-verbal cues to ensure that this candidate is a good fit for the position. Invite other people to the interview to assist in making nonverbal observations.