Employer 10-point Easy-Interview Guide
The employer 10-Point Easy-Interview Guide details key points giving you the insight necessary for the perfect interview environment. Not only is this of importance for your standards of professionalism, it is vital in attaining full information from your candidate that ultimately helps you to hire the right person.
- Be prepared: It is important for you to retain control of the interview process and for your organisation to look professional. So make sure that you have read through the candidate's CV, jotting down any points you wish the candidate to explain or clarify. If you are utilising an agency, ensure you choose one that has screened candidates properly and provided you with the candidate's job match and personal profile blueprint, their short recorded interview and an at-a-glance summary. This information will help eliminate candidates that you should not be wasting time interviewing and ensure you are fully briefed on those who get through to this stage. It also ensures you have a third party report on potential employees, who are likely to be your costliest business investment decision.
- Start pre-interview process when candidate arrives: Monitor the candidate throughout the process to include if they arrived ahead of time and how they conducted themselves. When greeting the candidate for the interview, your checklist should include: first impression; eye-contact, handshake, poise, dress, demeanour, etc. This information along with the actual interview notes will help you to later review and compare candidates. If for example, you are employing someone in a customer facing role, this is an ideal scenario to see how they present themselves and how they appear to strangers at first impression. At the start of the interview, introduce all who are present from the company and set expectations by relaying to the candidate the format and exactly how you will be conducting things. This will help your candidate relax a little and help the interview process itself.
- Create the right interview environment: Choice of interview table can be important. You may wish to be able to observe the candidate's body language without most of their body and their hands hidden below the table or desk. A round table can help make the interview environment less intimidating. It may be that you wish to keep the conditions slightly intimidating, depending on the role for which the candidate is being interviewed, e.g. for certain sales roles, as you may wish to see if they can perform in an interview under such conditions. However, for some job roles and situations, it may be better to have a more relaxed interview environment.
- Plan format of interview and your precise questions: It is essential to have a written pre-printed interview format to follow. Your questions should be pre-planned, written and with a space for the answers and other notes. This will help you stay on track and not miss any vital questions. It will also help you later to review the interview and provide a basis of consistency in comparing candidates. It is never a good idea to improvise or feel your way through an interview, which can appear as unprofessional and is far more likely to lead to a bad employment decision.
- Ask 'open' questions: It is better not to ask 'closed' questions, that is those which can be answered with a simple 'Yes' or 'No'. You may get frustrated with the candidate for not elaborating and the candidate may not really know what in-depth information you are looking for. Try using questions that start with 'What', 'Why' or 'How' since this will invite a fuller answer.
- Offer water: An interview can be a very stressful experience for the candidate. So unless you deliberately wish to keep it that way for a purpose, offer a glass of water to help the candidate to ward off a nervous dry mouth and to perform. This action also does help to establish rapport between you and the candidate.
- Probe candidate's actual experience: Whilst it can be beneficial to ask a candidate on how they would react under various possible scenarios, ask for examples of any situations they can recall where they experienced the scenarios or demonstrated the skills or reaction you are looking for.
- Remember, you may be being vetted too: Interviewing is a two way process and, depending on the candidate, you and your company may be being vetted too. In certain market conditions the candidate may have a whole host of options to choose from. So it is important to give your company the edge and ensure that you are the preferred choice of employer. This will also keep you in control and retain a stronger negotiating position.
- Leave time for candidate to ask questions: Always give the candidate an opportunity to ask any questions at the end of the interview as this is an important part of the process. You should note down their questions. This not only makes sure that a candidate has enough information to make a decision should you offer them the role, but also will help you, as the quality of questions posed by the candidate can assist in evaluating their level of interest and suitability for the role.
- Make clear closing comments and follow-up: Inform the candidate of when you will make a decision and what the next steps will be. Most importantly stick to your time frame, you don't want to lose your ideal candidate through delayed feedback or extra interview steps.
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