When you are interviewing candidates, you have one main purpose and that is to find a find a fantastic fit for your organisation who can do a great job in the role. The new Recruit should be able to help the company to achieve the goals of the organisation and help the team day to day to reach the overall mission of the company. That is why ensuring you have a good understanding of great interview techniques is essential to help you find a great candidate. If you have just joined HR and this is your first time interviewing or if you are someone who has been in HR for a while but thought they would refresh their interviewing techniques here are some top tips to get you started.
Before the interview
· Prepare a list of questions
Before the interview make sure to have a list of questions you want to ask the candidate, making sure they relate well with the job advertisement for the role. Listing the questions will help to ensure you do not forget any questions during the interview.
· Familiarise yourself with the CV
Before meeting the candidate take another look at the CV and list down any specific questions you may have related to their CV as well as the other questions you have listed for general candidates.
· Organise a quiet – distraction free place to hold the interview
During the Interview
· Make candidates feel at ease
It is important when candidates come for interviews to make them feel at ease. We all know how nerve racking it is to go for an interview, sometimes our hearts are beating so fast worried what questions are going to come up or worried in case you forget the words. We have all been there. Welcome them with a smile, allow the candidate to be themselves and really get to know them as much as possible during the small space of time within the interview. I have been in interviews where it felt like an interrogation not an interview. It felt very one sided, question after question after question. Remember the interview works both ways it is an opportunity for the individual to actually see if the organisation is a place where they want to work and a chance for the Recruiter to see if the candidate could potentially suit the company.
· Explain how the interview will be carried out
At the start of the interview explain to the candidate what the content of the interview will consist of. For example, if the interview will consist of several parts such as a verbal interview, a written test and then a practical assessment explain this, even if it has been explained in the invitation email you can recap this. Also, if the candidate will meet several other people in the interview later on explain this to the candidate as well. This helps the candidate have a clear and smooth understanding and transition throughout. Knowing what to expect. This will help the candidate feel further at ease.
· Encourage candidates to ask questions
Throughout the interview you should give the candidate opportunities to ask questions so that they are not left wondering anything once they leave. The interview should be a two-way process allowing both parties to ask questions and to have a voice. Remember the interview not only gives the interviewer an opportunity to find a candidate but it also gives the Interviewee a chance to see if they really want to work for the company. Make sure as the interviewer you show the candidate the values of your organisation through the way you portray yourself in the interview. You can mention at the start of the interview “If you have any questions throughout please feel free to ask”.
· Listen Carefully and try to seek examples
Active listening the interview process is really important as an interviewer at the end of the day you want to be able to determine whether or not the candidate could be a good fit. When attending interviews, it is good practice for candidate to provide examples of when they have used a particular skill but sometimes they do not. This may be because the nerves start to take over or many other reasons. It would be good as an interviewer to prompt the candidate to provide examples. Perhaps asking them to use a certain technique such as STAR would be good.
· Talk about the company
Make sure you are fully up to date with the companies mission and values. After all it is you during the interview who is marketing the company out to a potential employee. Also talk about why it is a great place to work for example partnerships you may have as a company, training opportunities available, employee benefits, the culture of the organisation.
· Do not ask potentially discriminatory questions
Choose your words carefully. It is important not to ask potentially discriminatory questions because if that person is not selected and offered the position they could potentially bring a claim and it could result in serious consequences for your business. A few examples are asking “Do you plan on having children?” or “How old are you?”
· Explain what the next steps are
There is nothing worse than not understanding what happens next. When candidates go away from an interview they do want to know what happens next. They want to know what timescales they are looking at waiting for a decision on. Therefore, interviewers should make this clear. Let the candidate know what stages are next, so is there going to be a second round of interviews if successful or is it just a one stage process? What are the next steps of the selection process? Also let them know when it is likely a decision will be made. When candidates have came in for an interview it should be a given that even if they are unsuccessful you should always thank them for attending the interview and let them know they have been unsuccessful, do let them know how they will be notified for example via email or by phone if they are unsuccessful.
After the Interview
· Thank the candidate
Sincerely thank the candidate for their time and let the know that you will be in touch.
· Deliver Outcome
It is important to ensure you let the candidate know whether they have been successful or not. The candidate has taken their time out of their day to attend the interview and so it is only right that you can get back to them. Ensure this timely and not months down the line. Get back to the candidate as soon as reasonably possible.
· Provide Feedback
Especially when candidates are not selected it is always great to provide feedback on the interview overall. This allows the candidate to understand why they were not selected and allows them some foundations on what to improve on for future interviews.
Lets sum it up
Finding the right person to fit a role is not easy. By taking all the points listed above into consideration will help you in your search for your next employee. Remember to always keep the recruitment process fair, this does not only apply in the interview stage but through out the whole cycle. Something else to consider is flexibility. Be flexible in your approach if possible when companies are too rigid they may lose potentially great candidates. When you are communicating with candidates or meeting with candidates always remember you are representing your company and if you do not leave a good lasting impression on that candidate whether they are successful or not in the interview this can have a damaging impact on the brand. Remember this candidate could be a potential client/customer in the future. One final note when people are at ease and feel comfortable they are usually able to perform at their best and you will be able to see the real them.
The more interviews you host the easier it will become and the more familiar with the whole interviewing process you will become. Happy candidate searching!
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