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EMPLOYMENT NEWS: Interviewers Tips!

Friday, August 8th, 2014 @ 09:48 am

Online recruitment blogs are filled with advice for job candidates on successfully navigating the interview stage of their application. What is less often shared, is advice for those on the other side of the table...

Online recruitment blogs are filled with advice for job candidates on successfully navigating the interview stage of their application. What is less often shared, is advice for those on the other side of the table.

Leading a good interview is by no means difficult, but many employers don’t take the time or effort to learn how to do it. When this happens, the best candidates are rarely the ones who end up with the role, as the wrong questions are posed and then the answers incorrectly analysed.

Trained HR recruitment professionals usually know the best ways to interview, but they are not always the ones actually carrying them out. Some managers will insist on doing it themselves as they know what the vacant role involves – which is fine, as long as they realise that that alone is not enough.

A key factor to remember in conducting a great interview is that it is a two-way process – the candidate will get the measure of you and the company just as much as the other way around.

Presentation

Many interviewers don’t take into account the appearance and body language of their candidates. The interviewee’s choice of clothing is a reflection of how seriously they take their work, so don’t be afraid to judge on appearances in this respect.

Body language doesn’t have to be difficult to read either – is the candidate speaking flatly and looking like they’d rather be elsewhere? Are they staring at the floor? An interested applicant will sit up straight, make eye contact and speak more quickly – the exact signs differ from person to person though.

Finally, make sure you present yourself impeccably as well – a discerning candidate will be just as put off by an employer who doesn’t take the process seriously.

Questioning

When it comes to crafting the questions, you have a choice. You can either pose the same questions to each interviewee in order to compare their answers – or you can use a looser structure that allows for possibly a more informative and deeper analysis of the candidate’s experience and skills.

The approach you’ll probably want to take is a blend of the two, where you’ll draw up a list of ideas and questions to cover but also allow for a freeform conversation. This format is also quite good for putting nervous candidates at ease, as the atmosphere is more that of a conversation than an interrogation.

It’s a good idea to favour open-ended questions that can’t be answered with a straight “yes” or “no” – for example, ask, “Tell me about your experience with…” rather than, “Have you worked with…” – the answers you’ll get will usually be more developed and revealing.

Wrapping up

Don’t forget to leave time for the candidate’s questions at the end of the interview. They should usually have at least one – if not, you’ve either been very thorough or this could be a sign that they’re not very interested in the role. Following this, let them know when you’ll be in touch, and don’t leave them hanging. The time following an interview can be a stressful time for a hopeful candidate so a quick follow up, and some feedback for the unsuccessful applicants, are small gestures that go a long way.