How to conduct successful interviews

How to conduct successful interviews

Interviews form such a critical part of the hiring process. For the company it’s an opportunity to find out more about a candidate and if they would be a good fit for the business. At the same time candidates can get some insight as to what it would be like working there. Creating a good impression is a high priority for both parties, but at the same time you want to be able to gather as much information as possible. What’s the best way to go about this?Here are our top tips:

  • Plan the interview participants
  • Be clear on essential skills and qualifications
  • Prepare interview questions
  • Prepare for candidate questions
  • Create a specific hiring timeframe
  • What will make the position more attractive?

Consider who would be the best people to be part of the interview panel. If it is for a senior or technical role, it’d be good to include the manager in charge of that division. They will be able to ask skill specific questions and more accurately assess the answers given. This also has the added benefit to assess the candidate in terms of a cultural fit. It’s especially important if they will be working closely with their manager.

It’s rare to find someone that ticks all the boxes in terms of skills and experience required. Generally the company will have to compromise on one or two points and make a decision based on what will be the best fit for the business. Amongst the decision makers, be clear on what the essential non-negotiable skills are as well as what the nice-to-have skills and experience requirements.

Create a list of interview questions. This helps to keep the interview structured and ensures that you cover everything you need to find out. Also include a set of optional questions. In other words if you want to follow up on a particular answer, have a list of follow up questions to ask that can help you get more detailed information.

Most likely the candidate will want to know more about the company and the role, so be prepared to answer these questions. They may also ask some difficult questions, such as: why did the previous person leave? Or what are the opportunities for growth and promotion? Be honest with your answers otherwise you won’t be fair to the candidate who is assessing if they want to work for the company based on your answers.

If you wait too long to make a decision, you may lose the candidates that are at the top of your list. People do not like to be kept hanging, wondering if they have the job or not so setting a specific time frame in which they can expect to hear back from you helps to manage everyone’s expectations.

Consider additional benefits that may make the position more attractive. Allowing flexi-time or working from home is something that many people are looking for in employment. The number of days leave or allowing people to take their birthday off is something that will communicate that you value employees and are willing to look after them. Keep in mind that it’s a candidate driven market currently. It is therefore really important to communicate in the interview why the candidate should join your company. Mention industry awards that have been won, how they differ from their competitors, plans for expansion in the future – it might make the difference between a candidate accepting an offer or not

An interview is the best opportunity you have to get to know prospective employees. Make the most of the opportunity by following these six tips and hire more effectively with more successful interviews.

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