The Proper Way To Interview In 2019


The one to two hours spent interviewing candidates has a direct impact on the future of the hiring company. Pick the right candidate and you could have just found the talent that creates your next groundbreaking product. The wrong pick, meanwhile, could drag your company into chaos.

This guide is meant to help you conduct the perfect interview, so you don’t have regrets in the future. The guide is divided into three parts for ease of understanding.

Part 1: Preparing for the Interview

Assuming that you’ve selected the right interviewees and even conducted phone screening to sift out unqualified candidates, proceed as follows;

  1. Define the objectives of the interview

You’re not just looking to fill a position; you’re looking to fill it with the right candidate. So, take time to clearly define what you’re looking for. This may require discussing with the hiring manager as well as people who’ve held the position in the past to get a clear understanding of what’s required not just job specific skill wise but soft skills…communication, social skills, character, attitude etc.  

  1. Build an interview team

Having more than one person interviewing candidates not only brings a balanced perspective, it also promotes fairness. In addition to the reporting manager and a HR representative, consider adding to your team someone who’ll be working with the eventual hire.

  1. Set interview questions in advance

You may want to check a few online libraries to learn what questions to ask and when. If that’s not possible, the following are quick tips to help you assess candidates effectively;

  • Focus on behavioral and situational questions
  • Find alternatives to cliché questions to avoid canned responses
  • Use some of the questions to assess the skills you’re looking for
  • Ask culture-fit questions to help you find the right personalities

Part 2: Conducting the Interview

On the day of the interview, arrive early, set the venue, and ensure that all the resources required for a successful interview process are available. Then;

  1. Put candidates at ease

Just because a candidate is sweating doesn’t mean they’re not up to the task. It just means that they’re anxious (happens to the best of us). Putting each candidate at ease helps bring out the best in them.

  1. Don’t judge by first impressions

We’ve all met them – uniquely talented people who don’t make a great first impression but have incredible potential once settled in the workplace. Don’t miss out on these diamonds just because you want people who can dress well.

  1. Ask your questions

There are three types of questions you can ask; direct questions such as “Why did you apply for this position”; open-ended questions such as “Tell us about your role at your last company”; and probing questions such as “Could you explain what you mean by…” After asking a question, give the candidate enough time to respond.

  1. Invite the interviewee to ask questions too

Candidates often have questions too. Once you’ve asked all your questions and gotten responses to each of them, give the candidate a chance to ask their questions as well. As they do so, take notes, then answer all the questions satisfactorily.

  1. Follow legal interviewing guidelines

The federal government has set elaborate interviewing guidelines that must be followed by all interviewers. To avoid complaints and legal battles, fully comply with these requirements.

  1. Close on a proper note

Thank the candidate for coming, explain when a decision will be made and how candidates will be notified, then shake the candidate’s hands (with a smile) before leading them out.

After the Interview

Deliberate, compare notes, and reach a consensus. Then, notify all the interviewed candidates (including the losers) about the decision. Remember to use the communication channel(s) promised earlier.

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