Advice when Interviewing

Interviews, either online or in-person, can be a challenge as sometimes the skills required don’t come naturally. Your staff will really appreciate the efforts you make to identify suitable new employees that will complement the existing skill sets and help the business achieve their goals. 

Therefore the stakes are high for an organisation as you risk adversely affecting staff morale, disrupting the business as well as the cost of hire and potential loss of opportunity.

Some simple steps to assist you in conducting a good interview are below:

  1. Clearly define the job requirement - have a clear picture of the performance you want to see from the position and agree on the priority skills and accomplishments you are looking for in the ideal person.
  2. Create an interview scorecard - list the key skills and accomplishments you require and rate each candidate 1-5 on each category. Record and retain candidate answers to assist in identifying strengths and weaknesses for each candidate which will be required when deciding who will be required for the next round of interviews.
  3. Review the candidate's CV – familiarise yourself with the candidate as this will assist you in identifying suitable follow-up questions and shows you have taken the time to ensure a productive interview.
  4. Prepare an interview structure - give a brief introduction, description of the company, and then outline the vacancy. Ask the applicant if they have any questions before you begin. This sets up the parameters of the interview and keeps you both focused.
  5. Don’t be over-friendly – keep to the structure as if you spend time chatting, you may make a hiring decision because you liked the candidate rather than on the criteria you have already identified.
  6. Ask appropriate questions - open-ended, behavioural and accomplishment oriented questions allow the candidate to describe their expertise as well as what they have accomplished in life and their career.
  7. Listen – follow the 80:20 rule and let the candidate do most of the talking. Don’t tell but ask and listen.
  8. Evaluate candidates after all interviews are completed on the day – evaluating whilst the interviews are fresh in your mind is essential. All interviewers should record their thoughts and sleep on them so you can look objectively at them.
  9. Always follow up – its professional courtesy to always follow up when a decision has been made. Let the candidate or agency know as soon as possible as the candidate will be anxious to hear the outcome.