How To Conduct An Interview

September 30, 2016

By: Marlene Cosain

Like we all know, time is money. The manner in which an interview is conducted can be the difference in finding the best person for the job. Knowing what to ask, what steps are involved in the process and how to handle an interview is important because in the long run you can utilize both money and time invested. If you do not know how to prepare for an interview or what questions to ask here are a few tips:

Preliminary Interviews

This part of the interview process is typically done over the phone to save time. An HR manager asks all the fixed questions during this time to really determine whether the occupation is suitable for the prospect employee. Ask questions that will help narrow down the list of candidates and that answer your pre-requisites. Questions you can ask may include:

“Are you available to work nights or weekends?”

“What experience do you have in the field?”

“Do you have transportation?”

“What experience do you have with working a Front Desk?”

“Are you bilingual?”

Preparation

If the interviewing process is something you do not look forward to, creating a structured agenda can help this part of the process run smoother. In advance, build a set of questions and topics that are important for you to cover. This list is not something to read off of entirely, but merely a reminder of the bases you want to cover. Derek Gagne, CEO of Talent Edge Solutions noted, “Have 10 or 12 questions that you will consistently ask each candidate. This is particularly important if you will be interviewing multiple applicants and want to compare answers later.”

It is also essential to read the candidate’s resume ahead of time. By studying each candidate’s resume, you can also base questions from there. If you are well prepared, you can save time during the interview to really dig deep for thoughtful answers.

Conducting the Interview

When commencing an interview it is best to lighten up the atmosphere. Start by shaking hands and proceed to introducing yourself and the company. Take time to explain the occupation you are looking to fill and proceed to describe the vision of the company. It is important to note that how you present yourself can reflect the direction of the interview. Being casual or coming off as too serious can lead the candidate to mimicking your behavior.

When conducting an interview, there are many areas you want to cover such as related experience, skills, background information and educational preparation. Approach each area with an open-ended question, this will steer clear of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers. Ask questions that will make the candidate go into detail whether it is about their best virtues or areas they lack skill in. Human Resources Expert, Susan Heathfield shares a list of questions that have worked for her:

“Tell me about a time when you had to overcome a major obstacle that stood in the way of you accomplishing a goal or commitment.”

“How do you believe that your current skills will contribute to the accomplishment of our company's goals and mission?”

“How do you go about continuing to develop your professional skills and knowledge?”

These questions go into problem-solving styles, interaction with coworkers, personal initiative to do research and personal development.
After you have gotten a sense of your prospect employee, give candidates the opportunity to ask you questions. Doing so, will give them the chance to clarify what is expected of them and ultimately, if the job is right for them. Knowing what topics to go into and what successful questions sound like will lead to a productive interview that can save you time and money.

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