Often, we see interviewees scratching their heads and find ways to crack the job interview. Our article on preparing for a job interview and STAR Approach  guides the interviewees to prepare well for the job, but what about the interviewers? Conducting an interview is an art, and not everyone can do it effectively. Knowing how to conduct an interview is as important as preparing to face an interview. You can learn this art and increase your chances of identifying a suitable candidate for your company. Many interviewers do not prepare well, nor do they scan the candidates’ resume carefully before the interview. Hiring the wrong candidate or losing the right one can both turn costly for your company. Remember, as much as the candidate needs to make a good impression, it is also essential that the candidate carries a positive image about you, the job opening, and the company. As an interviewer, you must be able to open, run, and close the interview properly. It is better to prepare well than make goof-ups during the interview. Research has proven that ‘traditional’ interviewing is a poor predictor of good hires. When you use an unstructured interviewing process and interview without preparing for it, the odds are that a high percentage of new hires fall short of your performance expectations leading to hiring failures. Hence, planning your strategy well before conducting the interview becomes essential.

Develop interview questions. An important step while preparing to conduct an interview involves deciding “what to ask.”

  1. Determine what the key selection criteria will be. Have an accurate or updated job description at hand, including roles and responsibilities, mandatory skills, education, qualifications, experience, and personal characteristics.
  2. Create an outline for each interview. Ensure you treat each candidate equally and follow the same general procedure for each of them.
  3. Develop interview questions. An important step while preparing to conduct an interview involves deciding “what to ask.” Be sure to ask a uniform set of questions to every candidate applying for the same position. It helps you to assess them on similar criteria. But yes, be smart on asking the questions; remember the job applicants are more intelligent. They get a sense from the other applicants on what questions are being asked. Keep an array of questions to assess similar skills and avoid repetition unless the situation demands. Frame generic questions to get an understanding of their background. Have a set of technical, behavioural, situation, scenario-based questions to get a more in-depth insight into the candidate’s technical knowledge and competency level. Remember, the quality of the questions determine the quality and value of the answers.
  4. Thoroughly and carefully read the candidates’ resume and cover letter and keep a copy of the resume with you for reference.
  5. Choose a quiet and private room with minimum distractions for the interview process. If you are using your office, ensure it is in a presentable condition.
  6. Dress professionally as you expect the candidate to be dressed.
  7. Anticipate interruptions. Keep your cell phone on silent/switch-off mode to minimize distractions. Do inform your team members that you will be temporarily unavailable and not to disturb you during that time. If required, forward your calls to a designated employee who can take messages and alert you in case of an emergency.
  8. Avoid stereotyping. Do not enter the interview room with a preconceived notion or mindset about the candidate or the group or community they belong to.
  9. Allow silence. It allows the candidate enough time to formulate a thoughtful response to a question and answer the question.
  10. Ensure you set aside enough time for each interview. An interview takes about at least 30 minutes on average. If your hiring process is designed in a way where the candidates are given a tour of the office premise, keep sufficient time for it as well.
  11. Allow sufficient time between each interview so that you make important notes and remarks to distinguish one candidate from another later when you make a call on the final selection. It will also help document the records should any questions arise later about the fairness of the interview.
  12. Inform the candidate about the possible next steps such as reference checks, interview with any other team members, seniors, or other company representatives.
  13. Always thank the candidate for his or her time and effort. No matter how well or poorly someone did in an interview, he or she at least deserves your thanks.
Prepare Well!! To Conduct a Job Interview

Preparing well for the interview will help you find the right talent. Working towards improving your skills takes time, but the payoff is worth it, and here, in this case, you identify the right candidate for your company.

ileadHR helps you hone your skills and enables you to design an interview process based on your requirements.

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