Every experienced interviewer will tell you they didn’t really know what they were doing when they first started.
It takes years of experience to know how to always come away from an interview with useful information. Below are a few expert tips on how you can interview like a seasoned pro.
1) Do Your Research
Each candidate has something unique to offer your company and it’s your job to figure that out before walking into the interview. One way to do this is to actually perform reference checks before the interview. Talking to references can give you a lot of insight on a candidate and what questions to ask them.
2) Start Casual
Start off the interview by asking a question about the person and not the job opening, like: “Where did you grow up?”
A casual opening question establishes a foundation of interpersonal trust but it can also give you a feeling of where your candidate is coming from. Once in a while, you’ll get a unique story or learn you have a great deal in common.
3) Use Open-Ended Questions
Every interview includes questions that must address specific data points. However, the most interesting answers usually come from open-ended questions, like, “Where do you see your career five years from now?”
In the moment, your task is to get the interviewee to give you a broad sense of who they are as a professional. Later, you can analyze their specific responses for insight.
4) Fill in the Blanks
Time is money and every second in an interview is precious. Don’t waste time asking about things you already know, like a candidate’s education or general skill set. Interview time should be spent drilling down on areas where you have the most questions.
5) Keep It Loose
When you’re the interviewer, you have a set of questions in front of you and there’s a tendency to want to drive the conversation based on those questions. You spent all this time coming up with great questions, it would be a waste not to ask all of them, right?
However, you need to leave room for the conversation to wander. Often, the biggest takeaway from an interview comes when the discussion is allowed to loosen up a bit.
6) Active Listening
The focus of every job interview is what the candidate says, not what an interviewer asks. Therefore, it is essential for you to pay attention to every word that is said to you.
It also helps to focus on what isn’t said. For instance, if a candidate is quick to change a subject or gives a short response to a question, it should pique your interest.
7) Aim for Unique Insights
While you want to walk out of an interview with information that will allow you to make a good hiring decision, you should also try to ask questions that provide unique insight on a candidate, questions that other interviewers may not think to ask. You can often do this by active listening, asking follow-up questions and not accepting rehearsed answers at face value.
We Can Help with Your Candidate Screening Process
At Career Concepts, we take the heavy lifting out of the candidate’s screening process so our clients can focus on only interviewing best-fit candidates. Please contact us today to learn how we can help your business make better hires.