When you need to recruit new employees, whether you are an HR manager or a recruitment officer, conducting an interview is one of the most important steps in finding the right people for your organisation. It provides an opportunity for you to review an applicant’s skills and abilities and to get a ‘feel’ for their personality on a face-to-face level. To do this, you need to prepare well before each interview.
For tips on how to conduct an effective interview, you can check out the following infographic:
Here are 11 points to keep in mind when conducting an interview:
- Establish a rapport with the candidate.
- Ask the easy questions first.
- Don’t be intrusive.
- Ask open-ended questions.
- Ask tough questions.
- Rely on more than just questions.
- Use a scorecard.
- Look at non-verbal communication.
- Make time for the candidate to ask questions.
- Conclude the interview in the correct manner.
- Check references and do research.
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More tips on how to conduct an interview
Many recruitment agents or hiring managers don’t know that an interview does not have to be stiff and formal all the time. You can adjust the tone of an interview to match the culture of your organisation: this will help you to get a feel for a candidate’s personality, as well as whether he or she will be a good fit for your organisation.
How to ask questions in an interview
There are 4 types of questions you should ask:
Here you have the chance to identify the applicant’s experience and skills. For example, you can ask:
- What were your daily tasks in your previous jobs?
- What are the top 3 skills that you used in your previous job?
- How do you think your skills and experience qualify you to do this job (i.e. the job for which the applicant is currently being interviewed)?
- How would you describe your ideal working environment?
Asking questions that require creative thinking will not only give you the opportunity to get to know the applicant’s personality, but will also give you an indication of the applicant’s thought processes and capacity for linking concepts and coming up with new ideas. For example, you can ask questions like:
- What do you think are the major challenges facing this industry?
- Where do you see this industry going in the next 5-10 years?
- If you were working here, what would you suggest we do to keep up with the foreseeable changes in the industry?
By asking problem-solving questions, you get to test the applicant’s knowledge, as well as his or her capacity for solving problems in the workplace. If you are interviewing a candidate for a team leader position, you might ask a question such as:
- How would you respond if a team member told you that he/she is being harassed by another member of the team?
- How would you approach a situation where a team member constantly fails to meet deadlines?
Behavioural questions give you the opportunity to determine how well an applicant is likely to fit in to your organisation. Examples of behavioural questions include asking things such as:
- How do you cope with pressure?
- Tell me about a time in your previous job where you had to deal with conflict with a colleague. What was the conflict about, and how did you go about resolving it?
- What would you do if a colleague criticised your appearance?