You’ve sifted through dozens, if not hundreds, of applications. You’ve picked your favourite candidates, and now you’re ready to proceed to the make-or-break portion of the hiring process: interviews.
Many recruiting managers will agree that a lot of things can go wrong during interviews. To make things worse, you only get a limited time to assess each candidate properly. If you’re not adequately prepared, the best one might slip right through your fingertips.
In this article, we’ve got nine techniques for effective interviewing that are guaranteed not just to get you the right hire but also to increase the overall experience for both you and the candidates.
Let’s dive in.
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1. Review CVs in Advance
The first technique for effective interviewing is to review the candidate’s CV way ahead of time.
Although you might have used a good ATS like SeeMeHired to sort through your applicants’ CVs, nothing still beats a second look with a careful pair of human eyes.
Reviewing your final candidate’s CV will give you a clear idea of what exactly they promise on paper so that you’ll know what questions to ask to get to know them.
2. Explain the Process Beforehand
It’s also a great idea to explain the interview’s flow beforehand. Doing so will make the process go more smoothly since the candidate already knows what’s coming.
In addition to this, it will lessen the candidate’s nervousness and instead make them feel like they’re part of an organised process. A reassured and confident candidate is more likely to tell you things that you want to know about them, including their real personality and how well they can integrate into the company culture.
Make sure to cover even the things that might happen after the interview. For instance, you can clearly explain to the candidate how long it will take your company to make a decision, whether they should expect an email or a phone call, and when exactly you’re planning to fill the position.
3. Establish Your Goals for the Interview
What are your goals for the interview? Is it finding the candidate that has the best work ethic and personality for your company? Is it learning which one has all the necessary technical expertise and work experience?
Whatever it is, you should already be set on the things that you want to find out about each candidate even before engaging them in an interview.
4. Choose a Quiet Interview Area
Location is an essential factor when conducting something as serious as an interview. A quiet area will let both of you focus and help tremendously in making the candidate more comfortable.
Before the interview, double-check to ensure that everything in your chosen location is in proper order.
And while virtual interviews are starting to increase in popularity, choosing a quiet room to do the video interview is just as important. After all, having a dedicated and private area for work-related matters can increase productivity and focus.
Lastly, be sure to warn the candidate you’re interviewing if you’re likely to have disturbances on your end and ask the candidates to do the same whenever applicable.
5. Build Rapport with Your Candidate
An interview is a two-way street. You’re not just there to look for an excellent candidate to fill a vacant job post in your company—they’re also there to find a suitable employer who will value them and help them grow.
Therefore, never treat an interview like an interrogation session. Instead, treat it like a casual conversation, especially at the beginning.
Get them a glass of water before starting if they want one. Ask them how their day is going, or ask about something you think you have in common. Build rapport, let them ask questions and crack a few jokes if you can. Towards the end, thank them for their time and answer any other questions they might have before concluding.
Not only will this set them at ease, but it will also make them want to work with you more and leave them with a glowing impression of your company. Even if you don’t end up hiring them now, you’ll have a greater chance of persuading them to come back to the company in the future to fill a more suitable position.
Remember, an interview doesn’t have to be uncomfortable and formal. Although there are boundaries of professionalism to keep in mind, you can still be polite and kind without being overbearing.
6. Use the Correct Tone
More than the words you speak, your tone while conducting the interview is also critical to getting the right message across.
Your tone communicates the emotions you’re feeling. More than that, your tone also dictates how the person you’re talking to will perceive the feelings behind your words. Thus, your tone is a modifier, a carrier of additional meaning.
If you want the interview to be effective, always use the right tone of voice. As previously mentioned, an interview is not an interrogation, so leave the authoritative tone at the door. Instead, be friendly and open yet still professional.
7. Learn How to Read Body Language
Body language makes up the majority of face-to-face conversations, carrying more meaning than both words and tone combined. You can use this to your advantage by learning the art of body language.
You can learn a lot about someone just by observing their body language. You can even get a general idea of what kind of person they are just by observing their posture, hand movements, facial expressions, and more, as these all have psychological implications.
By studying body language, you can make preliminary judgments about how a person would fit in with the group, how they’d handle pressure, or how they’d react to orders from higher-ups.
8. Have Someone Else Take Notes
Notes are a powerful way to remember ideas and observations during the interview, as well as a useful aid during the subsequent selection process. That said, they can be disturbing and even a hassle to both parties.
One solution is to assign someone else to take down notes as you interview the candidate. If you’re doing a video interview, you can even record the session and replay it at your convenience in addition to note-taking.
9. Ask the Right Questions
Interviews can’t go on forever, which means you need to ask the right questions instead of wasting time on the wrong ones.
An initial interview will typically run from 20-30 minutes, so 5-10 questions should suffice. For final interviews, which can typically last more than an hour, asking 10-15 questions is usually a safe bet.
As for the content of your interview questions, it’s best to avoid yes-or-no questions. Instead, go for open-ended brain teasers, situational questions, and hypotheticals, as these will give you a deeper insight into the candidates’ thoughts.
When listening to their answers, try to glean real-life evidence of expertise, experience, and potential fit with the team. It won’t be easy — but that’s where your note taker comes in handy. In addition to jotting down things, they can also easily catch things that you might have missed.
To make things easier, you can create a guide prior to the interview to use as a reference. Just one note: be very careful about the legality of your interview questions. Make sure to double and even triple check your questions before asking them.
Hire the Best Talent With Techniques for Effective Interviewing
Interviews may be a regular, even unexciting, proceeding, but going the extra mile is certainly beneficial compared to treating it as a chore.
An effective interview session won’t just drastically increase the likelihood of finding the right hire. It will also enhance your employer branding and improve the overall candidate experience.
With these interviewing techniques, you’ll raise the chances of attracting relevant candidates that drive performance and productivity in your company.