5 Tips For Conducting A Successful Interview


You’ve put a lot of time, energy and effort into your company, so when it comes time to hiring new staff, you’ll want to ensure you’re choosing the right candidate. From the interview to handing over a letter of offer, the hiring process can be a nerve-wracking one for all parties involved. Many candidate thinking about how to face an interview.

Thankfully, there are a few ways you can improve your side of the interview process; from getting to know your candidate properly in the interview, giving a detailed account of the company. With a little pre-planning, you can conduct a fantastic interview that will ensure you pick the right person for the role.

1. Be honest

Our ability to communicate is one of our most important characteristics as a species, and it’s vital that we’re always aiming to communicate effectively and honestly. Transparency from the get-go during an interview encourages your interviewee to be honest about themselves not only during the selection process but also ongoing within the company if you choose to hire them.

Be yourself, keep it professional, and set an example of building a workplace culture that values open dialogue. You don’t have to be honest to the point of revealing intimate company secrets, but showing any future employee that your business values honesty will set you and your potential new employee up for success down the road.

2. Ask direct questions

Many interviewers often start their interview with the classic “So, tell me a little bit about yourself”. This often leads to the interviewee becoming overwhelmed on where to start or exactly what their interviewer is wanting to hear. Try starting with a less vague question to break the ice, such as “Where did you grow up?” or “What was your very first job?”. With a direct question, you’ll get a direct answer, and usually a surprisingly good story as well.

Be sure to avoid more roundabout questions later in the interview as well. Your potential future employee will thank you for actual prompts to talk about their experience, such as “How many years have you worked in this industry?”, rather than a vague “What’s your employment background?”. This also shows you’re interested in what the interviewee has to say, rather than reading from a stock standard interview questionnaire.

3. Throw in curveball questions

A good interview should always have some questions thrown in that help you get to know your candidate a little better. These “‘curveball’ questions are named as such as they’re often not ones that job hunters prepare for, and thus show a true insight to their character. 

These might include questions such as:

  • What breed of dog would you be if you were a dog for a day?
  • What’s your ultimate holiday destination?
  • If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be and why?

These can help you to find out a little bit more about the person’s personality. For instance, if they answered “I’d be a Labrador” to the first question, this might suggest they’re a very loyal person. A holiday to Paris might reveal a romance, whilst dinner with Genghis Khan might show something else altogether.

Keep these questions lighthearted, and remember they’re aimed at creating fun and not for interrogation. You want to see whether the person will fit into the culture of your current team, as well as make sure they have the necessary qualifications and experience.

4. Overcome your nerves

It can be a nerve-wracking experience to conduct an interview, though we often see it as only anxiety-provoking for the interviewee. Wanting to make sure you ask the right kind of questions whilst presenting as a great representative of the company is sure to put butterflies in your stomach, and that’s nothing to be ashamed about.

Once the interview gets going, your nerves will start to dissipate. But be sure to take deep breaths, and maybe even enjoy a laugh with the interviewee if you’re both nervous; it’s a well-known fact that a little laughter always helps break the ice.

5. Always follow-up

If your recruitment process allows it, hold second (and even third) interviews if you can. This will help ease any concerns you may have about your future employee, or whittle down from a few candidates to the perfect one for the job.

If this is your process, it’s good to practice to tell your applicant to know so they can prepare for multiple interviews. If a delay has occurred during the process, let your interviewees know that the decision is taking a little longer than necessary and when they can expect an answer; they might just be sitting by the phone waiting for your call.

Acing the art of the interview

Like any other skill, practice makes perfect. Whether it’s your first time conducting interviews, or you’ve done it every week for the past ten years, you should work on your interview technique regularly for use in future recruitment scenarios. 

By getting your candidate choice right the first time, you’ll save time, money and effort in the long run. Be sure to also hold onto those good employees, as they’re the ones who’ll take you to your next heights of success.

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