Hello, I’m Naomi Burgess and in this post I’m going to provide a few tips and tricks for conducting successful interviews that aren’t too nerve-wrecking for you or the candidate.
First things first – try not to be too nervous. I know that nerves are inevitable during an interview, but try to remember that if you’ve prepared well and can built a rapport between you and the candidate, both parties will get the most out of the meeting. Preparation is truly the key. Make sure that you’ve familiarised yourself with the candidate’s CV and/or application form, and if anything is unclear, you can ask the candidate at the interview to clarify. To be prepared even better, most recruiters Google the candidate’s name and read through their LinkedIn profile or anything else that comes up. Whether to do so or not is up to you, but I should say that you can learn a lot about a candidate from a social media profile and in many cases, the decision has been made at that stage already.
Interact and Be Open
Secondly, try and build a rapport between the two of you. Tell the candidate at the start who you are, what your role in the company is, and how you’re going to conduct the interview. They’re there, after all, to learn just as much about you as you are about them. Following that, ask the questions you might have had about the CV (like I mentioned earlier) to clarify any gaps or something you’re not familiar with. After you do so, you can proceed with the questions pertaining to the position that you should have prepared in advance. You can see some of my suggestions for the questions below:
– Why this position? This company? This industry? These questions should be asked at the start, so that you have a clear idea of why the candidate is interested in the job and determine whether his or her interest is long-term;
– What is your greatest achievement? The answers to this question would help you see whether the candidate is willing to go the extra mile, what they value the most and what their strengths are;
– What are your main strengths and weaknesses? Not only can you compare their answers to the job requirements, but you can also see whether they’re self-aware and capable of overcoming their weaknesses;
There are, of course, many other questions you should ask, depending on the industry and the position. Another way to determine the candidate’s skills and knowledge levels is to give them a test before or after the interview. This exercise can, for example, test their knowledge of a foreign language if the position requires it, determine whether their values match the company’s, or perform any other functions pertaining to the position. Make sure to warn the candidate of the test in advance – additional nerves that come with a sudden five-minute notice during the interview aren’t going to help anybody.
Speaking of nerves, some recruiters like to put candidates under various sorts of pressure. Again, it’s up to you whether or not you employ this practice – it would depend on the industry and the position. However, if the candidate has a lot of experience working under pressure anyway, I’d say that should be telling enough. As an alternative, you could ask them about how they handle pressure and manage their time.
At the end of the interview, make sure to give the candidate an opportunity to ask you questions – if they don’t, it’s quite telling, but if they do, it means that they’re genuinely interested in working for you. Answer as honestly as you can and don’t stress too much about how you acted during the interview after it’s over.