How-To

How To Conduct Successful Interviews.

For your business to survive, you need to hire the right people with the right skills. However, it isn’t always easy finding the right people who are right for your business; in fact it can be quite tricky. If you have the right interviewing skills, you have a better chance at snagging the right candidate, but if you don’t, you risk losing that candidate and possibly, even worse, hiring someone who is completely wrong for the job.

The job market is quite competitive, and especially now, conducting effective interviews is more important than ever before. And don’t forget that when you are interviewing a potential employee, your potential employee is in a way learning who you are as an employer.

To find the right candidate and have the right interviewing skills, you need to practice. Practice makes perfect! You need to make a good impression and make sure that you relay all of the correct and necessary information that the candidate needs.

Create A List of Skills Needed and Preferred.

This is the best way to know what you are looking for, and it makes it easier when you ask questions.

Create A List of Questions.

Once you know what to look for regarding skills, you can now have available to you what you need in order to ask the right questions. It is best to think of them ahead of time and write them down; keeps you organized. These questions should help you learn more about the candidate and what they are capable of. Construct open-ended questions that leave room for answers for candidates; the idea is that you want them to share information about themselves and talk about their experiences, preferably work related. Commonly, employers ask behavior-related questions to see how the candidate handled a particular situation; this can help you to see how the candidate might react to a similar situation in the future. For example, “What do you feel was the hardest aspect of your previous job?” “How did you manage your time to meet deadlines?” Of that sort.

Check the List Twice.

Go over your interview questions. This can help you to seed out any unnecessary questions and any redundant questions. You should have a good mixture of credential-based, experience-based, behavior-based, and opinion-based questions. Hopefully your list of questions will be able to provide you with enough information about the interviewee, including background and personality.

Prepare for Questions.

Now that you have prepared yourself to ask questions, prepare to answer questions as well. You need to make sure that you have enough information about the company (which you should if you are the owner) that can answer any potential questions from your potential employee. It does not look good on you or your company if you can’t answer any questions asked by the candidate. You need to be able to anticipate the questions, and this of course takes practice. After interviewing several people, you will come to notice that they all tend to ask the same sort of questions. Common questions are about the business’ core function, number of employees, culture, future plans, salary and benefits, etc. A good idea would be to bring a media kit with you to give to the candidate; a media kit should provide them with all of the information that they need regarding the actual company.

Understand the Purpose.

The ultimate goal of interviewing is to find the right person for the right job. However, the interview’s real purpose is to find out about the candidate, the personality, their background, their interests, their behavior, etc. This is your time, your opportunity, to find out if any of the applicants are qualified for the job.

Go Over Your Strategy.

You need to be able to rethink your interviewing strategy and make sure that you know what you are asking, and if they are the right questions. Questions that you have already prepared help you to find the right interviewing tactics that can help you find out the most about the person sitting right in front of you. Make sure your questions and your overall game plan is aimed at finding out the most you can about the candidate, their talents, strengths, and weaknesses.

Tell the Applicant How It Will Go.

After introducing yourself (don’t forget that), put the candidate at ease. When going to an interview (for interviewees), it is quite stressful and nerve racking. Just let them know the structure of the interview, how things will go. You want them to feel relaxed and speak as freely as possible, and you want them to provide detailed answers.

Take Notes.

This is probably the most important part of the interview. You want to be able to remember who this person was. You must have the best possible listening skills. Capture whatever details you feel are necessary to know. This will help you when it comes time to make a hiring decision; it allows you to compare candidates that you interviewed and make the best decision.

These are just the basics, there is always a little more pieces to the entire puzzle. Go to www.managementhelp.org/evaluatn/intrview.htm for an extensive look at the entire interviewing process, including helpful sources to look at for other management issues.