Tips for Conducting an Effective Job Interview

January 4, 2014

ID-100215707One of the biggest mistakes business leaders can make is hasty hiring decisions. The difference between hiring just another employee and the right employee is what separates the employee who works for your business and the employee who makes your business work. Finding the latter starts with the interview process. Here are five tips from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Alabama to help you get the most out of your interview and the best person for the job.

1. Do Your Research — Just as you expect your candidate to come to the interview prepared, having researched your business and the job position and spent time preparing for the interview, you too should do your due diligence. Use the candidate’s résumé as a springboard to learn more about their past employment history and their job performance. Use this information to tailor your interview questions in order to best gauge how well the candidate would fit at your business.

2. Avoid Quick Judgments — First impressions should not be the sole means of evaluating a candidate. They may be nervous and not putting their best foot forward initially, but have a lot to offer to a prospective employer. Focusing on building rapport to set them at ease can not only help them perform better in the interview, but can also create a positive impression in the candidate’s mind about you and the organization. Reserve your judgment and continue to learn more about them before deciding whether to take the next step in the process.

3. Ask For Behavioral Anecdotes — Never take résumé bullet points at face value. Phrases like “team player” and “born leader” are clichés nowadays. What you really want is anecdotal evidence how someone is a team player or a natural leader. To borrow a creative writing concept, you want candidates to show, not tell. By relating a time they took charge of a situation or directly influenced a business’ success, candidates show you how they behave, as opposed to just telling you.

4. Vary Your Questions — In order to gain the broadest picture of a candidate, ask a variety of questions during the interview. Do not limit yourself solely to questions related to the position they are applying for. All jobs require a certain amount of adaptability, flexibility and improvisation. Use the interview as an opportunity to test whether your candidate is malleable and able to bend with unexpected demands or rigid and likely to break under pressure.

5. Prepare for Ongoing Evaluation — Just because the interview is over, it doesn’t mean you are done with your evaluation of the candidate. After the interview, take some time away from the evaluation process. We recommend putting a good night sleep between the interview and the next step in the evaluation process. This way, you keep a clear head whenever deliberating over whether a candidate is a viable asset to your business or not.

Bottom line—just try to stay focused on what matters most when interviewing a candidate. The more time and effort you put into the interviewing process, employing techniques and advice like the tips above, the more likely you are to hire a perfect match for your business.

This post brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Alabama. We would love to connect with you on Facebook!

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