From entry level to executive level, most every position starts with an interview. As an employer, the task of getting to, and through, that interview process with candidates is not necessarily always the simplest part of your job. You sift through hundreds of resumes to narrow down those select few applicants, and when you finally get to the interview phase you want to make sure you do not waste anyone’s time.
So how can you ensure that you are doing what is necessary to really get to know a potential future employee? Consider these points to help you run an effective interview:
Come to the interview prepared. Just as a candidate would come to an interview with some knowledge of the employer, you should have a good amount of knowledge on the candidate you are about to meet with. Become familiar enough with their background so that prior to the interview you can develop specific questions around their experience or skill sets. This will allow you to ask more relevant questions, and give you more time to spend on getting to know the candidate further.
Allow the interview to be conversational. Although asking relevant questions is important, be careful not to come across as interrogating the candidate. Since you know more about the candidate’s background from doing your research, you should also ask intelligent questions that allow the candidate to provide more introspect. If you truly listen to their answers intently, this can allow breathing room in the conversation for them to go into further detail, and allow you to develop more thoughtful questions that you are not just reading from a list.
Mix in some behavioral questions. These types of questions speak to the skill sets that candidates have on their resume. For instance, if a candidate highlights on their resume the ability to multi-task, you may want to ask a specific question to evaluate that skill set. An example question might be: “Tell me about a time you had a tight deadline to meet, and how you were able to get it all done.” Asking behavioral questions can help you assess any strengths or weaknesses relevant to the position the candidate is interviewing for.
Spend time answering questions from the candidate. As much as you want to get to know a potential future employee, they want to get to know their potential future employer. Answering questions can be very beneficial for the employer. It can help you gauge the interest level of the candidate, and if you are open and honest with your answers you may get an even better feel for them based off of their reactions.
A skilled and effective employee base is one of a company’s biggest assets. Going through the selection and interview process can be an overwhelming task, but incorporating even just one of these points can greatly improve the effectiveness of your interview and get you on your way to finding that next great fit!