Sitting down for a conversation with a total stranger can, for many people, sound like an absolute nightmare.
Narrow the conversation’s focus to a job opening, repeat a potentially limitless number of times and add in a little pressure to “get it right” or watch thousands of dollars in resources go down the drain. No big deal, right?
Interviews are tense and uncomfortable for interviewer and interviewee alike because it’s two sides dying to connect during a first time meeting. As external pressures and personal nerves multiply, conducting a successful interview becomes even more difficult as behaviors change, quirks are on full display and critical information can be missed entirely.
Being a great interview ensures more comfortable, qualified candidates find their way onto your team, and the best part is it’s easy to improve.
Have Your Questions Ready
Doesn’t that go without saying? Let’s be real, we’re all guilty of conducting an interview on the fly. Even with basic questions in mind, we have all “skimmed” (ie. not read) a candidate’s resume, came unprepared with follow-up questions or downright forgot an interview was today at one point or another. It’s human nature and we don’t hold it against you.
However, taking a few minutes to study their resume and having pre-planned questions will ensure you cover all major talking points and naturally open up the conversation.
Do what you can to set a candidate’s expectations early on. It will clear up some of the unknown for both of you and reduce anxiety. A short time before the interview begins, close out any major tasks and take it easy for a minute. Conducting an interview while your hair is on fire is hard enough, but it can actually scare away an A+ candidate.
Since an interview is a basic conversation, start it out by asking about their day. The more personal and relatable both sides can be, discussions will be deeper with more quality information.
Sell the Position
If you have a gut instinct that this candidate may be a great fit, why waste time asking more standard questions? Pivot the conversation by being honest about them being a potentially great fit. Discuss what the organization is like, any perks or benefits, you can even offer them a tour or chance to meet other members of the team.
This will help applicants envision themselves in the role and, should they be hired, break the ice for their first day with the rest of the company.