Tips for Conducting an Effective Interview

Joe Weinlick
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The pressure builds when you're tasked with finding the perfect candidate for your team. The crucial element of the hiring process is the job interview because you're responsible for evaluating and assessing each applicant's qualifications while predicting how these candidates fit into your company culture. Enhance how you conduct initial meetings with prospective employees by utilizing these tactics.

Vet Each Applicant

Spend time well before each job interview researching the candidate's presence online. For example, review LinkedIn profiles and Twitter feeds to get a feel for a candidate's area of expertise. Vet the applicants so you're well-versed during the first meeting. The more information you have, the more able you are to ask in-depth questions that focus on the applicant's professional experiences and achievements.

Maintain an Open Mind

It's often easy to make snap judgments about applicants before they even answer interview questions. Identify any biases you may have and free your mind so you can fully learn more about the people you're interviewing. The job interview should provide you with an idea of the candidate's personality, professional experience and ability to communicate effectively. Avoid letting any preconceived notions taint your assessment prior to that first handshake.

Choose Your Questions Wisely

The interview questions you choose to ask help determine the type of information you receive about each prospective employee. Prepare for the job interview by compiling a list of questions. Vary your questions so you're asking some of the standard ones but also ask questions that are focused on the company specifically. For instance, you could begin with "Tell me about yourself" and later on during the interview, ask specific questions that help reveal whether the candidate is knowledgeable about the company's products and services. Also ask why the candidate is seeking employment at your company to uncover his career goals and professional interests.

Have a Two-Way Conversation

Hiring managers learn much more about the candidates they're interviewing if they conduct the job interview in a conversational manner. For example, avoid dominating the conversation with what you think about the company. Instead, make it a two-way conversation where you and the applicants converse back and forth. Don't forget to provide each applicant with an opportunity to ask questions. Many interviewers find that they learn a lot about applicants' preparation and professionalism based on the questions they ask toward the end of the meeting.

As a hiring manager, you have complete control of the job interview process. If you keep an open mind, host a two-way conversation and choose your questions carefully, you can bring out the best in each applicant and conduct a meeting that's productive, ultimately providing you with the information you need to make a hiring decision. How have you gone about preparing for job interviews in the past?

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