6 Ways to Conduct a Successful Interview
By Taylor Varco
When you think about a job interview, most will think about preparation the candidate needs to do to succeed—researching the company and hiring managers, studying the job description, etc. The tips for job seekers are endless. However, some of the same advice also holds true for employers responsible for interviewing. In order to get the most out of an interview, you have to prepare. Below are 6 ways you can prepare to conduct a successful interview.
- Do your homework & take time to prep
Preparation is needed before the interview. Learn as much as you can about the candidate, going beyond the resume. Getting the most of an interview also involves having the right people a part of it. Make sure your people interviewing the candidate are also prepared and you work together as a team during the interview.
- Prepare for them to be nervous.
If a candidate is nervous in an interview it shouldn’t be a disqualifier. Introverts who are clearly nervous may be some of the best hires you ever make. Try starting out with a question that focuses on them as a person, such as “Where did you grow up?” Unless the job is for an outward facing position, such as sales or customer service, make an effort to put people at ease and look beyond outward appearances.
- Listen for a value proposition.
It’s likely one of your first questions will be something along the lines of “Tell me about yourself.” Listen specifically to how they communicate their their value. Look for people who can articulate why they are a great fit for this job. If they are too generic, that could be a red flag.
- Ask the right follow-up questions.
Even when you ask open-ended questions, you’ll often still receive rehearsed answers. Don’t accept these answers and move on, ask one or more follow-up questions. Using follow-up questions force job candidates to reveal if there is any substance behind the initial programmed response. If they can describe in detail how they accomplished something, they are likely telling the truth. If they provide broad generalized responses, they are probably embellishing their role in some way.
- Ask for specific examples.
If they talk about a skill set, ask for specific examples of success. For example, if they say “One of my strengths is building teamwork.” Follow that up with “Tell me about a time you built up teamwork that was critical to the success of a project/assignment.” If they say “I drive for results.” A response could be, “Give me an example of that, what your role was, and the outcome of your actions.”
- Have they researched your company?
Listen for indication the candidate has researched your company, the job qualifications, and requirements. Are they able to talk about your products/services? What about your values and vision? This things are usually easily found on the company website. Bonus points if they’ve made an effort to understand your business and competitive environment.
Employees expect job seekers to prepare for an interview, and job seekers want interviewers to also be prepared. Following these tips can help ou make the most out of your next interview.