7 top tips to become a great interviewer
When it comes to interviews everyone has a different approach. The truth is there is no “right” way, however, whether you are the interviewer or the interviewee there are techniques to avoid as well as simple steps you can take to improve. Here are our top 7 tips for interviewers based on our experiences.
1. Make your candidates feel comfortable:
Opening on a positive note is a great way to start an interview. Greet your candidates on time and make them feel welcome, offer them something to drink, and maintain as much eye contact as possible. You should also ease them into the process, especially with inexperienced candidates. Try and have fun with your interviews as this will make both you and your candidate feel much more relaxed, therefore leading to a better interview and improved results.
Top tip: most candidates will include an personal interest point on their CV; asking about this can be a great way to start a conversation and make them feel at ease.
Start slow, safe, and personal:
A good way of easing your candidate into the interview process is by beginning with questions that focus on the person rather than the job on offer. You can relax your candidate and humanize the interaction, therefore relaxing the atmosphere and building a personal connection with the applicant.
Be mindful of your own body language:
While you're analysing the candidate's eye contact and attire, keep in mind that they're also looking for nonverbal signals from you, so be aware of them. You should always maintain a professional tone of voice whilst clearly demonstrating the job's responsibilities and the company's mission. Furthermore, you should never talk too much during the interview process; the rule of thumb is the interviewer should only be talking 30% of the time this allows candidates to adequately promote their skills and qualifications during the interview.
Body language: Make sure you provide positive eye contact and body posture while a candidate is speaking.
Remember that many people suffer excessive nerves at interviews and this is not necessarily a reflection on their normal personality (in the same way everyone handles exams differently). When you see a candidate suffer a ‘mind blank moment’ do not watch them suffer in silence – help them but suggesting your own experiences in relation to the question asked. This should help the candidate get some time to think, gather their thoughts, and prompt their own experiences.
Consistency and notes are key:
You should always ask each candidate the same questions as this will provide a basis to compare. This ties in with creating an objective evaluation system which is where you rate each candidate on the same terms, therefore providing you with a simple scale that removes unconscious bias and streamlines the whole process. Taking good notes also helps the evaluation process and for secondary and tertiary interviews.
Questions to avoid:
Wherever possible try to avoid asking closed answer questions or asking more than one question at a time. Such questions prevent the candidate from expressing a full answer and/or creates confusion which will unnerve the candidate and disrupt the interview.
Not all interviews go well. As interviewers we should not only offer constructive feedback to our interviewee’s but, also ask for feedback ourselves. This is one way we can improve and get the most out of each experience. Remember, if an interviewee does want feedback, try to make it constructive – avoid anything which could create further anxiety or personal doubt for another interview – focus on areas for improvement rather than put them down.
Cheat tip: ask for feedback from candidates you interview – this is a great way to improve!
Wondering how to become a great interviewee? Don't worry, we've got you covered! Read our top 7 tips here.
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