How to conduct the perfect interview in five easy steps

Job Interview

When recruiting, the ultimate goal is obviously to hire the best people that you possibly can. What many companies fail to realise however is that finding high quality CVs is just half the battle. You may have some brilliant interviewees lined up to come in but what now? How do you make sure that you choose the best person for the job? Below are five great tips to help you conduct the perfect interview and hire the right person for your team.

Understand what you need

Experience and qualifications are of course very important when looking for a new recruit but what exactly is it that your business needs? Chances are that you have at least one critical need and you require someone to come in and solve this for you. Say for example you need someone to come in and manage a team for you. One candidate could have impeccable qualifications and references but if they’re lacking in management skills then they are going to struggle to fulfil their role.

Explain the interview process to candidates

Any candidates you have selected for an interview should know exactly what to expect when they come in. Where the interview will be, who will be interviewing them and what the process will involve are all basic requirements. Nobody likes nasty surprises so leaving candidates in the dark could leave them feeling overwhelmed which may affect their interview performance.

Do your homework

We’re all guilty of having done this at some point – we have a candidate coming in for an interview and the only preparation we do is a quick read-through of their CV five minutes before they’re due in. This will of course get you by but it does stop you from asking intelligent questions that are going to help you find the perfect new recruit.

Do your homework for every single interviewee you are going to meet. Start with their CV and think of any relevant questions – what did they achieve at their last role? What projects did they work on? Did they get promoted and if so why? Why did they leave previous roles? How long did they stay with a particular company for? All of these things can reveal a great deal of information about a person’s aspirations, work ethic and interests.

Have a conversation, not an interrogation with your candidates

As you will more than likely know from your own experience, the best interviews are actually conversations. This is yet another reason why doing your homework is vital – the more you know about a candidate, the more you will have to talk about.

Another key thing to remember is to take the conversation slowly. People are very frequently scared of silences because they fear this means things aren’t going well. Jumping from one topic to another can result in valuable information being left out however. Whereas if you take things slowly, candidates will naturally fill the gaps with additional examples and more detail.

Ask follow-up questions

The most revealing answers frequently come from follow-up questions. When a candidate answers a question, ask them why, how, what was learnt and what the outcome was. How a person handles themselves in certain situations says a lot about what they will be like as an employee.

Once you have perfected your interview technique, chances are that you will find recruiting a whole lot easier and even more enjoyable. Don’t forget that you can always have someone else sit in on the interview with you for a second opinion and second interviews are a great way of making sure you’re hiring the right person for the job.

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