For Recruiters: Must-Dos During an Interview

With a quick search for “interview tips” on Google, about 1540 million results pop up. However, it doesn’t take long for one to realize that most of these tips are for interviewees, rather than interviewers. This seems to stem from the understanding that the burden of performing well during an interview lies solely on the interviewee. However, it is just as important for the interviewer to take time and properly prepare while recruiting others. How you present yourself as an interviewer is the first direct reflection of your company to those interested in joining. Whether you are a first-time interviewer, or an experienced HR manager, here are some suggestions on the must-dos of an interview.

Walk in with a Positive Attitude

As perhaps the first person the candidate meets at your company, it is crucial to make a good first impression as a reflection of your company and team’s image. Your interaction with the candidate will be their first idea of what your company culture is like. Be welcoming to the candidate, inclusive in your interview and passionate about your company. Setting a positive mood can help not only yourself to enjoy the interview more, but also calm the candidate down for you to have a meaningful exchange.

Review and Be Prepared

A candidate can tell whether you’ve come prepared for the interview or just scrambled a few question together last minute. By being unprepared, you are indirectly telling the candidate that your company does not care about their new employees and that your team is disorganized in your work. Before the interview, take some time and review the resume and cover letter of the candidate. Although it’s likely that they may repeat the content in speech during the interview, having a look beforehand can give you an idea of which areas of their experience is most pertinent to your company. If you’ve asked for submitted work such as a portfolio or writing samples, be sure to actually take a good look at it so you can have a better understanding of their skill if you choose to go over their works during the interview.

Be Methodical and Ask the Right Questions

Sometimes it feels like there is a set formula as to what questions to ask during an interview. While this may be true to some extent – for example, you’d want them to discuss their work experience and how it relates to this position they’re applying for – but just having the candidate regurgitate their resume is not going to provide you the additional information the interview is intended for. Before conducting your interview, take some time and think about how you want the interview to go – how long should it run, what questions are you going to ask, how much time are you going to spend on each topic, etc. On top of the usual set of necessary questions, try asking more specified questions targeted to the candidate.

One simple way to find questions that is targeted to the candidate is by using the Interview Guide that is part of Prevue’s Assessments. Prevue’s Interview Guide highlights your candidate’s strengths and produces interview questions based on where the candidate fell off the role-specific benchmark set by your team. By focusing questions on areas where the candidate may not be a right fit for your team, you can have a more effective evaluation of whether they can succeed in the role. To conclude the interview, you can also try asking some open-ended question to see how the candidate thinks and approach certain issues.

Slow Down and Take Your Time

This may seem like a very obvious point, but its importance still warrants a reminder. During the interview, as you’ve already taken out the time in your schedule to conduct it, focus on the conversation at hand and try to get to know the candidate as much as possible. Try not to schedule any calls or meetings immediately after in case the candidate has any questions or if your conversation runs over time.

Throughout the interview, a good method to help you organize would be to take notes on what was memorable about the candidate and what reservations you may have with them. However, try not to input your own judgement into the notes, but rather state facts you’ve discovered.

Last but not least, remember to follow up with the candidate after the interview. Even if you do not end up hiring them, reaching out first shows that your company cares and respects your employees. You never know who you’re going to cross paths with again, so be sure to try and maintain a good relationship for the future!