Interviews are important on many levels. No matter the reason and no matter which side of the desk you are sitting on, it’s crucial to keep in mind that an interview can make or break a relationship. It can begin one, or, it can end one before it even begins.
The success of the exchange lies as much with the interviewer as it does the interviewee, but let’s talk about you. You’ve got a full plate as it is, but you have several candidates to meet with. You don’t have the luxury of an HR department and you need the process to go as smoothly as possible so you can get the results you need and get back to what you do.
Here are our top 10 tips on how to get the most out of your interview:
Before the interview:
1.Know the job that you are offering
Familiarize yourself with every detail of the job and its requirements. That way, you will be in a better position to assess whether the candidate has the basic goods to do the job.
2.Get to know your candidate
Review your candidate’s CV and work history. Take a close look at everything he or she submitted during the application process – cover letter, references, and so on. Make careful note of any employment gaps, ambiguous job titles or personal information that may have a bearing on their future performance.
3.Create an interview agenda
There may be several areas you want to cover. Determine how much time you have for the interview and set time limits on certain aspects so you can get everything you need covered. Be sure you start on time as much as you can. This will demonstrate that you respect your interviewee’s time as well as your own.
4.Prepare interview questions in advance
As you go through the candidate’s CV and portfolio, make note of any specific questions you want to ask about their work. Think along the lines of what you need and prepare questions that help you determine whether or not they will meet those expectations.
On the day of the meeting:
5.Meet in a professional environment
First impressions are everything! Even if you are an entrepreneur or startup who doesn’t have a physical office space, it’s important to project a professional appearance. On-demand meeting rooms are an affordable way to host interviews – and it’s a great way to lay the groundwork for a working relationship.
6.Give your interviewee 100 percent of your attention
Make sure you have a quiet environment for the interview. Choose a location that is comfortable and has a minimum of distractions. Mute your phone, send calls to voicemail, ask to not be disturbed.
7.Ask behavioral questions
Ask for specific examples of how the candidate handled certain stressful situations and ask for both good and not-so-good scenarios. Asking behavioral questions will give you a good idea of how they will handle similar situations for you.
And finally, never forget the golden rule of interviewing: Listen first. Because you’ll never learn anything if you are the one doing all the talking.