It is an indisputable fact that interviewers are mostly the same as the candidates they interview—they also feel panic and need preparing. It’s reasonable as saying and asking the right things is significant for effective interviews. Here are some tips which help you to be a more effective interviewer.
1. Get prepared
First, study the job descriptions, including the qualities and the skills required in advance. If you have anything unclear, ask the one who is responsible for stipulating the job requirement, especially the most essential attributes that their applicants are expected to possess. Next, read the candidates’ resumes in detail. Take the time and jot down notes on each applicant’s resume. Formulate any questions that applicants may ask, such as the history and the background of your company. While drafting the questions, think of the job requirements and the information as shown on the resumes. Make a list just in case you forget anything, but prepare to create some questions on the spot. Lastly, rehearse with someone you trust to see how you’ll perform in the interview.
2. Make a good impression
All interviews are two-way processes, candidates are interviewing you too! So how can you make a good impression? First, make sure the candidate feels welcome into your office–your frontline staff should treat your candidates well. Brief them about what to expect so they’ll know what to do once the interviewee arrives. Next is to ensure the room for the interview is ready—it should be clear of any obstructions and well equipped. Lastly, show up on time so as to show that you value the candidate’s presence.
3. Stay alert to your manners and postures
UCLA’s Professor Emeritus of Psychology Dr. Albert Mehrabian broke down human communication, declaring that 55% is devoted to body language, 38% to the tone of voice, with a mere 7% dedicated to spoken words. This shows our daily interaction is dominated by gestures, so interviewers are advised to stay alert to their body language. It all starts with a firm handshake coupled with a nice, genuine smile; which will make the candidate at ease. Avoid slouching as that conveys boredom. Sit up straight and keep eye contact (but avoid staring too long!) while conversing, and lastly pay attention to what the candidate is saying. Adopt the 80/20 rule where the candidate speaks 80% of the time, and you talk for the remaining 20%. Don’t make the whole process seem like a police interrogation, try to make it light and conversational.
4. Select the interview type that best fits the job
After studying the job requirements and the interviewee’s qualifications, select the interview type that best fits the scenario. For example, not all interviews are suited for the one-on-one traditional style. Sometimes a job post may entail an interview via phone or Skype when you’re hiring overseas talent. Or the interview technique has to be changed due to the job’s nature. For instance, certain creative jobs need considerable problem solving such as IT or management. You may attempt the brainteaser-style of interview and create questions or scenarios that challenge one’s ingenuity and critical thinking skills.
5. Ask “how” instead of “why”
How you formulate your questions can set the tone for the interview. Unless you’ve to conduct a stress Interview, it’s best to set questions that will put the candidates at ease. That doesn’t imply you set easy questions, but try to be fair but firm. Your questions must be informative enough to help create an accurate depiction of the interviewee and the best way to do that is to ask “how” instead of “why”. “How” questions allow candidates to explain themselves, with emphasis on process and technique. “Why” questions, meanwhile, does the same but make the candidates more stressed because they have to give justifications to support their answers. As a responsible hirer, your role is to make a fair and accurate assessment of your candidates’ abilities and not to intimidate.
6. Don’t be too intrusive
During the interview, you want to collect as much information as possible, but questions related to one’s religious and political affiliations, sexual preference, love life and disabilities have no place in a job interview. Make sure you’re not being discriminatory with your candidates.
In the recruitment process, both the candidates and hirers have their own roles to play. Take the time to prepare well and everyone is sure to win in the end.