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How to Interview Job Candidates [online / offline]

Job interviews are an essential part of the hiring process. They help to build better teams, encourage employee retention and will ensure you hire the best person for the job.

Beyond just skills and work experience, interviews help hiring managers to identify whether a candidate will engage with the team and company culture. Interviews provide an opportunity to gather useful information on all candidates, so you can be confident when it comes to making your selection.

How do you conduct a successful interview? We’ve gathered the top tips for hiring managers to consider when starting the process.

Preparation is key

Consider each interview an opportunity to gather information on your candidates that may not be outlined in their application. To get the most out of it, you’ll need to prepare.

  • Familiarise yourself with the candidate, their work experience and the skills listed on their resume
  • Have a clear idea of the job description and what you’re looking for in a candidate
  • Elaborate on the company’s vision, along with any short or long term goals you’re able to share
  • Prepare questions, write them down and take them to the interview – you can use the job description as a starting point for creating questions
  • Prepare responses to any questions you think the candidate might ask you about the role, the company or the team

Create a structure for the interview

A casual interview in which the candidate feels comfortable is a positive outcome, however your interview needs structure to ensure you cover everything.

  • Start by introducing yourself and outlining your role in the company
  • Next, summarise the job description and give an overview of the company and the cultured
  • Explain the job duties and what will be expected of the candidate if they’re successful
  • Ask the questions you’ve prepared and leave time at the end of the interview for the interviewee to ask any questions

Take notes

It’s important to jot down notes during the interview to ensure you remember key points about each candidate. It’s easy to forget when interviewing several people for one role, so be sure to listen carefully and write down anything that will support your decision-making later.

Discuss salary expectations

Don’t tiptoe around salary expectations, it’s important to ensure you’re on the same page. You can initiate this discussion by asking about their current salary. If what you can offer is below that, be transparent and make it known to them, so they can determine whether it’s the right path for them financially.

Ask the same questions

Although some candidate-specific questions will arise, it’s useful to ask each person the same questions so you can easily compare candidates when it comes to decision making. Consider asking about strengths and weaknesses, why they want to work for you, what they want out of the job and the reason for wanting to leave their current role.

Explain the next steps

When you’re ready to complete the interview, explain the next steps and what the candidate can expect. Be clear on your timeline for hiring and give them an indication of when they can expect to hear from you.

Consider Zoom interviews

Last but not least; if you need to conduct a remote interview, be sure to consider these additional interview requirements.

  • Download the latest version of Zoom and test the audio and video before the interview begins
  • Choose a quiet, distraction free area to conduct the interview
  • Dress appropriately

Read more about preparing for Zoom interviews here.

A successful interview will provide you with valuable information about your candidates’ skills, experience, work ethic and personality. Interviews make for a streamline hiring process and will ensure you make a decision that will benefit both your team and the future of your company.

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