7 Interview Best Practices

Interviewing potential candidates can be a stressful and intimidating experience. Not only does it require interacting with and assessing strangers, but it’s a huge responsibility. The wrong candidate can waste money and energy you don’t have to spare.

In order to make sure that you’re getting the most out of the hiring process, it’s important to adhere to these seveninterview best practices.

1. Know What You’re Looking for

Before going into an interview, you should have clearly defined expectations for what you’re looking for in a candidate. Know what skills you want them to bring to the table, and how you expect the candidate to fit into the company at large. The most efficient way to keep these guidelines in place is by bringing a checklist to the interview, and ticking boxes as the candidate fulfills different criteria.

2. Have Questions and Answers Prepared

It’s important to meticulously plan out your questions prior to the interview. It’s not enough to go in with a small handful of questions in mind. You need to have numerous carefully selected questions prepared—questions that are tailored to the position that you are trying to fill. Choosing a more free form approach could potentially result in not getting enough information from the candidate, or failing in the moment to ask crucial questions. You should also be prepared to counter answers the candidate might give with further questions, and be prepared to answer questions they might have.

3. Ask Open-Ended Questions

While interviewing a candidate, you wanthim or her to do most of the talking in order for you to be able to learn as much about him or her as possible. This means asking open-ended questions that require the candidate to go into detail about his or her previous work or educational experiences. Avoid simple yes or no questions, or any questions that don’t encourage the candidate to elaborate.

4. Assess How Well the Candidate Has Prepared

A good candidate should have put in just as much work before the interview as you did. Candidates who have taken the time to learn about your company, and who have a clear handle on your business model and what the position entails, make for better employees. Ask questions that will assess how much prep work the candidate has done, which will determine how familiar they are with your company’s work.

5. Look for Overall Compatibility

The candidate you are interviewing might be a very likeable person, but it’s important to look out for more than just likeability. The most important quality in a candidate is compatibility. How well do you think they would fit into your work environment? How compatible are the candidate’s values with your company’s values? The biggest reason new hires don’t work out is because they are unable to fit into the corporate culture at their new job, not because of a lack of experience or training. Compatibility is crucial for a successful and happyemployee.

6. Follow the 80/20 Rule

According to the 80/20, the interviewee should be speaking 80% of the time, and the interviewer should only speak for 20% of the interview. It’s important that you don’t take up too much of the conversation. Interviews, after all, are about learning as much as you can about the candidate to determine if they’d be a good hire.

7. Conduct a Multi-Person Interview

Conducting a multi-person interview is a great way of effectively vetting a candidate. It’s easier than you think to miss crucial things during an interview—things such as behavioural language and small points of detail that other interviewers might pick up on. Having multiple interviewers ensures multiple perspectiveson whether a candidate is the right fit or not for your company’s culture, values, and overall vision.

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Scott Russell Dempster

Scott Russell Dempster

Scott is the Creative Director at Ian Martin. His goal in life is to take boring stuff and make it easier to understand. When not pushing pixels around, he can be heard (from great distances) playing the bagpipes.
Scott Russell Dempster

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