How to conduct a job interview like a pro

Conducting a job interview is like negotiating a business deal, both have something to offer however both need to effectively advertise their offer before a deal can be done. Interviews can be stressful and just like the interviewee, the conductor/s do get nervous as well. Learning how to conduct an productive job interview is a useful skill. Lets not forget that you are there not only to interview the person for the position but to sell the company to the person. If the interviewee does not like the organisation, even if they get offered the job they may turn it down. Make the job desirable and if the candidate ticks the job role boxes, a deal will be on the cards.

1. You are the organisation (for those few minutes)

As mentioned above, the conductor is the face of the organisation for the period of time that the interview is conducted. Don’t forget that the candidate is being interviewed for a reason and that they may eventually be a formidable asset to the organisation so impressing them is important.

2. Welcoming statement

All individuals involved are nervous which makes your first statement to the candidate the opportunity to put them at ease. Questions about something you read on the Hobbies/Interests section on their CV can help, last resort statements can also relate to the weather or travelling to the venue. Try to keep it as natural as possible, trying too hard puts the focus on the statement rather than on the interview you are about to conduct.

3. All about the nerves

Let them know its normal to be nervous. Offer them a refreshment drink before hand, this will help them to relax even if they decline, at least they know that you are aware of their current emotional state. Don’t be condescending, not so helpful statements like “Chill out” or “Just calm down” can have the adverse affect on their mood and in turn the interview.

4. Read the Candidates CV and Cover Letter (if relevant) before the interview

Ensuring you know at least a little about the candidate shows interest in them and the interview which will influence the environment the interview is conducted in. Don’t forget, you are selling something. Attention to detail is important, you do not want to loose the opportunity to gain a real asset to improve your team. Aim to keep interview questions interesting, how their experiences can complete the daily tasks of the role may seem simple but placing a little more thought on the detail makes the candidate think more which may tell you more about the answer they give.

5. Be prepared for their Questions

Questions from interviewee shows interest in the role and/or organisation thus preparing for these will not only help answering them but will make you seem knowledgeable about the organisation which in turn shows that you take an interest in you job, a tick in the “Desirable Job” box.

Most of the questions would relate to the role. For example:

a. How big is the organisation?

b. What do the day to day tasks involve?

c. What training is offered?

d. What are the Employee Benefits?

They may ask other questions but general overall knowledge of the organisation should cover most questions.

6. Manners go a long way

Thank the individual for their time after the interview, and thank them for coming in before. The impression you create at that point in time can advertantly  impact that person’s perception of the organisation. Ideally, you want them to like the organisation regardless of the outcome of the interview as their opinion can influence potential future stakeholders.

The aim is to get the best possible candidate, not just a candidate. If the candidates interviewed do not cut the grade, interview more. Don’t settle for second best. Be careful though, you don’t want the interview process to span over several months as candidates will notice that the job has been advertised for a while which may put them off applying. In other words, don’t aim to get a Picasso when all you actually need is a decorator. Thus ensure that the Job description is clear and that they pay grade reflects the position. There are decent candidates out there, it up to you to not only find the right one but to get them on your team.

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