We believe that our interviewers have prior experience and adequate skills and knowledge to conduct successful interviews. However, here are few tips to refresh their memory which may be useful to them.
There are a number of key skills involved, including the ability to listen carefully, ask the right questions, be able to probe for further information and project and interpret non‐verbal communication during an interview.
Prior to conducting any interviews, you should plan and structure the entire process, providing yourself and the interviewee the best possible experience. Badly planned and implemented interviews are not only frustrating and uncomfortable for everyone involved, but you are unlikely to obtain the relevant information you would like and you may come across as unprofessional and inexperienced – this is unlikely to leave the interviewee with a favorable impression of you or your company. In order to create a positive, successful interview experience, we have compiled the following list of tips and techniques to help you improve your skills.
1) Take the time to read over the candidate’s CV or application form prior to the interview.
2) Compare the CV against the job description and job specification. This will allow you to fully understand the requirements of the role and identify the candidate’s suitability as well as any aspects of his/her CV that require clarification or explanation.
3) Choose and prepare a suitable venue that will be conducive to conducting a successful and comfortable interview. Consider accessibility, seating arrangements and the overall environment.
4) Ensure the candidate has been provided with all relevant information he/she requires about the role, the Company, the interview and anything he/she should bring along on the day.
1) Take the time to plan a suitable structure for the interview process. All interviews should be conducted in well–lighted, attractive offices. Applicants, however, unsuitable they may appear to be, must be treated with courtesy and respect.
2) Think about how much time you would ideally like the interview to last.
3) Set out the list of questions you would like to cover, in general and for each individual candidate, and think about the order in which these questions are asked – the interview should flow and progress naturally and logically.
4) Begin with introductions, informal pleasantries and the offer of refreshments (if possible) – this will help to relax the candidate and put him/her at ease. Explain to the interviewee what he/she should expect during the interview and what you wish to achieve. Discuss the candidate’s experience and suitability for the role, asking open‐ended questions to encourage more detailed answers and to get a sense of the candidate’s knowledge, experience, personality and attitude.
5) Wind up the interview by giving the candidate an opportunity to ask questions and let him/her know when he/she can expect notification of the outcome.
This may seem glaringly obvious but ‘listening’ to someone is vastly different from hearing and understanding what a person is saying. It requires focus, concentration and active listening in order to comprehend and retain the information that is being provided. Key requirements of effective listening include:
1) Being aware of your own non‐verbal responses and those of the candidate.
2) Considering the way in which the interviewee answers questions and the words he/she uses. This will help you to understand what is being said, how it is being said and what the candidate may not be saying.
3) Responding with reflective or probing questions to answers that have been given.
4) Being interested and engaged in what the candidate is saying.
5) Maintaining eye contact and staying focused on the candidate – do not let your mind wander or focus on something else.
6) Refraining from interrupting the interviewee unless it is absolutely necessary.
7) Asking for clarification if you are unsure of any answers given.
8) Summarizing the answers to ensure you have correctly understood.
Whilst you may be the one doing the interviewing, candidates are also making their own judgment about you and the Company. Just because someone has applied for a job and attended an interview does not mean they will take the job if offered. They will also be considering the impression you make, and whether they would be happy working for you and your company.
1) Develop rapport by being genuine, amiable and welcoming.
2) Be prepared, organized and professional.
3) Be aware of your own non‐verbal communication – maintain good eye contact and think about your body language.
4) Ensure the candidate is fully informed about the role and the company prior to and throughout the interview.
5) Give a good impression of the company.
6) Do not talk too much.
7) Try not to come across as intimidating and rude – no further explanation is required here.
QUALITIES OF A GOOD INTERVIEWER
Briefly, it may be said that the following are the qualities of a good interviewer:
1) Interest in the applicant, as an interviewer without interest will not listen to the applicant;
2) Alertness, so that the interviewer can pick up the relevant phrases used by the applicant which he should ask the applicant to explain further to be sure of the information secured at the interview;
3) Patience, as the interviewer must allow the interviewee time to think before answering questions posed by the interviewer;
4) Deliberation, that is, withholding evaluation of the applicant , until all the information has been secured and understood.; and
5) Concentration, as the interviewer is required to listen not merely to the facts but to the main ideas emanating from the interview.