Mastering the Art of Interviewing: Top Techniques for Interviewers
Everyone has participated in an interview. Even young people, before getting a job, have more than likely engaged in an interview process been in an interview. An interview is just a meeting, face to face, usually structured where one party asks questions and the other answers. If you look at it like that, then you’ve probably had interviews your entire life, your friends, schools, parents.
A job interview is just a slight variation of those interviews. It is also a conversation where one party predominantly asks questions and the other answers but it is for a specific reason. Employment. If you’ve been on both or either end of a job interview, questioning or questioned, you know it can be quite stressful. This list will help minimize that stress.
Before getting right into the other steps, let's understand the correct structure of an interview. An interview is broken down into four parts:
Question & Answer
The introduction is around three minutes long and it starts as soon as the interviewee walks into the room. As an interviewer, there are key points you should look at here: their stance, handshake, and eye contact.
At the end of this document, there is a list of questions to reference during the Question & Answer portion. It is important to be prepared with the questions and as well as something to write with. The individual’s resume is a common note-taking tool, as you can write directly on it to quickly jot down notes regarding experience, education, etc. Interviews typically last between 30 minutes and 2 hours, with multiple rounds, and various speakers depending on the role. Shorter interviews are just as effective as long ones as long as the questions are prepared and rehearsed. This section usually takes the longest.
Allowing the interviewee to ask questions is very important as it shows what they are interested in. Do not just answer haphazardly, follow the line of questioning to see where their focus is. Do they ask about the money, hours, schedule, flexibility, benefits, time off? Each question gives you a better grasp of what matters to them and their priorities.
The closing is the last few minutes and it is important to end on a positive note, no matter how the interview questioning went. Collect any final information including business cards, contact information, etc. Thank the individual for taking the time to interview for the role and if not previously identified, ask how the candidate heard about the role as that information can be very useful in identifying job market trends.
Effective Interview Techniques
Understand the law! It is important to know what you can and can’t ask during a job interview including subjects that ask about age, race, gender, national origin, religion, disability, marital, and family status.
Actively listen. You are just asking questions, let the candidate do all the other talking.
Take notes. As stated earlier, take notes by writing on a computer, pen and paper, or directly on their resume. Anywhere that is most convenient to you.
Take GOOD notes. Don’t write down everything the candidate says. Focus on the key points of interest including answers regarding specific answers that closely relate to the position or something that you need to keep in mind for later review.
Calm the candidate. It can be quite useful to take the first minute or so simply welcoming them and getting them a bit more comfortable. Interviewing can be stressful and you could have the perfect candidate in your room but due to their stress, they may seem like a subpar candidate.
Ask open-ended questions. This part is very important as it will directly correlate with the quality of information you are receiving from the candidate. Below is a list of sample questions that you can utilize!
Sample Questions to Ask Your Interviewee
Instead of simply listing a long list of random questions. This is going to split the questions based on how the actual interview could be structured, then provide multiple questions to get similar information. To plug and play for your actual interview. If you select one question per point that will lead to over 8,145,060 possible combinations!
Tell me a little about yourself.
Tell me something about yourself that isn’t on your resume.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
What about our company’s mission resonates with you?
Why should we hire you?
What makes you the best candidate for this position?
How would other people describe you?
What makes you unique?
What are you looking to get out of this role?
What motivates you?
What are you most passionate about?
What makes you a good fit for our organization?
What are your greatest strengths?
What are your greatest weaknesses?
What led you to apply for this position?
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment in life so far?
What are you looking to get out of this role?
What interests you the most about this position?
Why do you want to work for this company?
What are your career goals?
Please describe how your experience related to the position.
What part of your resume are you most proud of?
Why did you leave or are leaving your current or previous position?
What is your greatest professional achievement?
What was your greatest professional failure?
Tell me about a challenge or conflict you’ve faced at work, how did you overcome it?
Tell me about a time you demonstrated leadership skills.
When did you disagree with a coworker or leader and how did you handle it?
What do you like most and least about your current or previous position?
How would your education translate to the role?
Tell me about your educational path and why you chose it.
Do you plan on continuing your education?
Do you have the specific credentials required for this role?
Do you enjoy learning?
When was a time you learned something that has benefited you outside of a classroom setting?
Do you have any questions for me?
Are you still interested in the position after learning more about it?
Do you think this position would be a good fit for you?
Do you think you are a good fit for the role?
How would you fit into the organization’s culture?
How can you help the company reach its mission?
How would this position help you meet your career goals?
What would you need to be successful in this role?
If you were selected, what is the earliest you could begin working?
Give me your last elevator pitch in one minute or less.