6 Tips For Better Interviews

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Just as candidates are preparing for interviews, hirers in pursuit of quality candidates ought to prepare to get to know their potential hires.

As interviews are an initial step to finding the right fit, it is important for hirers to be clear on what to say and ask.

Below are some tips to help make interview more effective.


1. Be clear. Have structure.

Similar to tips given to potential hires, interviewers should understand and be clear about the requirements of the role- what qualities and skills to keep in check prior to conducting the session.

In the event that you are hiring for a team or a company, it is best to clarify on details that might be vague or insufficient.

Next is to assess a potential hire’s resume. Take down notes on career highlights or items you might wish to ask the candidate to further discuss during the face-to-face interaction.

You may want to list down possible questions that the candidate may raise and have a think through on how to answer such.


2. Set a genuinely good impression.

Just as you are getting to know the candidate, they too are in turn getting to know you and the company you represent.

The work place and the people in it embody the corporate culture. Ensuring that respective areas are sustainably in order, with colleagues leading by their good example; a candidate should have a good feel of the culture and norms.

As a basic requirement, the interview room should be conducive to interacting. Be on time.


3. Be aware of manners and body language.

Dr. A. Mehrabian of UCLA studied human communications and identified that 55% is devoted to body language, while 38% to vocal tonality, and a mere 7% to verbal expression.

A firm handshake, with a genuine smile, or an option to offer a candidate a drink if not too much of a trouble should be a good start. Posture may convey comfort levels and outlook- that slouch that might imply disinterest, or apathy or that stiffness that may convey false pride or ego. Be comfortable, maintain contact and pay attention to what the candidate is saying.


4. Find the appropriate approach.

“Different strokes for different folks.” After studying the role requirements and the candidate’s credentials, identify whether it is appropriate to set-up a one-on-on or traditional style of interview. While others do preliminary sessions via phone conference or Skype, others might initially opt for casual interactions. Should it be part of corporate procedure, pre-designed activity sets to identify skill suites should give a better understanding of the candidate’s fit for the role.


5. Focus on How more than Why.

They way questions are structured have an effect on the tone of the entire interview. Unless designed to assess response to Stressors, you might want to best keep the candidate at ease.
It is not merely giving potential hires an easy pass, however it is setting a positive mood to encourage genuine and fair responses.

“How” questions would allow candidates to have enough legroom to showcase thought process and technique rather than just “why”, which possibly solicit justifications and rationalisations. Keep a balance of both.


5. Be on track.

Although getting a sense of a potential hire’s personality and background is important, there are areas that should be handled with sensitivity and cautiousness. Such may include religious and political affiliations. Likewise, enquiries on one’s sexual preference, love life and disabilities are better not deliberately brought up. Focus on questions that aim to assess fit for the role such as problem solving skills, people management and such.

Happy hiring!

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