Did you know that the job interview was not invented until 1921? It all began when Thomas Edison devised a written test to assess job candidates' knowledge! Interviews have changed dramatically in the century since, particularly as technology and the industrial revolution advanced, but they remain an important part of any company’s hiring process.
After advertising job openings, collecting job applications and resumes, and screening applicants, job interviews are the next most important step in a hiring process that no employer should overlook. While the purpose of job interviews is mostly the same, which is for employers to gather information and assess potential candidates' abilities and skills before making a hiring decision, how they are conducted should be efficient and pertinent.
Nevertheless, there are some interviewers who, despite filling the variety of job positions available, are accustomed to asking the same questions and lack any originality in the interview. This could reduce the likelihood of hiring the best candidate, which may have a negative impact on attrition rates and be costly for businesses. That is why interviewers play an important role in any interview, and it entails more than simply asking questions of the candidates being interviewed, but also knowing tips on how to interview someone.
An interviewer's responsibilities begin before, during, and even after the interview session. Being a good interviewer, according to Maestro, is an important part of collecting feedback from users, learners, and partners. When done correctly, asking questions and listening can help you build empathy with your audience, while also gathering valuable intelligence that can help your organisation move forward.
Furthermore, being a good and effective interviewer is significant because the interviewer's behaviour and actions reflect the company's image. Since the interview is usually the first time an interviewee meets someone on behalf of the company face-to-face, the interviewer's demeanour will leave an impression on candidates. They could make assumptions about the company's work culture, environment, and morality.
Sometimes, just from the interview, candidates can decide whether to accept the position offered or to remain loyal once they begin working. Being a good interviewer can even have a positive impact on an employee's attitudes and job performance, as MarketSplash pointed out that potential candidates' experiences and attitudes form during the earliest stage of interaction with potential candidates. Not only that but the interview time should be spent wisely to find and choose the best candidate.
It's well understood that during an interview, the interviewer will have the opportunity to obtain critical information from the candidates, while the candidates will have the opportunity to express their experiences and what qualifies them for the job position applied for. However, how well the interview goes and how successful the information obtained is all dependent on the situation of the interview and interviewer.
What matters most for any company, in addition to having a good and effective interviewer, is to know how to interview well. So, what factors would lead to an interview becoming good and effective? Let's take a look at some of the key qualities that should be highlighted during a job interview:
Interviews can be nerve-racking for both the interviewer and the interviewee. However, as an interviewer, you have command of the situation and should take the initiative to lead the way. So, you're ultimately responsible for whether or not the interview goes well. When the interviewer is effective, even the most anxious candidate may occasionally become composed and more ready to engage in conversation and answer questions.
Given the important role that interviewers or hiring managers play during interview sessions, it's crucial to know how to be a good interviewer. Here are some interviewing tips and techniques to help you improve your interviewing skills, learn how to interview candidates, and make your interview sessions more gainful and productive:
Make sure to conduct the necessary background checks on interviewees before any interviews. Examine the application, resume, and cover letter, if one is included, of the candidate. Utilise the information to not only plan your questions but also to consider how you can establish a connection with the applicant and make them feel at ease. Although you must do your best to prepare, be careful not to over-prepare because there are times when you simply must be flexible and adapt as you interview the candidate.
There should be a framework – sort of like a script that serves as a compass – for an interview to go well. When you're in the flow, it will be simpler for you to know where to begin, when to ask questions, and how to be more organised to record responses. Most importantly, before anything else, make a brief introduction to the candidate and/or engage in light conversation.
As an interviewer, you must prepare questions that will allow you to learn more about the candidate's background and professional experience. Make sure to ask clarifying questions to gauge details that will help you decide whether or not to hire. Avoid asking candidates leading, hypothetical, or silly questions that could confuse them or make them react negatively.
When conducting an interview, these two actions are unacceptable. Before you enter the interview room, make sure you take steps to control any aggressive or irrational behaviour you might have when circumstances are different from what you had anticipated. Remember that what you say and how you act says a lot about you and the company, so try to stay cool, calm, and collected at all times. This is one of the most important aspects of what makes a good interviewer.
It's more likely that you will make an uninformed decision if you feel this bias and prejudice toward the interviewee. Maintain a neutral attitude throughout the hiring process, from the time you review the application and resume to the time you hire. Bias and prejudice can also be avoided by interviewing candidates in groups or by conducting a phone screening first.
You will likely conduct interviews with multiple candidates for various positions, making it challenging to keep track of and recall everything that each candidate says. Therefore, make sure to always take thorough, well-organised notes during the interview so you can later review and compare the specifics. When you take notes, you can also get creative and pose inquiries about the information the candidates just provided.
Tips for interviewing someone include having an empathetic attitude that will serve you well when dealing with interviewees or anyone else for that matter. Being emphatic means paying more attention, being fully present, and expressing gratitude to the candidate. By doing so, you demonstrate that you're considerate of the candidate's thoughts and can contribute to the formation of trust.
Candidates almost always have questions during the interview, but they frequently hesitate to ask because they are unsure of how to phrase them, afraid to offend the interviewer, or simply nervous. Let the applicant know that they are welcome to ask any questions they may have about the company, the business operation, the job position, or work there in general. By encouraging candidates to ask questions, you can learn more about their personalities and interview preparation.
As much as candidates are unaware of what questions you will ask as the interviewer, you're also unsure of how they will respond and provide feedback to certain questions. Pay attention to the interviewee's words so you can ask questions that are pertinent to what they are saying and they will know you're paying attention to them. Candidates are more likely to relax and be amiable when they see that you're listening to what they have to say.
Don't leave the candidate hanging after the interview is over. Describe what will happen next and when they will hear from you regarding your hiring decision, as well as whether you will require the candidate to provide any additional information or documents. You could also give the interviewee a tour of the office to show them what it's like to work for the company.
The more interviews you conduct, the more at ease you will become and the easier it will be to prepare for one. Furthermore, you will be interviewing a wide range of candidates, so you will learn how to deal with any unexpected events from them. Aside from that, you can practise interviewing friends or colleagues to see where your questions and script can be improved.
During the interviews you conduct, mistakes and inconsistencies are likely to occur. Don't be upset by it; instead, view it as a learning experience. How do you know if you've made a mistake? If you make a mistake, you might realise it yourself. If not, you could get feedback from anyone else in the room interviewing with you, or you could personally ask the interviewee what you could do better. After the interview, you can follow up with a phone call or an email.
Interviewers who arrive unprepared run the risk of coming across as uninterested and may struggle to conduct the interview effectively. Finally, they might hire an unsuitable candidate because they misjudged the quality of the interviewees. So, before you walk into any interview, get the following items on this checklist ready at least a few days or hours before the session:
(Source: Resources for Employers)
What exactly does that imply? During the interview, keep asking candidates the "why" questions multiple times. his method, which, as Maestro mentioned, is popular with many three-year-olds, was developed at Toyota Motor Company and was instrumental in assisting them in developing their continuous improvement approach to manufacturing. While it may appear awkward, repeatedly asking "Why?" can lead the conversation down the path of identifying the problem's underlying cause.
No matter how many times you conduct interviews or if it's your first time, make sure to give it your all to become the best interviewer out there. Once you have the skills and can conduct interviews well and effectively, you'll be able to quickly sift through the applicants to find the top candidates for the company!