Interviews are a two-way street. For a company, they are the key to figuring out if a candidate will be the right fit for the position. For the candidate, it is an opportunity to get to know the company in charge of your potential career change. No two interviews are the same and how a hiring manager sets up this process will set the tone for the entire experience.
There are many strategies for conducting an interview and they range from the classic, one-on-one interview with scripted questions, to panel interviews, or more casual conversations conducted outside the office space. Hiring managers must change their strategy based on the position they are filling and the type of person they want to fill it. Still, there are best practices to follow in order to streamline your strategy in finding the right candidate.
Being selective applies to both interviewees and interviewers. You need to find the right person for the position as well as, the right person to explain their potential new position. That interviewer, or panel of interviewers, is their first glance at your company and it is essential they receive a good impression. If you are using a panel, make sure all the personalities balance, if it is a one-on-one interview, make sure it is someone who has enough experience to give them a full picture of the company and know if they would fit well into the established culture.
Location and Timing
Where you hold the interview will set the tone for its duration. While the type position you are filling will affect this decision, it is important to consider the environment you want to place your interviewee in. Will you get the most honest responses from them in a conference room, office or the building cafe? Depending on the position you might want to bring them onto the project site and find somewhere to interview them there. It comes down to balance, they need to take away the same amount of information from the interview experience as the interviewer does.
Timing is more straight-forward. For an entry-level interview, 15 to 30 minutes will give both sides enough time to receive the relevant information. When it comes to final interviews or special positions you may want to consider an increasing the time frame.
Once you have chosen a time and place make sure other parties are aware. If you are planning to use a conference room, reserve the space so others know it will be in use at your set time. Add extra time to your planned duration to get settled or in case the conversation extends longer than planned. Lastly, let others know an interviewee will be in the office, it will set a good tone for the office.
A scripted interview is not necessary, but it is important to come prepared. Know the questions you wish to ask and ultimately what you need to know by the end of the interview. Pull from the job posting you listed, and structure your questions around the information. Make sure you reviewed your candidate prior to the interview and consider any questions about them you might have based on their resume.
To help, consider some of these interview questions:
- What do you know about our company?
- What prompted you to apply for this job?
- Tell me about a time you have to overcome something to achieve a goal.
- Describe your ideal work environment.
- Why do you think you would be a good fit for this position?
Prepare Your Candidate
Allow your candidate the opportunity to put their best foot forward by helping them prepare. Well before the date of their interview, contact them regarding the time, duration and location of their meeting. In addition, include the names of those that will interview them and directions once they arrive on site. Give them someone they can contact with further questions, or if they have an issue the day of with location or an emergency situation.
In the end, an interview’s goal is to find the right candidate. But there are simple things to make sure this is done efficiently that will benefit both sides of the interview. These tips will help streamline your process to focus on what’s important: finding the right candidate.
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