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How to interview candidates for a job

We all know the dread of trying to impress in an interview, but it can also be just as daunting being on the other side of the equation. Interviewing people is a skill that will come naturally with time but people who are new to it may be worried about appearing unauthoritative, unprofessional or unlikeable.

Therefore it’s only natural that those conducting interviews have a plan in their head of how they will go about it. Most people will find once they get started, the process is actually quite easy and straightforward.

Let’s take a look at how to interview candidates for a job.

Prepare your questions

The most important aspect of preparing to interview someone is the questions you are going to ask them. These are the questions that are deliberately constructed to gauge the suitability of the candidate for the position.

Some questions are more direct while others are more subtle in the information they seek to gather. For example; asking a candidate about their greatest weaknesses is actually about ascertaining their honesty and humility, not because you are concerned they have a fatal flaw that makes them unemployable.

However a question relating to specific work experience is directly seeking to determine how proficient they will be in the role. This is where the best candidates will elaborate on how they performed their previous roles.

Good candidates will have predicted the general questions you are going to ask them about the role and should be prepared to give you the answers you seek. Every question is relevant, so they should be prepared to answer all of them honestly.

Make them feel comfortable

Most people are inherently nervous when going for a job interview, especially if they are applying for an entry level role and don’t have much experience. Part of your job is to make them feel relaxed so that they can answer your questions honestly.

Make sure you’re always courteous and prompt with how you greet them. Most candidates will follow the unspoken rule of showing up 10 – 15 minutes prior to their interview, so prepare for that.

It’s ideal to have a separate meeting room or office where you can conduct the interview out of sight of other workers. The hustle and bustle of your workplace can be distracting so you won’t want to conduct an interview while everyone is running around.

Make your choice

Obviously the final part of interviewing people is deciding who to give a job to. The person you choose should have satisfied your criteria for the role as well as be a likeable person you think you will be able to work with.