5 Things You Should Pay Attention To While Conducting An Interview

By Helen Birk - Dec. 21, 2017
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Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Helen Birk from Eduzaurus.com – Her opinions are her own. 

Every company faces certain difficulties when it comes to hiring and there are different solutions to these problems. However, regardless of the issues that you may face or methods that you apply while searching for personnel, an interview is one of the most significant and irreplaceable elements of this process!

During the interview, you should strive to get as many details about your potential new employee as possible, check the validity of provided information, and evaluate how suitable for the vacancy a candidate is.

In order to decide how to conduct an effective interview and gain all the necessary information you should consider the following nuances:

  • General and specific requirements for the “perfect” future employee;
  • Your company’s standards of conducting interviews;
  • The level of HR’s skills;
  • The personality and past experience of the candidate.

These nuances will help you define the most efficient method. Besides, if you consider these factors in advance, you should be able to prepare conversational interview questions and get better prepared for the upcoming conversation.

What are the key factors of success?

It is important to create a trusting and friendly atmosphere during the conversation that will help the candidate to overcome any stress and tension, and it is also important to choose an appropriate form for the interview. Also, it can be really helpful if you can simulate different situations during the conversation that will allow you to reveal different aspects of the candidate’s personality and assess his professional level.

Questions should be formulated clearly. The candidate should focus his or her attention and efforts on answering your questions, and not on trying to understand the questions that you ask. Do not ask several questions in one go. It is advisable to group the questions by topics, smoothly going from one to another, creating logical and clear transitions, this way the conversation will not stray from the course you set.

Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Make the candidate speak more than you do;
  • The golden rule: spend 20% of the time asking questions and leave the remaining 80% for listening;
  • Perceive the candidate with all your senses – wordless contact is not less important than verbal;
  • Pay attention to details – often an interviewer can get the most important information from the answers that are not related to the subject of the conversation. For example, if a person tells you that he likes skydiving, in essence, makes you realize that he likes to take risks, while someone who has built a house on his own, shows that he is persistent and can do a lot himself.

There are many so-called “signals” that you need to identify and pay attention to in order to see the full image of the candidate’s experience and abilities and make the right decision. Below you can find 5 small but important details that every recruiter should pay attention to while conducting an interview.

1. Has the candidate changed jobs many times?

If you find out that the applicant tends to change more than one job a year – this could be seen as a negative signal; you should drill down further during the interview and find out the reasons why and not just give your preference to those people who have worked for more than a few years in each place.

2. Overly colourful achievements

If your candidate provides you with overly emotional and “colourful” descriptions of his or her achievements, it could be an indication that they are providing false information. Try to tailor your interview questions in such a way to ensure that this is not able to exaggerate.

3. Vague job titles?

If you feel like the candidate is not giving you specific answers regarding their past work experience, try to ask about specific responsibilities that he or she had in each company. However, do not assume that a certain position in another firm has the same responsibilities as in yours and do not consider the answer untrue if it does not meet your expectations.

4. Specific experience

Another thing to pay attention to is the candidate’s personal qualities and skills that can come in handy for a particular vacancy. Keep in mind that not all vacancies require previous experience. In some cases, a great deal of experience could even become a disadvantage of this candidate (for example, if you intend to train him to work in accordance with your company’s specific requirements).

5. Appearance and presentation 

You have the right to expect that a candidate who comes for the interview will look neat and well-presented as this indicates an inherent dignity and suggests that his or her work will be as well presented. If the applicant comes to the interview inappropriately dressed or just looks untidy, rest assured that it will not change once he or she gets the job! However, this is not the only indicator. In fact, even if your candidate came to the interview well-dressed, it also does not mean that this is how they will always look at work.

What are the best interview questions to ask?

A good interviewer uses a wide range of questions in order to get the most information out of the person sitting in front of them. What are these questions? Here are a few examples:

  • Questions requiring detailed answers;
  • Questions that require answers that illustrate their behavioural style;
  • Mirror questions, when you repeat the statement of the candidate in interrogative form;
  • Questions requiring making a choice and its justification;
  • A series of questions to focus on different aspects of the theoretical situation, etc.

There are even more types of appropriate queries! You can use them all or choose the most suitable ones, but in any case, try to ask questions to which the candidate could not prepare the standard answers.

This post is prepared by former HR specialist Helen. Today Helen is employed part-time at Eduzaurus.com and arranges courses and master-classes to teach HR managers how best to search for and interview candidates.


Helen Birk

This post is prepared by former HR specialist Helen. Today Helen is employed part-time at Eduzaurus.com and arranges courses and master-classes to teach HR managers how best to search for and interview candidates.

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