How To Be A Good Interviewer

Board Room Iconographic Mural Student Centre” by Anthony Easton – used under CC BY-SA 2.0 cropped and re-sized from original

Not all of us are recruiters or HR professionals and that’s okay! Many times, the ones in charge of hiring, especially in the retail industry, are the department managers who often haven’t been equipped with the right tools or trained on how to conduct an interview. Here are 5 quick tips from experienced HR professionals on how to get ready before your next interview with potential new employees.

Get ready & research your candidate

Your candidates will be doing their homework by learning more about the company, so you should also be doing some research on who this candidate is. Though this may be time-consuming, this is a crucial step that allows you to find out more than what they wrote about themselves. (Protip: You can also save time by pre-screening for the most qualified candidates first.) This means reading over the documents the candidate sent in with the application such as the resume, cover letter, and other supporting documents before the interview. This will save both you and the candidate time during the interview and also allow you to ask questions that don’t just repeat what is already written down.

Help your candidate relax

Going to an interview is nerve-wracking no matter how prepared a candidate may be. To make sure you get to know the candidate properly, help your candidate be at ease as much as possible. In fact, many, otherwise perfect, candidates don’t do well during job interviews because they feel stressed or nervous. This can be through using some simple, leading questions to get them comfortable talking. Another strategy is to start by providing a small background on the company and the role so the candidate can better understand the position and how their experience matches to fit. Remember, depending on the role that you are hiring for, being well-spoken does not always mean they are the best candidate for the job

Look for more than skills and experience

Of course, if the candidate has the skills and experience, this makes them naturally a great candidate, but, don’t stop there! Make sure that this candidate will work well with the team and promote a good working culture. You don’t want someone who might be able to do their job but bring a negative attitude to work every day, affecting others on the existing team.

Don’t talk so much and listen to what the candidate has to say

After helping the candidate get started,  make sure to take the time to listen rather than talk over them to just check off all the boxes. The interview is a time for you to better know the candidate as a person and whether the entire package (i.e. experience, learning ability, personality, interests) fits the job, not always just a trait by trait match-up.

Write it all down

Similar to the adage of what makes the best camera, the best notes about the candidates are the ones that are written down. Make sure you jot down notes as you talk to the candidate. This will give you a better overall gauge on seeing whether they fit the job position. Inevitably, if you are interviewing more than one candidate in a short period of time, some parts of the conversation will get lost somewhere along the way. By having notes, you can objectively compare two candidates side-by-side.

Provide next steps and closure

You may think that once you have a good idea of who should continue to the next step that it’s all done. But the applicants who did not get to proceed are just as important as the ones that have. You want to always (always, always) provide a positive experience for all candidates. This could be a follow-up email letting candidates know that another person was selected, and even encouraging them to re-apply for future opportunities. This not only keeps the door open for them to apply again in the future but also leaves a positive impression of your company brand.

Post By Acwin Wong