Here at Track5Media, we’re always hiring. We also work with plenty of recruiters and agencies who are always hiring as well. Needless to say, the interview process is a familiar one. While there is no single recipe for a perfect interview process, there are a few things that can help you conduct an effective job interview. Anytime you are hiring a new employee, the costs of making a bad hire can be huge. With this in mind, it is important that you get the decision right the first time around. In order to do this, consider the following tips when preparing to run an interview!
5 Tips on How to Conduct an Effective Job Interview
1. Clearly Define the Position
Of course, if you are hiring then you have some specific job responsibilities that need to be filled. However, it is important to fully assess what you need and want in your future employee. Failing to explicitly define job responsibilities, roles, and duties can create problems for both you and your job candidates before or after the hiring decision. Take the time before posting any job listings to talk with everybody relevant to the position within your company in order to gain a complete understanding of the hard and soft skills that will be useful in this role. This can help the applicant to understand the role before applying and can ensure that everyone within your organization is on the same page regarding a new hire.
2. Prepare in Advance
Too often, interviewers fall victim to the belief that only the interviewee needs to prepare. Dedicate time before the meeting to closely review the candidates’ application materials and craft informative questions based on those materials. It may not always be helpful to ask each applicant to describe their work history when that information is available on their resume. Instead, identify key positions they have held that relate to the job you are filling. Asking questions about those prior experiences will help you understand how the candidate will fit into your organization.
3. Make the Applicant Comfortable
Reducing stress in an interview situation is important to conduct an effective job interview. Given that you are in a hiring position, chances are you’ve been through a few interviews yourself. This process is naturally stressful and it can be difficult to accurately represent yourself when stressed. Be sure to communicate the format and expectations for the interview in advance so that you interviewee can feel more comfortable. After all, when the applicant is not stressed out you are more likely to get genuine answers.
4. Interview With a (Small) Team
When interviewing applicants (especially if there are a lot), bringing in two or three interviewers can ensure consistency. In making a big decision, it is important to have insight from multiple people affected by the decision. Having a couple of people involved in the interview means that you will have multiple perspectives. Different interviewers will pick up on different cues and can discuss their observations afterward. This said, avoid involving too many people in the hiring process. Unfortunately, hiring by democracy can often be too time intensive and ultimately ineffective. Choose a small group of people to help make your final decision.
5. Ask the Right Questions
In order to conduct an effective job interview, it is important to ask the right types of questions. Of course, this is closely related to preparing in advance. However, the right questions will likely allow for you to ask the candidate follow-up questions. Behavioral questions are a common type of question in interviews because they allow the candidate to tell their story. Questions like, “Tell me about a time that you initiated a project that increased efficiency…” allow the candidate to detail a personal experience that may provide insight into how they would handle the role available. If there is something about the applicant’s answer that you’d like to know more about, ask them to elaborate.
In short, it is not always easy to conduct an effective job interview. However, with an appropriate level of preparation and consideration, it can be. Remember that hiring someone is like making an investment. A good investment can grow over time while a bad investment only causes unnecessary expenses. Putting in a little extra work upfront can pay off in a big way down the road!