Interviewing prospective candidates for job openings are probably the most well known tasks that an HR professional has to deal with. An interview is a small amount of time that has been allotted to you for finding out if a person is a good fit for your company or not. Not the easiest task. Judgment based on a few minutes of an interview is not easy to form. No matter how the interview goes or doesn’t go, like everything else in the work life, interviews too have an etiquette to be followed. Just because you are the one offering the job and salary does not give you the right to act as you will. Fact is that you need the candidates just as much as the candidates need you. So here is a list of things or your interview guide to remember when you take an interview.
- Don’t be late
Getting the most obvious out of the way first, always remember to be on time. When a candidate has been given a time for the interview, you expect them to show up on time and not make you wait. If being on time speaks a lot about the candidate, it also speaks similarly for the company. When someone is late for anything it shows that they are either not serious about the occasion or just simply not bothered, and if you are not bothered, then why should your candidate be.
- Ease into the hard stuff
A lot hangs on giving a proper interview. Understand that it is normal for someone to feel nervous. Help your candidates feel comfortable before you start asking the real tough questions. Of course if despite your constant efforts an interviewee refuses to calm down that is a completely different scenario. That probably reflects that your interviewee is not good at handling pressure. The fine line between the two is what you have to judge.
- Know your direction
Whenever taking an interview, try not to seem like you are just swinging bats here. Have an angle, a definite action plan. Just shooting out random questions is not going to be helpful. It makes you seem unprepared and unprofessional. Have a list of questions prepared (don’t read constantly from the list, but refer to it from time to time), make sure that those questions are interrelated and not out of the blue. You know what skills you require your candidate to have, ask leading questions to try and infer those skills.
- Know when to keep shut
When you have finally brought your candidate to a level of ease that has made them comfortable and ready to answer, know that you providing superlatives during their answers is not required any more. Phrases like “Wow”, “that’s brilliant”, “amazing” – not required! A smile or a nod will do, let them get on in their own flow.
- Don’t give up
Really like a candidate? They have exactly the skills you need and also would be a good cultural fit? But when they answer their one word answers start to deter you and you feel at a loss about what you should do next? The simple answer – don’t give up. Don’t be afraid to rephrase and ask the same question again and again till you are satisfied with the answers you receive. After all it is your interview and you should be sure about where this thing is headed.