1. Get comfortable.
It may sound obvious, but plan ahead and ensure you have a private space allocated for the interviews, without interruptions or distractions – it will put less pressure on you and the candidates and that will pay dividends with the quality of answers they can deliver. It’s in both your interests for the interview to be a dialogue and while the prospective employee to make a winning pitch for the post, you also need to sell yourself as a potential boss and the business as a great place to work.
2. Make sure you’ve done your homework.
Make sure you’ve reviewed the CVs and covering letters of all your interviewees and have a fistful of facts and about their qualifications and experience at your fingertips. It will not only put the candidate at their ease and draw out the best in them, it will also show you know your stuff and are ready to quiz them on their skills and ensure they match your job description. If you have mastered your brief, it will quickly become apparent if the candidate has not.
3. Set out the structure and stick to it.
It’s always best for everyone to understand what is expected. Tell the candidate there will be time at the end for their questions and queries and make sure you allow for that in your timetable. In the main body of the interview, be certain to prioritize the key questions to establish how the candidate would fit into the organisation; if the skills on their CV match the requirements of the job and can they convince you that they have the enthusiasm and energy to make the job a success? Keep questions open-ended to draw out the detail.
4. Look for subliminal signals.
Studying the candidate’s body language and facial expressions can uncover a whole new level of knowledge about their attitude and attributes and how they are compatible with your business if you take time to read the cues and understand the clues.
5. Stay focused.
An interview doesn’t have to be a one-to-one. If you want to take notes, ask a colleague to act as an observer and note down the salient points so you can concentrate on a proper conversation with the candidate.
Getting recruitment wrong can be costly and time-consuming for businesses, so make sure you do your job and get it right.