3 Basic Interviewing Principles Every Employer Must Know

26 Dec 2014 by


If you’re reading this article, you’re either a small business owner/manager without a recruiting professional working for you, or you’re a recruiting professional who’s interested in receiving another perspective on the topic of interviewing.

There are certain interview strategies and tactics that must be observed in order to have a successful interview. The interview stage is incredibly critical in acquiring the right talent for your organization’s culture, mission and overall feel. How do you ensure, by the interview alone, that your hire is a good one? Well, you don’t; there’s always a degree of risk. However, by customizing each interview and asking the right questions you can significantly reduce the risk of hiring someone who won’t stick around very long.

1. Know Who You’re Interviewing.

Take some time to ask your interviewee about themselves, their interests, passions and other non-work related, yet appropriate, questions. There are some valuable things you can learn through getting to know a candidate just a bit before you start drilling them with work-related inquiries.

If, for example, you ask them what they enjoy doing on the weekends and their answer is “working in the yard”, and you’re hiring a Landscaper, that tells you they may be a good fit on your team because they have an interest for the job in their personal life, which means you’re less likely to run into issues related to lack of motivation and dedication toward the job after they’re hired.

2. Ask Behavioral Questions.

Behavioral questions encourage the candidate to talk about how they respond, or might respond, in specific scenarios. Examples might be:

“Tell me about a time when you had a disagreement with a co-worker. How did you handle it, and what was the outcome?”

“How would you respond in rush hour traffic if you’re late for an appointment and you just spilled your drink all over your lap?”

Questions like these help draw out very real emotions and you can usually tell whether the candidate’s response is genuine, or if they’re just giving you an answer they know you want to hear.

3. Ask Job-Related Questions.

You know the job you’re recruiting for better than anyone, and you also know the type of candidate you’re looking for to fill that role. So, be sure to ask plenty of questions related to skills needed for the job. For example, if you’re hiring an Administrative Assistant, you would ask questions like, “How do you keep yourself organized on the job?” Likewise, if you’re hiring a Sales Associate, you might ask them to sell you something on your desk; maybe a writing utensil or container of hand sanitizer.

Interviewing is a time consuming process, but not spending adequate time on it initially can do more harm than the extra time spent in the first place. Customize each interview based on the job you’re hiring for and pay attention to the candidate’s responses; may trigger other questions you may not have planned on asking but that would be good to address.

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