Recently we have dedicated a few articles to job interviews and how to handle them. But there is another side to the job interview that gets a little less attention: the side of the employer. Most employers find it hard to give good job interviews, and they to get insecure: the future of the company depends on who works there, so it is important that you hire the right person for the job. Especially if it is your first time interviewing someone, you might not be sure about what to ask and what to say. Check out some of the tips below:
1. How to ask your questions
It is not for no reason that you invite a candidate for an interview: you want to get to know them, talk to them and observe their skills as well. That’s why it is important to ask your question in a conversational matter. Don’t make it sound like you’re going down a list of questions (although you might be doing that), but take the time out to listen to what the candidate has to say. If some questions take longer to answer than other that is only natural, and it is a good way to find out more about your candidate. It is okay to write answers down, but see it as a conversation rather than as a survey.
2. Observe the candidate’s behavior
There are a few things that are important to analyze about the candidate. The first thing is of course how they are in conversation. Good communications skills are important. What you are looking for is someone who is confident, but also willing to listen. Make sure that the mentality and behavior of the candidate fits in with that of their potential co-workers. It is important that people get along in your company, so that they can deliver better results together. Your candidate will probably be nervous, especially if they are not used to giving job interviews, but a few minutes into the conversation they usually become more confident and talkative.
3. Ask beyond standard questions
A lot of questions that you will be asking are going to get you answers that are somewhat opinionated. For instance, you will probably ask a candidate what they are good at and what their weak points are, and which situations they find difficult in the workplace, but you can also go deeper and ask questions like, ‘what is your dream job?’ and ‘where do you see yourself in ten years from now?’. This is of course to determine what the goals of the candidate are, and how motivated they are. If you are not satisfied with an answer you can ask them to explain a little more.
4. The end
After the interview is over the candidate should get a chance to ask you about the job and the company, and you could offer any information that you are able to provide at that point. Always try to answer their questions, and if you don’t know something you can offer to ask somebody else after the interview is over and get back to them about it. Stay polite with the candidate, even if you are not going to hire them. Thank them for coming, shake their hand and tell them when they can expect to hear something from you.
5. Forbidden questions
You probably already know about this, but there are a few types of questions that you are not allowed to ask during the interview, and that could get you in trouble. Such things include questions concerning age, religion, race, and marital status. However, there are sneaky ways to go around this if it is relevant for the job. For instance, you are not allowed to ask someone ‘how old are you?’, but you can ask them ‘are you over the age of 18?’. You are also not allowed to ask ‘are you a US citizen?’, but you can ask ‘are you authorized to work in the US?’.
Hopefully these tips are helpful to you in the future. Having job interviews and determining who to hire can be tough, but you gradually get good at it.