So you have prepared your questions, read over the candidate’s application and resume, and made all the necessary notations to ensure you ask all the right questions, what now?
Generally, the information you collect about an applicant before the interview indicates whether or not the applicant has the minimum education, training and work experience required for a particular position.
The interview is the time to verify this information and add to it.
The interview is usually the only opportunity you have to get to know something about the applicant’s personality, attitudes, and motivation. These personal characteristics five you an idea of how well a person will perform, how satisfied he or she will be in the mob, and how long the candidate will stay with the organization.
To get an interview started and keep it going smoothly, follow a structures. You can direct and control the interview by structuring it.
Here’s the basic structure to follow during an interview:
- Introduction and small talk
- Probing for information from the Candidate
- Giving the applicant information about the job and your company
At Vested, this is the structure we follow for our temp recruiting process.
Let’s see what areas can be explored and what might be revealed about the candidate in each part of the interview.
Introduction and Small Talk
The first few minutes of an interview are very important because they set the tone for the rest of the interview. This is the time to establish rapport with the applicant.
If you help the applicant feel relaxed and comfortable immediately, he or she will be more likely to be talkative and open during the rest of the interview.
Begin the interview by introducing yourself and extending a warm and sincere welcome to the candidate.
After that, it’s a good idea to take a few minutes for small talk on a casual, neutral subject. Friendly chit-chat helps reduce tension and promotes communication.
Probing for information from the Candidate
This part of the interview can be any combination of subjects including: work experience, education, outside interests, and personal factors.
Discuss the candidate’s most recent job first. From there, work backward and cover the applicant’s other jobs.
Discuss only one job at a time and get a clear picture of how the applicant performed in that job before you move on to another job.
Here are some areas to explore about the candidates work history:
- The applicant’s specific duties and responsibilities
- The applicant’s successes and problems in each job
- What the applicant liked or disliked about each job
- What the applicant was looking for in each job
- Why the applicant left each job
As we discuss an applicant’s work experience, look for the following types of information:
Relevance and sufficiency of work experience
- Skills and competence
- Interpersonal relations
- Leadership Maturity and judgment
After reviewing a candidate’s work history, move on his or her educational background.
- Here are some topics you might discuss:
- Subjects liked best and least
- Success and special achievements in school
- Reason for choosing schools and major areas of study
- How education and career are related
When consider a candidates educational background, remember that academic success or failure is not, by itself, a sufficient predictor of success or failure on a job.
Probing a candidate’s education background can reveal factors such as:
- Intellectual abilities and versatility
- Depth of knowledge
- Reaction to authority and imposed assignments
- Leadership and team work
When discussing outside interests, you have to be careful as it is a delicate subject and is not directly related to job performance.
Many interviewers no longer discuss outside interests with candidates unless they ask question specifically related to the job. Otherwise, it’s easy to unknowingly violate EEO laws.
If you are going to ask questions about this area, be sure to as the same question of every candidate of r a particular job.
This ensures equal treatment of all applicants.
If you have been supportive of a candidate during the rest of the interview, the interview will be flowing smoothly and the candidate will be talking openly by now. This make sit easier to discuss more personal information.
Basically, the purpose of this part is to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of candidates. You can also give applicants a chance to sell themselves by asking them to tell you what assets they feel they bring to the job.
When discussing personal factors, look for the following types of information about candidates:
- Best talent and skills
- Social effectiveness
- Where the job fits in with his or her long range goals
By this time, you should have some idea about whether or not this candidate is right for this job. If you are sure it’s not a match, there’s no reason to spend a lot of time giving the applicant information about the job and your company.
Simply conclude the interview cordially.
Giving the applicant information about the job and your company
If you feel positive about an applicant, start selling the job and your company. An effective interview is a two way street.
Now that you have the information you want about the candidate, give the candidate information about this job and company.
Begin this part of the interview by having the candidate tell you what he or she already knows about the job and what he or she expects from it.
Then you can tell more about the job by:
- Adding to what the applicant already knows about the job
- Correcting any misconceptions
Be sure to cover the following information:
- Salary Shift or work hours
- Advancement possibilities
During this part of the interview, give the applicant all the information he or she needs to decide if the job is the right one.
Encourage the applicant to ask questions you discuss the job. A candidate who doesn’t get complete information in this part of the interview may be the same hiring “risk” as an unqualified candidate, because people are usually “good employees” only if they are place in jobs which satisfy their needs, us their ability and training, and encourages them to function somewhere near their optimal level.
Give the candidate a balanced and complete picture of the job. Be honest about its rewards and its problems.
If you’re hiring someone into a work unit or department with problems, let them know what they will face. Some people are trouble shooters and thrive in that type of situation.
Others don’t like and probably won’t do well in int. Also, let the candidate know what kind of atmosphere he or se will be working in.
One final question
By this point, you may feel you’ve covered all the necessary interviewing ground. You probably have. But it’s always a good idea to ask one final question.
Ask the applicant if there is anything else that he or she feels you should know. This gives the person the opportunity to cover any information you may have missed. It helps end the interview on a positive note.
Concluding the interview
Before you rush the candidate out the door, there are three things to cover:
- Let them know when a decision will be made
- When they can expect to hear from you
- Confirm where and when they can be reached
- Thank them for their time and interest
Taking these steps should allow an interview to flow with ease and provides for little “gray” area.
A candidate should leave the interview with a good understanding of the job and company and you should have a good understanding of whether or not they will make a good fit for the position.
Finally, check out this useful video on recruiting from Google: