Knowing the proper way to most effectively interview prospective employees is an important skill for any business owner or interviewer. Job interviews are not easy for anyone involved. The people who are being interviewed find it understandably daunting, but the people who are interviewing often find it difficult as well.
The following points give a small introductory tutorial that should be followed to get best results while interviewing a prospective employee:
Effective Job Description
The mark of a good interview process is that the job description is succinct and effective. A proper job description needs to be precise about the prospective employees’ responsibilities, their role in the organization, their duties and rights, a list of people who would be sharing their work and the person to whom the employees would be reporting. The skill level and requirement should be stated clearly for a better and accurate interview process.
There are certain skills, which can be acquired on the job. Some skills and abilities can be imparted through personnel training and development when the employee joins the organization. However, some skills like technical skills for a position act as prerequisites, and the prospective employee should come equipped with them. If the position requires technical knowledge of certain areas, it is necessary that this requirement becomes a part of the job description. Any other requirements which are necessary for the position must be stated as well.
Good Generic Questions
The most important part of the interview is the set of questions that the interviewer has to ask. They should be prepared beforehand and should leave no room for doubt. The questions should be direct and clear. Here are a few sample questions which are commonly asked:
What would your most significant qualities be?
Choose 3 adjectives to describe yourself.
Why did you choose to work in this field?
What was your last job about?
What were your reasons for leaving your last job?
How are your interactions with coworkers and clients?
How are your communication skills?
What are your weaknesses?
What position do you see yourself in the next 5 – 10 years?
Specific job or position related questions can also be added, such as:
How well do you work in a team? Do you prefer it over working alone as an individual?
How many people are you comfortable handling? Do you have any experience in this?
What kind of manager do you prefer working with?
Can you work for long hours?
Professional Attire and Mannerism
There is no strict dress code for an interview. And yet, there needs to be a certain amount of professionalism in the way the prospective employee dresses. Most people prefer formal clothing when they appear for an interview, and this point might also reflect on the position they are holding. If the job requires interaction with customers and clients, it is important that the employee knows how to dress. Also, the interviewer has to note whether they are punctual and prepared. The prospective employee should be at the interview on time, and their mannerism should be professional.
Be Conversational and Friendly
An interview is not an interrogation so a friendly but firm tone should be employed. The interview should be held in a conference room or a place where there are minimum distractions and the atmosphere should be comfortable. If the interview is being recorded, the interviewer should tell the interviewee about this and show them the positioning of the camera or the recording device.
The interview should start with certain warm up questions and before getting into the position specific part, the interviewer should brief the prospective employee about the company’s history and might restate the things mentioned in the job description, if required. Some interviewers also like to test the person by asking general questions related to the company they are applying in. This is to check if they have done their homework.
If there are certain things which were not present in the job description but seem important to mention, then they should be stated as well. After that, the interviewer can get into the job profile and questions related to it.
Test Reaction to Stress
A job might put a person under stress and their ability to thrive under such pressure needs to be tested. At least, the reaction should be passable because the company doesn’t want an employee who freezes under stress. This is where tricky questions like these come in:
What were the things you did not like in your previous company?
What were the things you did not like in your previous boss?
Have you ever been criticized for your work? Why?
How well do you handle criticism?
If there are any gaps in their employment history, they should be examined and cross checked with them. Also, body language should be noted. Do they appear nervous? Do they maintain eye contact? Are there displaying any nervous habits like tapping fingers on the table? And most importantly, are they hiding their nervousness well?
After the interviewer is satisfied about the prospective employee, it is time to let them ask questions. This could be an opportunity to see how the prospective employee’s mind works. The questions would mostly be related to topics that were too specific or detailed for the job description. They could also be about company history and benefits that come with the position the person is being interviewed for.
What Not To Ask
Care has to be taken to not let personal biases reflect on the interview and selection process. There are many topics that could be considered inappropriate and discourteous. There should be no questions about sexuality, religion, medical conditions and political leanings. However, harmless personal questions to put the person at ease should be alright.
No matter what the results of the interview are, they should be conveyed to the interviewee at some point soon after the interview.
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