The success of the interview depends just as much on the interviewer as it does the candidate, so it’s important to be prepared and confident before you evaluate someone for a job. Here are a few important things to keep in mind when you’re conducting an interview.
Truly understand what you need
Successful recruiters understand that employees don’t just perform a job; they solve at least one critical business need. Take the time to identify that critical need and determine how you measure success in the position. If you do not take the time to think this through, you are just rushing to fill up a void without really making sure the needs of the company will be met.
Establish a list of criteria for your candidates
How will you make sure this person is who you need? Take the time to identify the criteria that should influence your decision: diplomas, years of experience, ability to speak in public…? Remember you are not looking for the person with the most talent, but rather, the person who’s ability and talents will fit perfectly for this specific job.
Tell your interviewee what they should expect
Interviews are like tests.They are not meant to trick the interviewee but to allow them to share things they already know to a person (or a group of people) in a position to make a decision. That being said, the candidate should have the right to prepare himself. Make sure there are no surprises, no tricks and no uncertainties. Candidates selected for interviews should know exactly what to expect: when they will interview, where they will interview and who will be involved in the interview.
Do your homework
Make sure you do your homework. There are important information that you should gather about your candidate before you meet them. Take the time to not only screen their resume but also dig in information. If your candidate is a freelance blogger, perhaps you will want to check out their articles and learn more about their writing style. If they are photographers on their free-time, maybe you could check out their portfolio. Doing so will allow you to feel like you know them a little better.
Make the interview a conversation
Take the time to create an environment that will make your candidate comfortable. The more you know about the candidate ahead of time the more you can ask questions that give the candidate room for self-analysis or introspection.
Allow them to ask questions
It is important to let your candidate ask questions. It will put them at ease and give you a better idea of what their expectations are. Ask open-ended questions and give the candidate an opportunity to answer. You should also give him or her time to solicit information from you as the interview goes on.
Describe the next steps
At the end of the interview always describe the rest of the process. Explain what you will do and when you plan to do it. Give them an estimation of when they will get an answer and let them know if there is anything they can do in the meantime.
You should always follow-up, even if the candidate is not selected. Failing to follow up is not right, especially to people who pay your business the highest compliment of all by saying they would like to work with you. Show your candidates that you value their time by following up after the interview no matter the outcome.
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