Conducting an Effective Job Interview

Finding and retaining talent is crucial to your company’s success. Job interviews are an important step to finding the right talent. But many business leaders find themselves asking the “same standard questions” and getting the “same prepared answers” from every candidate.

This humorous video from Heineken shows a very creative example of interviewing. While we don’t advocate such an extreme approach, we do admire the amount of planning and preparation they put into the interview process. To conduct an effective job interview, we recommend:

  • Preparing with room for flexibility. Before you interview anyone, think about the qualities you need (“musts”) and would like (“wants”) to see in an ideal candidate and develop interview questions to explore these areas. While it’s a good idea to have a list of key questions to ask each person, be flexible with your outline and allow the conversation to move naturally. If it sounds like you’re just reading a list of canned questions, you may get canned responses in return.
  • Building a rapport. Making the candidate feel comfortable and at ease will help reduce communication barriers and foster an open dialogue. Keep in mind that the interviewee will have a heightened response to your non-verbal cues, so make sure your body language matches the tone of the conversation.
  • Asking insightful questions. When trying to assess a person’s skills or experiences, use behavioral interviewing questions that ask the job candidate to describe their performance in a past situation. For example, instead of asking a managerial candidate, “What do you think is the best way to motivate others?” say, “Give me an example of a time when you motivated others.” Follow up with questions tailored to their example to learn more about the actions they took and the results of those actions.
  • Making objective notes. Interviewing multiple candidates can be a lengthy process. By the time you’re ready to select someone, you may only have a vague recollection of early interviews. After – or during – each interview, make objective notes about the candidate’s responses so that you can base your evaluation on more than a subjective impression.

Remember, Achilles Group is here to help your business. For more guidance on conducting job interviews, talk to one of our experienced HR professionals at 281-469-1800.

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