Hiring & Recruiting

Management & Leadership

Employer’s Guide to Conducting a Great Interview

A good interview can help secure a great candidate. While a lot of attention is focused on a candidate making a good impression during a job interview, don’t forget that oftentimes an interview can be the decision-making factor for the candidate. That’s why employers and hiring managers need to invest time and thought into their side of the interview process. Additionally, conducting an effective interview will only help you hire the right fit for your company.

Making sure you ask the right questions, understand your candidate’s background and experience in an effective manner and truly being prepared for every scenario will make sure you secure the best candidate for the role. Here’s introducing the employer’s guide to conducting a great interview. 

Why is it Important to Conduct a Good Interview? 

Conducting a good interview is important for both you and the candidate. Not only is it your chance to get to know the candidate and determine if they’re the right person for the job, but it’s your opportunity to show a great candidate why they would want to come to work at your organization. You must be prepared with the questions to ask, review the candidate’s profile and understand what is needed for the position. Here are some reasons why it’s important to conduct a good interview. 

1. Increases efficiency in the hiring process 

Conducting a good and thorough interview only helps you increase the efficiency of the hiring process. Being prepared will help you know what type of candidate you’re looking for and will help you understand the person you are looking for to fill the role. Streamlining the interview process will save you time and will get you a better outcome in the long run. 

2. Promotes consistency 

With a streamlined process and being prepared for an interview, you will know exactly the questions to ask and what type of answers you are looking for. Additionally, this also promotes a fairer process as you will ask candidates similar questions that are directly associated with the position and department you are hiring for. 

3. Boosts candidate experience 

You always want to leave a good impression on a candidate. Even if you don’t think they are a good match, a good candidate experience is always a valuable element of your overall employer brand. On the other hand, if you conducted an interview where you think you found the right fit, you want the candidate to feel that they enjoyed the experience on their end as well. After all, this could be a major factor in their decision-making process. 

How to Prepare for an Interview with a Top Candidate? 

Before jumping right into the interview, it’s important that you prepare beforehand. Brush up on the prospective candidate’s resume and make sure you’re all set with the questions you want to ask. Here are some of the ways you can prepare: 

5 Important Interview Techniques

  • Be ready– As mentioned, make sure you are prepared with your questions and potential answers to candidate questions and brush up on the background of your candidates. 
  • Inquire and listen – This is your chance to get to know your candidate better – beyond their resume. 
  • Be clear about the process – Let your candidate know the full extent of the hiring process and what they should expect in terms of timelines and communication. 
  • Focus on communication – Try to keep the tone conversational and help your candidate relax while they share their experiences. 
  • Follow up – No one likes to be ghosted, so make sure you follow up. Even if it’s bad news, the interviewee will appreciate your feedback.

Top Questions to Ask Candidates 

1. What is something important that’s not on your resume or LinkedIn profile? 
2. Did you ever have conflict at work? How did you manage it?  
3. If hired, what’s the first thing you would prioritize in this role? 
4. How would your manager describe you?  
5. What type of workplace culture are you looking for? 
6. What is the most interesting project or task you have worked on? 
7. Tell me about the biggest challenge you have faced at work and how you overcame it. 
8. You’re running out of time for your project, how would you handle the pressure? 
9. What made you choose this career path? 
10. Are you a collaborator or do you like working alone? 

Looking for more relevant questions? Check out this article on 17 Interview Questions to Ask Candidates. We do a deep dive into why these questions are important and what they will tell you about the candidate. 

How to Conduct a Proper interview 

Here are some important tips to keep in mind to conduct a successful interview with prospective candidates. 

1. Be prepared 

No one wants their interviewer to be fumbling and unsure of what they are doing or saying. Therefore, it’s important that you come prepared with your questions, information about the role and company, and what qualities you are looking for. This will only help you streamline the interview as you get to know the candidate. 

2. Introduce yourself and set the tone 

You will be the one to set the tone of the interview. Therefore, as you start by introducing yourself and giving the candidate the opportunity to get to know you, you can help keep the ambiance calm and relaxed. Be aware that the tone of voice and facial experiences you use will be picked up by your interviewee. You can start off with some small talk instead of immediately diving into questions. This will help break the ice and help the candidate ease into the interview. 

3. Sell the company and the role 

Make sure you are prepared with the background of the company and how you are going to sell the role. You need to put the company in a positive light and really let the candidate know why they will enjoy working here. This is your chance to keep the candidate intrigued and share more information that might not be available in the public job description. 

4. Explain the process 

Transparency is important. Therefore, you must be clear about the interview process, including the timeline and when they should hear back from you. Additionally, you can also share if you have more interviews and how quickly you are looking to fill the position.  

5. Keep questions open-ended 

Open-ended questions allow for a chance for a more in-depth conversation. The answers your candidate provides will help you differentiate one candidate from the other and will also help you learn more about them and how they reacted in different scenarios. Questions like, “Why did you leave your previous role?” or “How do you work under pressure?” or “How do you take feedback?” will help you gauge if the candidate is a cultural fit and understand their experience in greater depth. 

6. Listen 

You don’t want to be doing all the talking. Take this time to truly listen to what your interviewee is sharing with you and make sure to take notes on what they share. Sometimes, a candidate might not want to answer the question and could go off on a tangent. These are cues you should pick up and understand why they might have avoided certain questions. 

7. Allow for questions 

Once you feel like you have asked all your questions and come to a place where you have gotten to know the candidate, open the floor up for questions. This is a simple yet effective way for your candidate to ask questions that might surprise you. Candidates who are interested will often ask about work culture, what responsibilities they will be given, and what opportunities for growth are available in the role. 

8. Interview conclusion 

How you end an interview is also important. Make sure to let them know how and when you might follow up and what the next steps are in the recruitment process. This might be a test, another interview, or simply just letting them know if they got the position or not. As mentioned, the candidate’s overall experience is important, so how you end the interview and say goodbye will leave a positive (or negative) impression. This could also be the deciding factor on whether or not they want to work at your company. 

Tips to Remember 

Always make sure you come prepared. Winging it rarely works in your favor. Nerves will be high, so try to keep your candidate (and maybe yourself!) relaxed and set the tone accordingly. Behavioral questions will be your friend. These questions will help you understand how your candidate reacts in different situations. Additionally, avoid having too many people in the room or involved in the interview process. Sometimes, too many cooks can spoil the broth. Good luck! 

Looking to hire? Contact your local branch today to learn more about the talented professionals we have available and see how Roth Staffing Companies including Ultimate Staffing, Ledgent Finance & Accounting, Ledgent Technology, Adams & Martin Group and About Talent, can be a resource to you for your staffing and recruitment needs.