HR Know-How: Interviewing [Free Questions Guide]

//HR Know-How: Interviewing [Free Questions Guide]
Hr Know How Interviewing Best Practices Header

Interviewing Best Practices

Many factors influence what your hiring and interview process will look like, including your company type and size, your personal interviewing style and the position in question. Regardless, there are some best practices that generally apply to most interviews. Below are suggestions to help facilitate an efficient interview process for you and the candidate.

Before the Interview

Preparation is key:

  • Make sure interview details are communicated to the candidate. (Where to go, where to park, who to ask for, how long the interview may last, multiple interviewers, on-site application, dress code, etc.)

  • Review the job description and the candidate’s resume, application and any other pertinent information before the interview.

  • Have a standard list of questions and method of evaluation.

  • If there is anything in question on the candidate’s resume, make note and add your questions to your standard list. Look for lapses in employment, missing skills, demotions or career setbacks, etc.

During the Interview

Don’t let nerves take over the interview; plan how you will conduct the interview and be aware of your own role in the interview conversation:

  • Start with small talk, but don’t let chattiness (especially nervous chatter) distract from the goal of the interview.

  • Have an awareness of your own body language. If you’re new to interviewing, you’re probably nervous about the interview, too. Make sure you don’t inadvertently send nonverbal messages that you’re angry or closed down during the interview conversation.

  • Take notes; writing notes verbatim can help you remember better later. However, do not mark down the race, gender, etc., of a candidate, as these notes could be used against you in the event that you don’t hire a candidate and are later charged with discrimination.

  • Make sure to listen to the interviewee’s full answer, without interrupting. Use follow-up questions and silence to get more information from candidates.

  • Consider touring the work area with the candidate. You can observe the interviewee’s reaction to the workplace (e.g., a disappointed look at your open office space), and a tour helps the candidate assess how well he or she sees himself working for your company.

  • Close the interview by asking for questions, then asking the candidate if they are interested in the position now that they have learned more about the job and company during the interview. You may learn even more about a candidate and their fit for the role based on the questions they ask of you.

After the Interview

You likely won’t have an instant answer—and certainly shouldn’t give one—when you part ways with the interviewee. Good follow-up practices will help you make the best hiring decision and keep the candidate informed of what is happening:

Interview Questions

When asking questions, always make sure that they tie back to the job responsibilities. Beware of questions that are illegal or solicit discriminatory information. In addition to choosing how to structure your interview, there are many types of questions you can use. You may want to use straightforward open-ended questions, behavioral questions, and situational/hypothetical questions. Prepare to ask follow-up questions as well to help direct the conversation.

Check out our Green Light, Red Light list of questions at the end of this post for a quick guide to allowable questions and questions to avoid due to legal considerations.

Evaluation Checklist

When you sit down to discuss and choose your top candidate, you should have an evaluation process that takes a fair look at each individual. This can be done in many ways; below are some suggestions for evaluation methods or techniques.

  • Ask the same questions of each candidate in the interviews so you can make direct comparisons.

  • Take equal amounts of time to meet with and then discuss each candidate with relevant parties.

  • Have a checklist of requirements, and compare candidates side by side on paper.

  • Develop a grading system for candidates. Each interviewer, for example, can choose a number on a scale of 1 to 4 for each qualification.

For more HR Know-How, check out other articles on the Benefits Blog and our Benefit Resource Center. To learn more about how Austin Benefits Group is simplifying HR, contact us today!

cathy siska coo

Cathy Siska
Chief Operating Officer

2018-01-08T11:40:31-05:00 HR Best Practices|