How to Interview Someone
With the majority of employers denoting the interview as the most important part of the hiring process, it is important to understand the logistics of the interview.
An interview is simply a meeting, in person or digitally, between an employer and a potential employee, that typically occurs during the final stages of the hiring process.
To make the interview process more efficient, the interview no longer only occurs in person. Today, most interview processes include:
- Face to Face: This traditional mode of interviewing requires that a face to face interview be conducted with the interviewer and job candidate in the same physical space.
- Phone: Many companies conduct preliminary interviews over the phone.
- Skype: To reduce travel costs, Skype interviews, or interviews conducted over an online video chat, have become more prevalent.
- Panel Interviews: During a panel interview, applicants are interviewed, in person or digitally, by multiple members of a company.
When preparing to interview an applicant, it is also important to consider the style of the interview.
Structured interviews are interviews in which the interviewer asks predetermined questions and follows a similar format for all interviews conducted with candidates for a particular position.
An unstructured interview is typically more casual and does not include arranged questions.
Interviewing A Job Candidate
It is important to consider the type and style of the interview before beginning the following step by step guide for interviewing a job candidate.
- First Step: Picking Your Interviewers
When deciding on who will interview a potential candidate, it is important to consider the interviewer’s relationship to the position the company is trying to fill. As a general rule, the following employees should be considered to conduct interviews:
- An employee or manager who oversees the particular position
- An employee who works closely and often collaboratively with hiring position
It is also important that the interviewer has ample experience within the field and specialised knowledge about the position itself.
- Second Step: Determining the Timing and Length
Time and length of an interview vary depending on a company, the position being filled, and the number of people interviewed the applicant. Typically, interview timing mimics the following structure:
- Non Manager: A one-on-one interview should last around 45 minutes to an hour. However, if there are two interviewers, each interviewer reduces the interview to 30-45 minutes each. If more than two employees conduct interviews, the duration of each should last no longer than 15-30 minutes.
- Manager: Since management is a leadership position, these interviews typically take longer. With one interviewer, expect an interview to last around an hour and a half. With two, each interview should be no longer than an hour. If there are more than two interviewers, each interview should last around half an hour.
- Third Step: Interview Logistics
Now that you know who is conducting the interviewing and how long the process will take, its time to consider logistics.
The following are helpful things to consider when planning an interview:
- Where will the interview take place?
- Does a conference room need to be booked?
- Should tea or coffee be provided at the interview?
- Have all necessary parties been notified of the interview?
- Fourth Step: Job Documents
To be prepared for during the interview, it is always helpful for the interviewer to have the applicant’s job documents accessible.
Helpful documents to have ready during an interview include:
- Job Description
- Applicant’s CV
- Applicant’s Cover Letter
- Letters of Recommendation and References
- Fifth Step: Interview Prep
To feel confident during an interview, it is good practice to consider questions you will ask the job candidate.
The questions asked during an interview largely depend on the position, the industry, and the needs of the company. Basic questions may include:
- Why are you interested in this particular company?
- How do you think you fit within our company culture?
- What are your expectations for this position if hired?
- Why do you think you are ideal for this position?
Consider running your questions by a colleague and practice delivering your questions to feel confident before the interview.
- Sixth Step: Destress
Most candidates are extremely stressed during an interview. To make candidates feel at ease, do the following:
- Give candidates as much detail about the interview as possible, including the length of the interview and their interviewer’s name.
- Provide the candidate with the company’s typical dress code.
- Send out scenario questions to the candidate before the interview.
- Seventh Step: Interview Closure
Now that the interviews are over, candidates need closure, regardless of whether they got the job or not. An interviewer can provide closure in the following ways:
- Extending an offer to the qualified candidate
- Alerting the candidate, promptly, that the company decided to hire someone else
- Letting the candidate know if more interviews need to be conducted or there is a delay in a decision
With a growing reliance on interviews in the hiring process, it is important that both the interviewer and the potential candidate are prepared.