HR Conducting Interview

How To Be A Great Interviewer

When it comes to interviewing for a job, there’s a whole slew of online resources that interviewee’s can utilize to make the most out of every 15-30 minute job-defining conversation they have. However, what about the interviewer? Regardless of company title or rank, there are plenty of individuals around the world who have to interview other people everyday. Whether it be interviewing carpenters to renovate your kitchen, a new staff intern for the office, or even a new hiring manager so you don’t have to sit through any more interviews, interviewers should also keep a few things in mind to make sure that the process is fair for all parties involved. 

First and most obviously, before you begin the entire interview process, you need to make sure all applicants know beforehand exactly what you’re looking for in an ideal employee for whatever role you’re hiring for. Lucky for most, a lot of the application process now occurs online, so when someone is applying for a position, they likely see all the qualifications a business would be looking for before even talking to anyone at that business. 

However, it’s still important to be clear. So often job listings done online are way to general, which can waste a lot of time, especially if the application is long. Don’t just bullet point things like “looking for someone who can use Microsoft Word, is a team player, and willing to work odd hours.” Instead, list what specific duties potential employee’s will have to do on Microsoft Word for the job itself. What aspects of the job require teamwork and co-worker communication? Define “odd hours” and why employee’s in the past have had to work them. 

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These specifications are important not just for your employee to know, but for you to communicate as well so that you know the only individuals who are applying are mentally agreeing to all the distinct terms you’ve laid out. 

When it comes time to actually prepare for an interview, as the interviewer, make sure you’re choosing your questions to ask very carefully. Don’t ask generic interview questions like “what is your greatest strength/weakness” just because that seems like the right thing to do. What do you really need to know about a person in order to determine if they’ll be the right fit at your company/business/fulfilling whatever role you’re interviewing for?

Ask questions that will distinguish interviewee’s based on skill, ability to learn/grow, and overall experience. Skills can be taught, but only if they have a strong ability to adapt and learn; does their past job experience indicate to you that they have that ability?

Again, being clear is always the right route to go as the interviewer. You already know that as the individual being interviewed, there’s already a decent amount of anticipation and anxiety on their end that you have no business adding to. Don’t ask trick questions, and tell your candidates before the interview exactly what to expect when they come in so they can truly prepare for what’s to come. Remember, you’re not trying to scare applicants away, you’re trying to hire someone who’s best fit for the tasks at hand. The more upfront and honest you are, the more comfortable they’ll feel when it comes to presenting themselves, making the process easier for all parties. 

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In addition, if you weave your interview with trick questions and over explanation, the individual up for the job is likely to speak on that once they leave, which has the potential to ruin any other opportunity at others wanting to apply for the position at hand. Even though the interviewee isn’t a part of the company yet, you still are, and you’re representing your businesses values the second you both sit down and begin the questionnaire process, so do it justice. 

Finally, make sure you’re giving both yourself, and the interviewee enough time to speak. It’s definitely important for you to describe the specific details of the job and your company as a whole, but don’t get caught in the trap of forgetting to let your candidate actually answer a question because you were too busy speaking. If hired, they’ll have plenty of time to learn about all the inner workings of the business and their particular job, so allow them time to speak up for themselves first. 

On the opposite end, do make sure that you leave space for you to actually mention the key points about the job and business that you deem as most important for a potential employee to know during an interview. Basically re-emphasize the qualifications that would be listed on the online application for your business, this way you have a template of things to mention, without going overboard.  

Interviewing can be overwhelming for all individuals involved, but it doesn’t have to be scary as long as there’s direct clear communication from the beginning. Everyone has the same goal of either wanting to be hired or wanting to hire someone best fit for the job, so take a deep breath, and make it happen.

Job Interview

The Right Way To Prepare For A Job Interview

Being in between jobs can be one of the most frustrating times in a person’s life. Scrambling to find places that you’re qualified to work, preparing a solid clean resume, writing an engaging cover letter, and sending out dozens of emails until you get a bite, can be hard. However, you will get an interview, regardless if it’s your dream job or not, getting an interview can be half the battle, now it’s time to tackle the other half and get yourself the job. 

Interviews are basically sales pitches for yourself and your skills. Knowing how to speak about yourself in an eloquent and confident matter is important and shows potential employers that you know you’re the right person for the job, now it’s just time for them to see that. It’s also important to note that while you may be nervous, the employer your meeting with is most likely going to want to help you give the best answers you possibly can. No boss wants to see a potential employee fail due to nerves or is going to try and outsmart you during the interview process, they most likely view it as one of their daily conversations in which they’re trying to get the most information on how their company can improve with what you’re offering; in this case yourself. So don’t be worried about if the boss will like you, but instead, focus on getting the boss to like the skills, accomplishments, and talents that you already know you have. 

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A major component to nailing an interview is being fully educated and prepared for what you’re interviewing for. Regardless of the position level or title, educate yourself on the company and its history. Learn their primary goals and go beyond just “what they do.” For example, if you’re interviewing for a job at Starbucks, you’re going to need to know a little more than just they’re a place that serves coffee. Get familiar with company goals, past accomplishments, future plans for improvement, and most importantly, where you fit into all of it. 

“Start by reading the company’s website and then review its most recent press coverage. You’ll get a sense of the company’s priorities, which you can then tie in with your skill set during the interview. Not only does it give you an opportunity to demonstrate to your interviewer that you took initiative, but you’ll get a better idea if the company is the right fit for you,” said Shari Santoriello, a career specialist at career and leadership coaching company Ama la Vida. 

In the same way that you’re going to study the company itself, you also need to study the specific job description for what you’re applying for.  Many individuals believe they can use the same sort of generic responses in an interview and just slightly modify it to match the job they’re trying to get. Specificity is your best friend in an interview, so look at the exact job description for what you’re applying to, and cross reference it to your own resume. It helps to print both out and set them side by side, this way you can really see right in front of you the areas of your experience that match up with what the company is looking for. If you’re aware of the areas of cross reference as well, you’ll be better prepared to bring it up during the interview process. 

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These tips involve some level of rehearsal, which is never a bad idea when it comes to interviewing. Rehearsing answers to generic interview questions that you can expect to be asked will make you prepared for when they’re actually asked. It’s a lot harder to answer a question like “What are your strengths and weaknesses” if you don’t already have a general idea with where you’d want to go when answering a question like that. Even the simplest of questions can become difficult to answer if you don’t have anything prepared. Being put on the spot in an interview causes nerves to take over and can cause you to forget every strength you’ve ever had, and chances are you have a lot! So rehearse with a friend, family member, even the mirror and just get some basic answers prepared so you feel more reassured that you’ll be ready. 

Finally, make sure you look the part and prepare some questions for the conclusion of the interview. Employers generally love talking about the companies and operations they run, so having two to three solid specific questions about the job/company shows employers that you’re engaged and ready to learn without even being offered the job. Looking the part should be a given, but you’d be surprised how many individuals avoid this step out of fear of seeming too overdressed and eager. Never let that fear hold you back, the more overdressed you think you look, the better. Even if you’re interviewing at the most casual work environment imaginable where the whole office wears sweats and graphic tees, dressing up in a nice pair of khakis and a long sleeve button up shows your potential boss that you mean business more than the people already working for the business.