The job interview is essentially your only opportunity to determine if a candidate is the right person for your vacancy. That’s a lot of pressure, especially if it’s a key business role. However, really good candidate interviews have common characteristics which make them a success.
Have a plan
The best interviews are the ones with a game plan. You should have questions that you plan to ask to every candidate, as well as a reason for those questions and an idea of what you’re looking for. While off-the-cuff questions can be great, winging an interview is never effective; having a plan of action will make sure that all candidates have an equal opportunity.
Analyse candidates objectively
It’s important to make sure you’re interviewing candidates with an objective outlook. Personalities do matter, as does cultural fit, but never nit-pick about things like bad habits or bad vibes. Gut feel can sometimes assist hiring decisions but first you must set out a criteria and stick to it while not letting your own views get in the way of a good hire.
Sell yourself (and your business)
Great interviews occur when the interview is a two-way street. You getting to know the candidate and the candidate getting to know you and the business. Let your applicant know the benefits of the role, the culture, what your background is, what you’re looking for in a new team member and some of the exciting future plans the business has. Make sure they’re as excited to work for you as you are at the prospect of hiring them.
Practice, practice, practice
Job applicants are taught that they need to try mock interviewing in order to reduce their anxiety before the interview. Interviewers should do that too. If you’re not an interview expert, a few mock interviews can get you ready for the interview process so that you’re better able to handle the stress that can come from this type of experience. You don’t need to be excessive but run your team mates through some questions before you interview your candidate if you’re feeling a bit nervous to ensure you represent your company confidently.
Saxon Marsden-Huggins is the managing director of Recruit Shop, which offers recruitment services to small businesses in Australia and New Zealand.
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