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How to Interview Candidates for Job

how to interview candidates for job

Interviews have been the most difficult part of the hiring process throughout history. The best job interview tips and techniques for employers are challenging. Mistakes can concede with your judgment, from a cognitive basis to lack of right preparation, and they may have some serious outcomes. Learning job interview techniques for employers is essential. Whether you have researched the best interview questions or identified the right interview questions to ask, how do you avoid mistakes that you even do not realize you are making?

To hire the most qualified candidates, HR professionals and hiring managers must be well informed on how to conduct interviews efficiently. Here, we are providing an overview of different interviewing ways, both unstructured and structured. It discusses the most common types of interviews- direct one-on-one, panel interviews, and telephone prescreen. We also explain the objectives and methods of behavioral, competency-based, and situational methods of interviewing.

Employers must be aware of both state and federal prohibitions on asking specific questions during the interviews. This article offers some basic guidelines that the interviewers must follow to avoid discrimination claims or bias hiring.

With the right preparation, hiring managers and HR professionals can make the most of employment interviews and get all the information they require. Introductory steps include choosing a method of interviewing, drafting useful queries, phrasing questions properly, and sharpening listening skills.

job interview for candidates

Interviewing is a significant step in the process of employee selection. If done correctly, the interview helps the employer to determine if an applicant’s experience, skill, and personality meet the requirements of the job. It also helps the employer assess whether an applicant would be the correct fit for the company. Also, preparing for an interview can help explain the responsibilities of the job.

Furthermore, to the extent that the interview procedure leads to the hiring of the most suitable candidate, it can help contain the company’s long-term turnover expenses. Applicants also benefit from an efficient interview, as it helps them to determine if their employment interests and needs would probably be fulfilled.

Types of Job Interview

In executing a fair and accurate selection method, the employer can choose from a wide variety of interviewing methods. The choice is based on considerations like the nature of the position being filled, the industry, corporate culture, and the type of information the employer seeks to obtain from the applicant.

Job interview techniques for employers can be either structured or unstructured. The main objective of a structured interview is to determine job skills that are important to the position. The interviewer asks a certain set of questions of all applicants for the specific position. This straightforward approach makes it simpler for the interviewer to calculate and fairly compare the applicants. Some interviewers ask the questions in a predetermined way, whereas others may not follow a strict order but still make sure they answer all the planned queries.

Generally, a structured interview offers the interviewer the information required to make the hiring decision.  It can be important in protecting against allegations of discrimination in hiring as well as the selection because all the applicants are asked similar questions.

In the unstructured interview, the interviewer does not follow a strict agenda but instead allows the candidate to set the pace of the interview. Questions tend to be open-minded, which can help the candidate to reveal more than he or she might if asked closed-ended queries that need a brief answer.  Moreover, questions in an unstructured interview can be tailored as per the applicant’s skills and experience levels. However, the absence of structure may make it hard to compare and rank the applicants because they are not asked the same questions.

Job Interview Techniques for Employers

Telephone prescreen interview- A telephone prescreen interview can be useful for evaluating whether an applicant’s qualifications, skills, experience, and salary needs are matching with the position and organization standards. Often, telephone interviews are used to narrow the field of applicants who will be called for in-person interviews. In the prescreening stage, the interviewer must ask the applicant prepared questions to find whether he or she is, in fact, the right candidate for the position.

Telephone prescreen interviews can assist the employer:

  • Evaluate the applicant’s general communication skills
  • Explain unclear items on the resume of applicants
  • Ask the applicant about frequent job changes
  • Have an honest conversation with the application regarding salary

Direct one-on-one interview- The traditional face-to-face interview with the candidate can be unstructured or structured, and it can be approached in one of the various ways, based on the types of information the interviewer gets. The three most common approaches to interviews are competency-based, situational, and behavioral.

Competency-based and behavioral approaches. Competency-based and behavioral interviewing both aim on discovering how the interviewee performed in certain situations. The logic is based on the principle that past performance predicts future behavior; how the applicant behaved in the past shows how he or she will behave in the coming days.

In the behavioral approach, a traditional method for assessing a candidate’s suitability for a position- the main purpose is to review the applicant’s experience, job-related skills, and personal attributes. The competency-based approach aims specifically at skills required for the position; job-related skills comprise the criteria against which the applicants are assessed.

In a competency-based or behavioral interview, the interviewer’s queries are designed to determine if the applicant has specific skills or attributes. Instead of asking how the applicant would react in a hypothetical situation, the interviewer asks the applicant how he or she had handled a specific situation in the past. Competency-based and behavioral interview questions tend to be pointed, probing, and specific.

Following are a few examples of behavioral questions:

  • Define a situation in which you were able to use influence to convince someone successfully to see things in your way
  • Define a time when you were faced with a stressful situation that showed your coping skills
  • Give me an example of a time when you used logic in solving an issue
  • Tell me have you used your presentation skills to influence other’s opinions

If the answers seem to be short, the interviewer can ask follow-up questions:

  • What exactly did you do?
  • What challenges did you overcome?
  • What was your role?
  • What was the decision you took?

Competency-based interviewing can offer the interviewer a sense of a candidate’s job performance as well as attitude towards work.

Situational approach- Situational approach is an interview method that gives the applicant a hypothetical situation or event and focuses on his or her past job experiences, knowledge, behaviors, and skills. This kind of interview shows the thinking capacity of the applicant and how he or she would react in a certain situation.

Group interviews- There are two kinds of group interviews- a panel group and a candidate group. In a candidate group interview, a candidate is asked to sit in a room with other applicants who may have applied for the same position. Every candidate listens to what is said about the company and the position and may be asked to answer a few questions. Candidate group interviews are less common compared to panel group interviews.

In a panel group interview, a candidate is interviewed individually. This type of interview is generally a question-and-answer question session, but an applicant may also be asked to take up a test. Panel interviews can be either structured or unstructured.

Interview Preparation- Preparing for an interview is not only important for the candidate but the hiring manager too. To help ensure the effectiveness and validity of employment interviews, the interviewer must prepare beforehand. Before implementing the interview procedure for a given position, the HR who will be asking the questions should complete the following preparations:

  • Determine the important success factors of the job
  • Rank- as per the job specifications- the most significant qualities, total experience, and education
  • Prepare a list of skills, qualities, and experiences to screen resumes and candidates
  • Choose specific questions to find whether an applicant possesses the important success factors
  • Decide the interview process
  • Plan the interview and the follow-up procedure

Communicating with applicants who are not selected- One of the significant job interview techniques for employers is to follow up with applicants who were not selected for the job, specifically those who were interviewed. It is a professional courtesy that should be followed strictly.

Next time, whenever you are taking an interview, make sure you follow these job interview tips. These will help you to d conduct a good interview and the candidates will have a positive image of your company.

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