July 8, 2021

Conducting an Effective Interview

By asking the right questions employers can gain a wealth of information about the job candidate and their qualifications for the position sought. Interviewing also allows an employer to compare potential candidates with one another so that it can choose the applicant that best fits its needs. Below are some tips and suggestions for conducting a successful interview.

  • Make the Applicant Comfortable: Start the interview by sharing with the applicant a little about your background with the company, your role in the interviewing and hiring process, and some general information about the company. Once the applicant is comfortable, switch things up and let the applicant do most of the talking (e.g., 70%-80%). The easiest way to accomplish this is to start asking the applicant open-ended questions.
  • Ask Open-ended Questions: Always begin your questions with such words as “what,” “why,” “how,” “when,” etc. Avoid questions that can be answered with a “yes” or “no” answer. Using open-ended questions will encourage the applicant to provide complete and substantial responses. During the interview ask questions based on what you know are desired attributes or experiences for the job.  Open-ended questions are also helpful in clearing up any questions you may have about the applicant’s resume, cover letter or application.
  • Focus on Behavior Based Questions: Behavior based questions are designed to elicit responses from the applicant that showcase their successes, problem solving abilities, work style and habits. Such questions might include asking the applicant to share an example of a difficult situation they faced at work and how they reached a resolution.
  • Allow the Applicant to Ask Questions: Be sure to allow time during or at the end of the interview for the applicant to ask their own questions. An important aspect of the selection process is being able to gauge the applicant’s interest in the company and the position. Finding out what’s on the applicant’s mind will also provide the employer further insights into how the individual processes information and what piques their interest.

To avoid giving applicants false hope or misleading information, it is important to standardize a format for ending interviews. A short script should be prepared in advance that reminds the interviewer to thank the applicant for their time and interest and explains the employer’s next steps, including a timeframe for notifying candidates, and any further steps the applicant needs to take.

Check in with us next week for best practices and tips on recruiting.

Find these tips and best practices useful? Check out Western Growers newly updated Personnel Procedures Manual (PPM) The PPM is an information-packed employer tool that provides helpful guidance for employers navigating the employer/employee relationship from pre-employment to termination. Click the PPM link below for more information.