5 Ways to Conduct a Successful Interview


An interview should be viewed as a first date, with both sides ready to impress. Even if a candidate isn’t chosen for the job, they should leave with a positive attitude about your company and its people.

Here are a few tips on how you and your interview team can leave a lasting impression:

Remember, you’re being assessed too

Unlike American Idol auditions, interviews aren’t one-sided opinion free-for-alls. How you conducted yourself during the interview will get around. (two words: social media)

This is a chance for candidates to see if your company fits their needs as much as they fit your company. Be on your best behavior and don’t let your guard down by acting too casual and unprofessional. Keep the inside jokes and questionable opinions out of the interview.

Give the candidate your full attention

Nothing short of a natural disaster should distract you from your candidate. Don’t glance at your monitor, your phone, or even your watch unless you think you’re getting to the end of the interview.

These lapses are very obvious to someone who’s giving you all of theirs. If you have a hard time letting go of your technology, conduct the interview in a tech-free zone like a conference room.

Above all other things, be prepared. Review the candidate’s resume beforehand and be ready to ask them a few questions about their experience. It’s painful and frustrating for an interviewee to watch someone review his or her resume for the first time.

Mind the time

Your candidate has taken time out of their day to visit your company and to answer personal questions about their experience. More than likely, they’re taking time off from another job.

Be respectful of their time, especially if you’ve shared a schedule with them beforehand. End the interview when it’s supposed to end; if you’re running over the allotted time, ask if they can stay later or come back at a later time.

And there has to be a dire need to cut the interview short, like a natural disaster or sudden illness. Abruptly ending the interview is jarring and leaves the interviewee wondering what went wrong.

Like a well-choreographed event, all of the scrambling and rearranging should be done behind the scenes and out of the candidate’s point of view. For example, if someone on your team must attend a last-minute meeting, have a backup ready to go.

Stay awake

Even if you’re operating on two hours of sleep, don’t even think about yawning during an interview. Perk yourself up by drinking coffee or taking a brisk walk outside.

If all else fails and you’re still fighting the yawns, be honest and have a laugh about it. It’s OK to show your human side.

No hiding

Hiring managers should always be the last person the candidate sees. Whether you’re conducting the last interview or simply escorting the interviewee out the front door, hiring managers are the spokespeople of the company and the position.

And always tell candidates what the next steps in the interview process will be and when you expect to make a decision. It shouldn’t be a secret, and interviewees shouldn’t have to ask.

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