7 Strategies for Successful Interviewing

7 Strategies for Successful Interviewing

Interviewing is a crucial part of the hiring process, as it narrows the wide field of applicants down to the one person who's perfect for your company. By asking the right questions and listening carefully to the answers, a skilled interviewer will get the candidate to talk openly about his or her skills and qualifications and reveal if he or she is a good fit for the position. Explore some simple strategies that can help you get the information you need to make an informed hiring decision.

Number 1

Do set aside time for interviewing

An interview should be treated like any business apointment with an important client. Have phone calls redirected to an assistant or colleague, and turn off your mobile phone. Reserve interview times in your schedule, and make sure everyone in your office knows that you're not to be disturbed during those times.

Number 2

Don't stick to the standards

"Where do you see yourself in five years?" "Tell me about yourself." "What is your greatest weakness?" The problem with these standard interview questions is that jobseekers are already prepared with scripted responses that may not give you the information you need. Try rephrasing the questions to get an accurate sense of their ability to think on their feet, such as asking how they would respond to certain situations.

Number 3

Do ask open-ended questions

As a general rule, don't ask questions that can be answered with a simple Yes or No. Instead, ask questions that encourage candidates to talk about themselves and their skills. Also, ask follow-up questions based on their responses, like "How did you decide that?"

Number 4

Don't rush

Your first questions should be used to help loosen up the candidate in order to get them to open up and start talking. You could ask questions about typical workdays, for example, "What’s a day at your current job like? What do you like about it? What don't you like?" Listen carefully to the answers as these will reveal the candidate's general work attitude.

Number 5

Do listen more than you talk

The interview is for giving candidates a chance to talk about themselves, so they should be doing at least 80% of the talking. Although you're asking the questions, make sure you leave the majority of the interview time to listen to their responses.

Number 6

Don't describe the job before asking questions

If you describe the job at the beginning of the interview, a clever candidate will shape his or her responses to match what he or she thinks you want to hear, which may not present a clear picture of his or her abilities and attitudes. Therefore, always start the interview by asking as many questions as possible about the candidate's qualifications and experience before going into details of the job.

Number 7

Do involve potential colleagues

It is important to get the input of those with whom an prospective new employee will interact most, so get them involved in the interview process if possible. Depending on the management hierarchy, you may want to consider a two-interview process, one of which includes the candidate's prospective immediate supervisor.