Recruitment 101: 5 Tips to Carry Out an Effective Hiring Interview

job interview

The job market at the moment is vicious. Think about it, all of the companies around the country are fighting for top talents. They bust out their big guns and attract candidates with better pay, bigger benefits, and a more appealing office. So, how will you compete with that? How can you get the most of every conversation you have with a candidate? Do your questions effectively probe your applicant’s skills, characteristics, and experiences? Do you have enough time to present what sets your company apart?

You may have sourced the candidates with the best CVs, but you won’t know if they are a great fit for the position if you don’t interview them properly. There are times recruiters miss their marks because they neglect to prepare for the interview or are clouded with preconceived judgment. Here are some tips to avoid making those mistakes:

Prepare for the Interview

Often, the candidate is the one in a hot seat to nail the interview. But you’re also in the position to make or break the interview.

Once you have scheduled an appointment with the candidate, make sure to set some time to prepare for it. Start with reviewing the job description once again. This way, you know exactly the skills and competencies you should look for. Go over the applicant’s resume, as well. Note anything you can clarify during the interview, like employment gaps or scope of duties.

Don’t focus merely on skills; gauge the candidate’s characteristics, as well. See if their qualities fit well within the company culture. Though many organizations want diversity, shared interests, passions, and perceptions help make the team reach a common goal.

Also, be prepared to set aside a few minutes to give the applicant a chance to ask questions. Often, what they ask or how they phrase the question could give you more ideas on whether they’re the right person for the job.

Ask the Right Questions

Now that you have noted the things you want to know from the applicant, determine the right way to get that information. You can ask open-ended questions to reveal details and meaningful answers. Questions like “What did you learn when you worked in retail for years?” and “What was it like being part of a company that recycles pool water?” can reveal the candidate’s competencies, work ethics, and more.

You can ask self-appraisal questions to know more about their performance, interpersonal skills, and abilities. If you’re interviewing for a manager position, ask questions like, “What were your challenges in handling a team, and how did you overcome them?”

Ask accomplishment-focused questions to know more about their practical experiences and the extent to which they are involved in previous projects. Go for broad-brush questions to get them to think in general terms and in a bigger picture like “What can you tell me about managing a team with cross-functional tasks?” Lastly, use comparison questions to check on their reasoning skills like, “How would you compare leading a team and being a team member?

Present Yourself Professionally


Besides dressing professionally, an interviewer should always be on time. Make sure to be transparent. State your questions clearly and let the candidate respond freely. Let them make eye-contact and always show encouragement while they are answering.

Also, keep in mind that the interview is the first point of interaction between the candidate and the company. You represent your organization, so anything you do can impact the applicant’s first impression of the company.

Assess the Applicant with an Open Mind

Biases are a normal part of daily social interaction. But as a recruiter, you should be conscious of your biases. Otherwise, you might end up hiring someone based on what pleases you or if they have similar traits or interests as you rather than their skills for the job.

So always make sure not to be quick to judge your candidates. Come to every interview with an open mind. Don’t let their background and their field of study affect your perception. Set aside your biases, so you can absorb every answer they give freely.

Yes, the recruitment cycle is daunting. You always have to put your best foot forward to hire the top talent. While you can impress candidates with awesome perks and benefits, you won’t find the right person for the job without mastering the fundamentals of an effective interview.

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