Interviews are a critical part of the hiring process, yet many managers don’t know how to conduct them properly.
This can lead them into a lot of hot water, either by hiring a candidate who ends up being incapable or by getting themselves into legal trouble by asking an illegal question and ending up with a discrimination lawsuit on their hands.
A key step is to structure your job advertisement properly. If you’re not used to doing this, hire an agency with experience writing permanent labor certification ads or something similar.
From there, structure your interview questions beforehand. Winging your job interview questions is the easiest way to end up with a lousy employee — or getting sued by your applicant.
Prepare the format beforehand, then follow these nine steps.
1. Give a brief description of your company
This is also your applicant’s opportunity to find out if your company is right for them. It’s no good hiring someone who ends up unhappy in their job. They’ll end up leaving really quickly, then you’re back at square one.
2. Outline job duties
It’s important to outline what you’re expecting from the successful candidate. This will once again allow them to see whether the job is right for them, as well present their best self with answers to the interview questions. You want to encourage this in every way possible. It’ll help you find the best person for the job.
3. Ask questions
Ideally, you ask the same set of base questions to each applicant. This will make it easier for you to compare them, as well as making it fair for every candidate.
4. Give them a chance to ask questions
You want to make sure that the candidate knows everything about the job that they want to, so give them an opportunity to ask you questions at the end of the interview. The questions that they ask will reveal a lot about their personality too.
5. Don’t talk too much
More than anything, this is your biggest opportunity to learn about the candidate and listen to them. Aim to talk 15% of the time and listen 85% of the time.
6. Watch non-verbal signals
Look for things like posture, good eye contact, nervous fiddling, or strong body language. Each of these can reveal a lot about sincerity and professionalism and the ability to act under pressure.
7. Be friendly, but not too friendly
If you get too chummy, it can end up with you choosing someone you like other than the person who is best suited for the job. This isn’t in your best interests.
8. Oddball questions work well.
Questions that test their fact-finding, creative thinking, problem solving, or behavioral tendencies can be useful. Some interviewers even include written tests to measure these in the interview process.
9. Know your legal limits
Avoid asking about age, race, religion, marital status, children, mental history, or medical information. This can result in a discrimination lawsuit.
By following these rules, you’ll be well on your way to choosing the best candidate.