Interviewing 101: Six Management Tips on Getting Back to Basics

Careers. The job search. Interviewing. As much as we talk about the subject, let’s face it, it’s still the same ol’ basics of networking, working it, acing that interview and negotiating.

Whether you’re new to interviewing on the employer’s side of the desk or you’ve done it a while, every now and then we need a refresher course. Our friends at Monster posted some basics to follow to keep the interview process flowing.

1. Prepare your questions. For each interview, employers should have a written list of questions prepared ahead of time. Not only will this help determine the candidate’s skill level and experience, it will prevent overlap.

From a candidate perspective, have you ever gone on an interview and been asked the same questions every time you approached a new interviewer? Have you ever gone on an interview…is there an echo in here? See what we mean?

2. Ask the same questions to every candidate. Not only will this dismiss any notion of discrimination issues, it will help you compare apples to apples when evaluating candidates. Keep every single question relevant to the job and the candidate’s work skills and experience.

3. Inquire about gaps on the resume and job hopping. This is a given. And then compare notes with your colleagues just to make sure the stories are in sync. A candidate may tell you one thing and another interviewer another story. Don’t agonize over it, just make sure they are the same and make sense to the candidate.

4. Describe the position in everyday terms, not company jargon. Be honest about the role and daily tasks and responsibilities. The piece points out, “Some candidates welcome a challenge or may have dealt successfully with such issues in the past, and are not intimidated by the prospect. For others, it won’t be a good fit, but it’s best to know that at the outset before making a bad hire.”

5. Let the candidate speak! Following the 80/20 rule, the candidate should speak for 80 percent of the time. Don’t feel the need to constantly ask a question every time the candidate pauses to gather his or her thoughts. Silence is your friend.

6. Take notes. Seriously, go ahead. How else will you remember distinguishing qualities about this candidate compared to four other you’re interviewing?

Just be cognizant of your words, as mentioned in the piece:

“It’s OK for the interviewer to take notes after each interview to remember who said what, but be careful that what is written down won’t create liability for discrimination. For example, the interviewer should not write down a physical description based on an inherent physical trait such as race, national origin, or age to remember a candidate.”

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