How to Successfully Conduct Job Interviews

Human Resources 13 minute read

03 Oct 2022 13 minute read

Autor

Duncan Ritchie Media Team

03

Oct, 2022

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For HR departments, hiring managers, and company bosses, job interviews will be the first opportunity for meeting a prospective candidate for a job. Sure, you’ve probably seen the candidate’s CV and have a fair idea of their technical skills, but what are they like in person and how might they fit into the company culture? This is your chance to find out.

 

But remember, interviewing is a two-way street. It’s not only your time to gauge a candidate, but also the candidate’s time to decide whether yours is a company where they’d feel comfortable and like to work.

 

So, how can you conduct a successful job interview and ensure that you hire the best and brightest to push your company forward?

 

Well, you can start by reading the hints and tips in this article…

 

 

1. Be Prepared

 

how to conduct successful job interviews

 

Like most things in life, the key to conducting successful job interviews is preparation. Before you even get to the interview stage, you must ensure that you’ve taken all the necessary steps to entice the right candidate to your doorstep. Some steps you need to take in the pre-interview stage are:

 

Understand what you need from a candidate. Before you even think about posting the job advert and starting the recruitment process, you need to understand exactly what skills you want your candidate to have. Ideally this will be a mix of technical skills and soft skills. Sit down with bosses and line managers and make a list of essential and desired skills that any candidate should possess.

 

Ensure the candidate selection process is thorough and efficient. To be honest, this step deserves to have a blog post of its own. But, as a quick overview, you need to ensure that the job advert is well written and includes all the skills mentioned above. It should be enticing and posted in all the correct places, such as specialist websites, in order to get as many suitable candidates as possible.

 

Streamline your selection process. Whittle down the number of candidates to a manageable number. Do this by sifting through CVs and separating them into Yes, No and Maybe piles. There’s no correct number of candidates that you should invite for an interview, but around 10 is an easy amount to handle, if possible.

 

Prepare the interview structure. This doesn’t have to be completely rigid, but it’s a good idea to have a rough idea of how the interview will be conducted, including the questions (more on this later) and any practical task you want to use to test your candidates.

 

Understand the goals and culture of the company. As we said, an interview is a two-way street and you will likely be asked for information about the company by the candidate. Make sure that you understand the goals of the company and that you are aware of the working culture. Again, it’s a good idea to sit down with other managers at your company and get this information down in writing, especially if it’s something that you’ve never thought of before.

 

 

2. Prepare a List of Questions

 

job interview questions

 

An interview needs questions, right? We’ve all been through job interviews in the past so there will be a few common ones that we’re sure you’ll be familiar with:

 

•    Tell me about yourself.
•    Why do you think you are suitable for this post?
•    Why do you want to work here?
•    What experience do you have in a similar role?
•    What are your strengths?
•    What are your weaknesses?
•    What are your salary expectations?
•    Where do you want to be in 5 years time?
•    Do you have any questions about the job or the company?

 

This may be enough for you to get all the information you need about the candidate, but you might also want to ask a few behavioural questions which will give you a better understanding of what makes the candidate tick. A few examples may include:

 

Describe your worst day and your best day.

 

This is a question favoured by Chris O’Neill, former CEO of Evernote. He believes that the answer to the “best day” section of the question reveals a lot about the personality of the interviewee and also gives you a good idea of what motivates them. The “worst day” answer, meanwhile, tells you how a candidate might react to stressful situations and reveal whether or not they are a team player.

 

If you had two teleportation devices, where would you place them and why?

 

This is a question favoured by David Lortscher, CEO of Curology. He believes that open-ended questions such as these test critical thinking and creativity, giving you a good idea of how the candidate may fit into the structure of the company and how eager they are to learn.

 

I want you to estimate the number of panes of glass in the city of Seattle.

 

jeff bezos job interview question

 

This is the first question that a candidate was famously asked in a two-question interview by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. Why? Jeff only knows, but we presume it was to test her critical thinking skills and how cool she was under pressure. You can read about this interview here. The other question? “What are your career goals?” Which seems like it would be a bit easier to answer!

 

Check out this video for more behavioural questions:

 

 

 

3. Make a Good Impression

 

professional job interviews

 

This is going back to the two-way street we spoke about earlier. Remember, it’s not just the candidate that needs to make a good impression. If you want the best of the best to come work at your company, you need to lure them in. The best way to do this is to put the candidate at ease and be completely professional.

 

•    Be on time for the interview. Don’t leave candidates waiting around the office for you to arrive.
•    Ask them if they would like a drink.
•    Make small talk at the beginning of the interview to help the candidate relax.
•    Know who you are talking to. Ensure that you have read through the candidate’s CV and that you at least know who they are and some superficial information about them.
•    Be open and honest. Answer all the candidate’s questions as you would want them to answer yours.
•    Be engaged and engaging. Listen to the candidate and give them your full attention. Ensure that you won’t have any interruptions during the interview. Turn your phone off.

 

 

4. Be Objective

 

objectivity in job interviews

 

There will always be a certain amount of “gut feeling” in the hiring process. Many recruiters will hire based simply on who they like best. And there’s nothing wrong with this when faced with a field of similarly skilled candidates.

 

But being objective is important when conducting job interviews. You don’t want to pass over a highly skilled candidate who could revolutionise your business in favour of a lesser candidate who supports the same football team as you, right? 

 

Right!?

 

Well, if objectivity is what you seek, there are a few ways to do this.

 

First, ensure you have a clear understanding of what you want from a candidate before beginning the interview process. This goes right back to the very first point we made in this article.

 

Second, decide which of these skills or character traits are most important to you or the business on a scale of one to five.

 

Third, create a score sheet where you can grade each candidate on the answers they have given in accordance with the skills and traits in the previous steps.

 

Fourth, ask each interviewee the same questions so that there is some kind of parity amongst the candidates.

 

Fifth, multiply the candidates scores with the level of importance you have given each skill or trait. The highest total score is, theoretically, your ideal candidate.

 

By going through these steps, you can ensure objectivity in recruitment policy. You remove most of the emotion from the process and leave it up to mathematics to make the decision.

 

If this sounds like a good method to you, there is one other tool at your disposal which can make the recruitment process even easier.

 

 

5. Objectivity Through Video Analysis

Codimg provides an infallible solution to conducting job interviews which are 100% objective.

 

Basically speaking, Codimg allows you to digitise the parameters and checklists that you created in the previous step and has the added bonus of being connected to video, so that you can easily go back to the most important moments of any interview and double check the answers that the candidate has given.

 

 

This is especially useful during a big recruitment drive where there is a huge field of candidates and hundreds of hours of interviews to get through.

 

You simply film the interviews and, with either a laptop or iPad, you use your digital checklist to mark answers that you consider to be noteworthy. This creates a video clip and a database which contains your grade for each answer. At the end of the process, you can filter your video clips and see all the candidates who have, for example, a grade five when talking about technical skills.

 

This allows you to get right down to the grain of the interview, ensuring that you never miss a pertinent answer. It also allows you to go back and make the important decision if the mathematical formula comes out as a draw. Simply check the videos and see which candidate’s answers you like best.

 

Job done.

 

If you’re interested in knowing more about the Codimg system of analysis, we’d like to invite you, first of all, to check out our website and blog for more information.

 

We’d also like to hear from you. Get in contact with us today and one of our team of experts will get back to you to discuss how the software can make the recruitment process easier and, of course, set you up with a free trial so that you can try it for yourself.

 

If you have any questions about how to conduct a successful job interview, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us through any of our social media channels and we’d be glad to talk you through it.

 

Until then…

 

Thanks for reading.

 

 

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