Do’s and Don’ts for Conducting Job Interviews
October 29, 2015 | Staffing Blog
There are so many articles online about how to find a job, prepare for a job interview, and how to do well in a job interview – there are fewer articles on how (as the employer) to conduct job interviews. How do you know what questions to ask? How do you know who to hire? How can you tell who is right for the job? Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for holding job interviews that can help you answer all these questions:
- Do Your Homework
You expect any potential employees to come to your interview ready to ask intelligent questions about the company. But as the employer you need to come just as prepared to ask relevant questions of the potential employee. Do your homework by actually skimming through and marking talking points on the potential’s resume, check out online portfolios or writing samples, take a look at his or her LinkedIn and Facebook accounts. You can learn a lot about a person before you even start the interview process. Or at least you can learn about some questions you can ask; for example, having a friend in common on Facebook can give you a good ice breaker or an ‘ease the tension’ talking point.
- Do be Specific
Many employers are still using the classic ‘tell me a bit about yourself?’ question. And the same thing runs through every potential’s head “what do you want to know!?” Instead of asking this incredibly broad question and getting answers you either do not like or do not care about, be specific. Ask the questions you want to know the answers to. Some of these questions could include: what are your hobbies? How have you used creativity in the workplace? What inspires you? What sort of things have you done that might help you in this position? Etc.
- Do Take Notes
It is hard to know what to do with your hands, or how to sit while interviewing. You want to look interested while at the same time pay attention to little details without giving anything away with your facial expressions. You can avoid a lot of awkward looks, body language, etc. by simply taking notes. And you should take notes anyway because after you interview about three or more people they will all start to blur together. Write down facts, details, things you like, things you do not like then after the interviews are over you can compare and contrast. Taking notes also helps the potential employer feel like he or she is saying something important enough for you to take note of. Just make sure you look up and have eye contact often and that you look up to ask or answer any questions.
- Do Ask the Same Questions of Everyone
Have a list of questions you want to ask ready at the beginning of every interview and ask all of them to each potential employee. You want to use the same measuring stick for every interview so all the questions should stay the same. Follow up questions are different because each person is different with a different background and different qualifications.
- Do Follow Up
If you say you are going to call or email in a certain time frame – do so. Even if you have not made your decision yet, you have to follow through on your word.
- Don’t Give off the Wrong Body Language
Do not give off the wrong body language during an interview. Some body language to avoid includes the following:
- Crossing your arms says you are defensive.
- Rubbing your neck and face says you are distracted or bored.
- Pointing your feet or leaning your body toward the door says you want to escape.
- Not keeping any eye contact says you are nervous.
- Don’t Get Hung Up on the ‘What is Your Weakness?’ Question
One of the hardest questions for possible employees to answer is the “what is your greatest weakness?” question. They get stuck because if they answer truthfully they may place themselves out of the running, if they answer with a typical ‘I’m too productive, too social, etc.’ it sounds fake. No matter what they answer you usually do not learn much from the answers. Be more specific and ask something like, “what have past employers said about your performance?” or “how did you handle a negative or hard situation in your last job?” You learn more by asking these kinds of questions because you learn facts instead of what another person thinks is his or her weakness.
- Don’t Make a Hasty Decision
Wait until you have collected and gone over all your information before you decide.