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We’ve all typically had at least one bad interview experience during our job searches- you know, the kind of experience that you’ll never forget and you end up sharing--and at times-laughing about with all of your friends and colleagues.
Well, don’t let yourself become “that interviewer” who leaves a negative interview experience with a candidate and worse yet, makes a negative impression of your entire company. Whether it’s due to being unprepared for the interview, being repeatedly distracted, not asking professional/appropriate questions, or allowing personal frustrations and emotions to affect your interactions with the candidate, all of these things can make candidates uncomfortable and leave a negative impression of your company as an employer.
Here are some tips for conducting a pleasant and professional interview experience for every candidate that you interview:
Preparing for the Interview
Become familiar with the job and the interview materials so you come across as knowledgeable and prepared.
Review the candidate’s resume and other background information prior to the interview, NOT for the first time when they step into your office.
Take steps to avoid disruptions by conducting the interview in a private area and by putting your phone on do not disturb.
If multiple interviews will be conducted, ensure that all involved parties are aware of the interview plan to avoid the candidate having to wait around for the transition between interviews.
Consider how to best “sell” the benefits of working for the company.
Opening the Interview
Greet the candidate promptly - no one likes to be kept waiting.
Smile, be friendly and make appropriate eye contact.
Explain the process so that the candidate knows what to expect and can feel more at east.
Set a positive tone and maintain the candidate’s self esteem. Remember how nervous you may have been at a past job interview.
Rephrase questions when necessary to ensure that the candidate understands what to expect.
Politely redirect the conversation as necessary to keep the interview on track.
Follow the interview guide.
Ask questions only related to job-relevant information.
Leverage what you learned and ask effective probing questions.
Make sure that you’ve gathered complete examples of a candidate’s past work experiences.
Clarify any areas where you feel you need more information.
Do not ask unacceptable or illegal questions.
Closing the Interview
Thank the candidate for their time and interest in your company.
Revisit and emphasize the benefits of working for the company.
Answer any questions that the candidate may have.
Do not do or say anything that would give the candidate a positive or negative impression about their performance.
Walk with the candidate to the door and thank them one last time
Want to learn some more interviewing tips? Check out our Interviewing Essentials eBook!
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