- Attract the best candidates by promoting the positive aspects of the company.
- Evaluate the candidate by gathering applicable information.
- Establish the candidate’s suitability for the job, as well as the company culture.
- Thorough preparation is vital to retain credibility. Datafin prepares candidates adequately for interviews and supplies them with all the relevant information.
What the interviewer has to remember
- Use the first few minutes to create a relaxed atmosphere. Talking about mundane matters, like sport or the weather, usually works well.
- Pay careful attention to the candidate’s appearance, body language, social skills and ability to communicate.
- Take into account cultural tendencies that will dictate how candidates come across, e.g. loud/soft speech, passivity, and personal space radius.
- Focus on remaining neutral. Discreetly hide your stance regarding the candidate, to prevent compromising the interview.
- Vary questioning styles from open-ended to closed, theoretical, hypothetical or reflective. The manner in which the questions are presented is critical to the success of the interview.
- Patiently allow candidates enough time to answer.
- Be prepared and able to give personal examples, to clarify questions.
- Paraphrase, and use active listening skills to get a good understanding of the candidate’s background and needs.
- Encourage candidates to answer comprehensively, e.g. giving brief explanations of the situation at hand, or the outcome of certain behaviour.
- Maintain control of the interview by intervening when a candidate rambles, or tries to change the subject.
- When the candidate gives answers that are too brief or non-descriptive, ask appropriate follow-up questions.
Examples of follow-up questions:
- “Can you tell me more about that?”
- “How did you involve co-workers or teammates?”
- “Give me a specific example of how you did that?”
- “Mention specific results.”
- “What happened when things did not go as planned?”
- Greet the candidate cheerfully, and use positive speech and body language to create an upbeat atmosphere.
- Have the candidate’s CV, as well as the interview plan, ready on your desk. This will bring structure and comprehensiveness to the interview.
- Thank the candidate for their interest in the position.
- Promoting the benefits of the role is important, to pique and retain the candidate’s interest, and to win them over.
- Explain your intended structure of the interview, e.g. “In some questions, I/we will give you hypothetical scenarios. In others, I/we will ask you about past experiences in a particular area. In your response, please give a brief explanation of how you behaved in the situation, and what the outcome was.”
- List the intended questions, in order to be prepared.
- Go through the job description and assess the experiential, educational, knowledge, skill and other requirements.
- Pose questions that will expose the candidate’s competence for the job.
Purpose of preparing questions
The questions that you ask will direct the interview. Asking all the applicants the same questions will make it easier to do comparisons afterwards. Make sure the interview is conducted within the applicable legal constraints. The law prohibits the asking of certain questions pertaining to topics like age, marital status, religion and sexual preference. Therefore, use appropriate ways to arrive at the desired answers.