There are various kinds of interview techniques that companies now use, techniques that have developed over the years as jobs and job candidates change. Business consultants Herb Greenberg and Patrick Sweeney offer some advice about the fundamentals of interviewing that, they say, should always be kept in mind.
The first piece of advice is to not shy away from asking hard questions. If something comes up during the reference check or while reviewing the applicant’s employment history, don’t be afraid to probe into the situation.
Another suggestion is to be honest about the company. Don’t exaggerate or puff things up unnecessarily. As an interviewer, you should be able to give an accurate picture of the strong and weak points of the company. You don’t want to distort things just to attract a person to the company.
Don’t waste time going over information that you already have, such as when the candidate started her current position. In addition to being a time waster, it signals to the candidate that you aren’t really taking her seriously, since the information is available in the resume.
Take steps before the interview to avoid interruptions. Breaks in the interview can cause you to lose focus, making the process more disorganized. Hold all of your calls, and conduct the interview in a location where you can avoid people traffic.
Watch how much you say during the interview. You are there mostly to listen, not to give any speeches. The job candidate should do most of the talking.
Also, the interview is the time to go over with the candidate the specific requirements of the job, which some interviewers neglect to do. They have the misconception that the details are not that important. People should know what will be expected of them and how they will be evaluated.
You should avoid the temptation to gossip or reminisce about your job. This may seem to be a way to break the ice, but it usually leads you away from the important questioning you need to do, and can become a huge time waster. The important goal is to get as much information from the candidate as possible to make an intelligent hiring decision.
Some interviewers like to create tension during the interview to see how the applicant will respond. But Greenberg and Sweeney say that it really isn’t productive to put a job candidate on the defensive and create unnecessary tension because it takes away from getting the information you need.
And finally, they say, there are no hard and fast rules as to how long an interview should last. It should take as long as you need to get the information that’s important to you.
Need great employees for your temporary or direct-hire needs at your Seattle, Tacoma, Anchorage, Chicago, Portland, or Lake Oswego company? Then call the recruiters at the Opti Staffing Group. We look forward to hearing how we may be of service!