How to Conduct a Job Interview

Interviews are a critical part of the hiring process. Identifying candidates who match your qualifications and add to your company culture can be quite a challenge. Use our guide to learn how to conduct a job interview and find the best candidate for your team.

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Tips for the pre-interview

The pre-interview process is an important one as you look to fine-tune the requirements to hire a good candidate. Here are a few items to bear in mind before going into the interview.

  • Hire for need. Is this position a true business need for your company?
  • Determine the process. Will there be multiple components to the interview?
  • Create an interview assessment guide. A guide will provide interviewers with a standard by which to grade candidates.
  • Know what you’re selling. Learn about your company’s perks, benefits and career development opportunities.

A step-by-step guide to conducting an interview

Now that you have an idea of how to prepare, here is a step-by-step guide to help you get the most out of the interview.

1. Make introductions to the interview panellists

Introductions are an opportunity to show a candidate what it’s like to work for your company. It may be helpful to discuss company culture and mention anything unique about your team or office. This portion should focus on casual conversation, and make the candidate feel comfortable during the interview. If it is a panel interview, introduce the panellists and their titles. This is also a great time to talk about the structure of the interview.

2. Discuss the job opportunity and the structure of the interview

Once introductions are complete, it’s time to get down to why the candidate is here in the first place. This part of the interview will spotlight the actual job, duties and reporting structure. If the role is a contract or a temporary role, you might talk about potential ways in which a candidate can move into a more full-time role. Following a discussion on the job, give the candidate an idea of the interview format. Mention the type of questions, whether behavioural or technical-based. This portion should also include talking about the length of the interview, and what – if any – assessments a candidate should expect.

3. Begin the interview with general questions

You may want to start the interview off with a few common interview questions, such as ‘What experiences and skills make you a good candidate for this role,’ and questions regarding a candidate’s career goals. These general questions will give you an idea of what a candidate brings to the table for your company.

4. Get more specific with position-based questions

After opening the interview with some easy questioning, it’s now time to test your candidate. These position-based questions could be anything from asking about various automotive questions to a potential tyre technician, to programming questions for a developer, or leadership scenarios for a manager. Position-based interview questions are a great way for candidates to glean information from you as well, and turn your interview into more of a conversation. Most importantly, these position-based questions will allow you to see a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses during the interview.

5. Dig deeper with follow-up questions

Many candidates will have prepared responses to commonly asked interview questions. You may want to take the conversation further with additional questions. Follow-up interview questions are a great way to learn more about a candidate. You can ask how they solved a problem that could be relevant to your company, for example.

6. Give the candidate time to answer questions

The second-to-last portion of the interview is the candidate questions. Here you’ll find out if the candidate did their research and is genuinely interested in the job. Be prepared to answer questions such as why a particular position is open, or a certain timeline for success that you might expect from a candidate. Look for candidates who have prepared detailed questions to ask, that demonstrate they did their research.

7. Provide next steps and closure

The final portion of the interview is providing the next steps for a candidate. Let a candidate know when they can expect to hear from you regarding a final decision, or the next step in the interview process. This is a candidate’s final impression of your company, so thank them for taking time out of their day to interview, and properly escort them off your company premises.

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