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5 Tips for Conducting a Successful Interview & Key Questions

Posted by Hanna Vieregg on Jan 31, 2018


The interview process is essential for guiding your business to success. Hiring not only a qualified professional for the job, but also a good fit for the company is important for your business growth. Below is a list of key tips to effectively conduct an interview that allows you to clearly understand the candidate both on and off paper.  

1. Ask the same questions to all candidates.

Asking the same questions is important for many reasons. First off, it gives the interview process consistency and stability. This ensures structure for the interviewer making the process more comfortable for the interviewee.   . Secondly, you will be able to easily compare answers when you ask the same questions to all the candidates. This way, each candidate has an equal opportunity to prove his or her fit with the company. For easy example questions, see the section below titled "10 Common and Helpful Questions to Ask During Your Interview of the Candidate."

2. Be a good listener.

It is important to grasp everything the candidate is saying in order to fully take advantage of the interview process in comparison to reading a resume. Being a good listener means eliminating distractions and interruptions. Allow the interviewee to complete their thoughts fluidly before moving on to your next prepared question. It is ok to allow the structure of the interview to get off topic as it allows you to really understand the candidate in an informal manor. This can help you decide if the candidate's personality will work well with others in the company. 

3. Watch the nonverbal cues. 16.png

It is essential to not only listen but to watch how the interviewee interacts with you. The interviewee should be engaged in the conversation and passionate about the position. Eye contact, leaning toward you, speaking calmly and clearly are all great cues to watch out for when interviewing.

4. Conduct more than one interview.6324 - Employees-1.jpg

Reading a resume and conducting an interview have huge differences in understanding who the candidate is. By conducting more than one interview, you are able to get first and second impressions of the person, going more in depth in seeing who the potential new hire is. The first interview usually is conducted by your hiring manager or recruiting specialist. The second interview should be conducted by finalists that would be working with the new hire or potentially the owner of the company. This will allow your business to receive multiple opinions of the candidate while also asking follow up questions.

5. Follow up with the candidate.

Regardless of whether or not you are planning on hiring the candidate, it is a good idea to follow up with them to inform them of their application’s status. This will keep your business’s reputation high. This will also allow you to keep a relationship with the candidate for future networking. These candidates take time and energy out of their busy schedules to participate in the interview process and should be recognized for their hard work, regardless if they are hired or not. These follow up emails or letters should be personalized and thoughtful.

Below is a list of easy questions to build your interview structure off of. It is important to have an idea of what you want to ask the candidate before the interview. This way, your interview will flow and you won’t miss any important questions after the interview is over.  


10 Common and Helpful Questions to Ask During Your Interview of the Candidate

1. Why do you want to work for our company?

2. What are your strengths and weaknesses?

3.What 3 adjectives describe you best?

4. How do you handle pressure?

5. How have you dealt with conflict in the past?

6. What sets you apart from the other candidates?

7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

8. Describe your last/current position?

9. Why do you want to leave your current position? OR Why did you leave your current position?

10. Do you have any questions?


Topics: Small Business Ideas



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