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10 Interview Tips for Employers: Making the Most of Facetime

Interviewing is the crux of the recruiting process. It is the main point of interaction for the candidate and the organization, so it’s critical to be as effective as possible in your interview process. After all, employees are the backbone of any organization and you typically have less than a handful of these interactions to decide who is the perfect fit for your company. No matter if you’re conducting an in-person or video interview here are 10 interview tips for employers.

1) Be prepared

The first interview tip for employers on this list may seem obvious at first. However, between hiring managers’ many responsibilities, it is easy to slip into the practice of a quick glance at a resume before the interview starts. Review the candidate’s application well in advance. A little extra time on the front end will allow you to get to the information you need more efficiently and effectively in the interview. Decide what areas you want to learn more about, whether it’s their ability or parts of their experience, so you come into the interview knowing what you need to learn about the candidate and what skills you want to evaluate.

2) Be aware of biases

Every person has unconscious biases. It may be difficult to recognize all of them but there are ways to keep your biases in check. Over time you can learn to recognize your biases, but even then you still have to be careful as our unconscious biases are constantly changing. Use the interview as one tool in your toolbox when deciding on a candidate. Get different perspectives from other interviewees and compare your results to other parts of the recruiting process such as assessments and candidate experience.

3) Use a structure

Creating an interview structure is one of the best ways for an employer to eliminate biases because you put all candidates on a level playing field. You may not intend to treat candidates differently but without structure, unconscious bias begins to creep into the process. Even without biases, it’s a good idea to use structured interviews as they tend to produce better long-term decisions.

4) Set expectations

There are two things you should define for the candidate from the beginning: the role and the interview process.

If you are using job description best practices candidates should have a good idea of the role, but it is a good practice to go over it in person as well. This opens the door for any clarifications they might need and gives you confidence that they have a full understanding of the role.

The second expectation you should set is the interview process itself. Give candidates a clear hiring timeline, including when they can expect to hear from you. This will save you time with follow-up.

An added benefit for employers from this interview tip is that setting expectations improves the candidate experience. The interview process is a glimpse into your organization for the candidate, and setting clear expectations in the interview process shows that expectations will be set on the job.

5) Use a variety of interview question types

It’s important to use both open-ended and closed-ended questions in an interview. Any list of interview tips for employers will tell you to use open-ended questions. It’s true that focusing on open-ended questions gives candidates opportunity for the candidate to sell themselves. But using closed-ended questions will help direct the interview where you want to go. The key to using closed-ended questions is to have the proper follow-up questions so you can get the highest quality insights from the candidate. To determine your mix of questions use this guideline: the interviewer should only talk about 30% of the time.

6) Focus on identifying soft skills

It has been known for over 100 years that soft skills are one of the best indicators of success, so it is important to identify them in your candidates. You can do this by asking open-ended questions and focusing on behavioral questions.

You can also look for indicators of soft skills in the interview, such as a candidate’s preparedness, communication, and organization. Soft skills can be difficult to identify so be sure to go into the interview knowing which ones you are looking for. Using Pre-Hire Assessments can also give you a leg up on identifying soft skills in the interview process.

7) Allow for questions

While you’re trying to learn more about a candidate in the interview, don’t forget that the candidate is also there to learn more about your organization. If you decide to extend an offer to the candidate, they should feel confident that the role is the right fit for them. Plus, letting them ask questions can also give you insight into their preparedness and communication skills.

8) Take notes

Taking notes allows you to be more present with the candidate. It enables you to ask better follow-up questions, allowing them to expound on what they have shared, and helps you circle back to the questions you want answered without disrupting the flow of the interview. Yet another benefit to note taking is that it lets you see your progression with each candidate throughout the interviews and more easily compare them.

9) Collect your thoughts

Immediately after the interview take a few minutes to collect your thoughts. Whether your interview was on your own or with other hiring managers, gathering your thoughts will give you a clearer overall picture of the candidate, aid in communicating your thoughts to other team members, and help you compare top candidates.

10) Follow-up with each candidate

The final interview tip for employers is one of the most important. Regardless of the outcome of the interview, you should follow up with every candidate. It is a professional courtesy to communicate with candidates and will help your employment brand as the majority of employers don’t reply to all candidates. Give each candidate insight into why you made your decision. If you decided to move forward, let them know what impressed you. And if you didn’t, then give them some areas to improve.

Interviews can be difficult in the best of situations, but following these interview tips for employers will help. With our increasingly virtual world, learn how Cangrade’s Video Interviews can help you uncover vital information about candidates efficiently and effectively.