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Hiring the Right Employees: Tips for Conducting Interviews

An interview is an essential tool for finding the employees you want – and the employees who want to work for you.

The job application process is rapidly shifting with technology, but the interview is a timelessly important step.

Finding a good fit is important for a myriad of reasons, from keeping company culture intact to spending training hours wisely. Interviews shouldn’t be rushed, though, as it’s the best opportunity to glean what you can from a potential hire. Going into an interview prepared and ready to get as much information as possible will set the interviewer on the right track.

Automated processes help to sort through potentially hundreds of applicants, which is a crucial timesaver now that submitting resumes is easier than ever. Some softwares will even schedule interviews. But when it’s time for that face-to-face, it’s an interviewer’s responsibility to gather information on a candidate that a machine can’t.

Learn about the candidate ahead of time

The most important part of this is taking the time to review a candidate’s application carefully. Don’t glance it over – read it. It’s obvious when the interview is your first time looking at a resume.

Now, when it feels like the whole world is online, it can be a good idea to review an applicant’s social media presence as well. However, avoid digging for information such as religious affiliation or disability status that could impact a final decision and lead to legal trouble.

LinkedIn is a great resource to observe how applicants present themselves online without getting too personal. It’s also a good tool for verifying job experience listed on a resume.

Make a good first impression

A good first impression is equally important for both parties. An interview is not just an opportunity for a company to find an employee they want on their team, but an opportunity for a potential hire to decide if they want to work for a company.

According to TeamStage, 87 percent of job seekers would change a previously negative opinion on a company following a good interview. Inversely, 83 percent will form a negative opinion after a bad interview.

As someone who has been through quite a few job interviews recently, I can attest to the damaging effects of a poorly conducted interview.

My address is included in my resume, and I added that I am planning to relocate to the job site to begin working in a few months. At the beginning of the interview, I made a point to bring this information to the interviewer’s attention, and she was shocked. She said she would not have scheduled an interview so immediately if she had known, and that I should call back closer to when I move.

Frankly, I’m not sure how eager I am to work for someone who didn’t even have the time to properly review my whole application.

Make a good first impression by showing interest in an employee, fleshing out the time to give them your full attention, and conducting yourself professionally.

Encourage the candidate to open up

Being prepared as an interviewer will help the interviewee get more comfortable talking.

At one of the first job interviews I had as a young adult, I was asked why I want to work for the company, why they should hire me, and…that was it. I felt so awkward, I hardly had anything to say. (At the very least, I learned to go into interviews with my own spiel prepared.)

Properly reviewing the candidate’s application will help to come up with better questions tailored to the individual that will help get them talking.

Learn as much as possible in little time

An interview isn’t just about what’s said. A lot of it is reading in between the lines.

How a candidate dresses is important. How they carry themself is important, too. Good posture and speaking with confidence tells an employer just as much as putting on the right shirt.

And while dress code can vary from company to company, grooming standards are pretty universal.

Other things to look out for during an interview include punctuality and using professional verbiage. It should be clear that the candidate came prepared, too. Coming with a hard copy of their resume and showing knowledge of the business are signs of a great potential hire.

The opportunity to meet a candidate for a job in person has become increasingly valuable as the online world moves forward. Taking advantage of new technology is vital, but don’t allow the convenience to let you lose sight of the importance of a face-to-face interview.