How to interview employees

Interviewing requires time and preparation and is an opportunity for you to assess the abilities of potential employees. Formulating a plan for before, during and after the interview will help you gain as much from them as possible. Follow this three-step guide on interviewing techniques.

  • Interview preparation
  • Interview techniques
  • Follow-up

Interview preparation

Define your objectives before you start. Ensure you know the position's requirements inside out and think about what success factors will be necessary to complete the job. Establish performance expectations. It's also a good idea to involve other members of your team in this process, to ensure you are painting an accurate and unbiased picture of the ideal candidate.

  • Evaluate what skills you are looking for before the interview
  • Involve other members of your team to get an accurate picture of the ideal candidate

Interview techniques

Plan questions in advance but don't stick to these rigidly - be responsive to what the candidate tell you. Look at the candidate's CV for areas to highlight and ensure questions are open-ended - these give candidates a chance to talk. Listening is important too - if you are doing most of the talking, you won't be able to gain enough information. Taking notes is essential.

  • Draw up a list of questions but don't stick to these too rigidly - be guided by what the candidate tells you
  • Avoid the tendency to talk too much during an interview - listening will enable you to get a better feel for the candidate

Follow-up

If a candidate is impressive, be clear about what the next steps will be. If you don't think they are suitable, end the interview on a positive note but be genuine about your intentions. Take time after the interview to assess any notes you have taken and to make additional ones, as the interview will still be fresh in your mind.

  • Be clear about any follow-up policies, such as additional interviews or tests and ensure the candidate is made aware of this
  • If you don't feel a candidate is suitable, end the interview promptly and on a positive note

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