Prepare your questions before the interview. One of the worst thing you can do as an interviewer is make the questions up as you go. Shooting from the hip belongs in Cowboy movies, not the professional interview.
Ensure that your questions cover more than just skills. Many unseasoned interviewers focus their questions exclusively on the skill set of the candidate. However, it is also important that you get a feel for the candidate’s cultural fit. It is important to ascertain whether the candidate will fit into the existing culture of your team. See our Library of Interview Questions to help you with the sorts of questions you can ask.
Ensure a level playing field. It is very important that you ask all the candidates the same basic questions. Asking candidates different primary questions will likely lead to some candidates being asked easy questions whilst others get stuck with the difficult ones.
Ask behavioural questions. Behavioural questions are highly effective in terms eliciting the truth of a candidate’s response. They are designed to make candidates say what they did and how they did it in very specific ways; see our Library of Interview Questions for a large range of these type of questions. For example, instead of asking, “Tell us about your payroll experience”, you can ask, “Please take us through a step by step process on what you did to achieve the payroll run?”
Make the candidate as comfortable as possible. Many candidates find the interview process daunting. Consequently, they tend to under perform and not provide a realistic insight as to what they’re really like. Taking 5 minutes at the start of the interview to make the candidate feel comfortable and relaxed can go a long way in achieving a better outcome. Avoid interviewing candidates if you’re in a terrible mood.
Treat all candidates with respect. Never talk down to a candidate or treat them like second-class citizens – that includes allowing interruptions during the course of the interview. There’s a good chance that the best candidates won’t accept your job offer, what’s more they’ll bad-mouth your business to all their friends.
Allow candidates to ask questions. Candidates will probably have a few questions of their own. Let them ask those questions and answer them as truthfully as possible, otherwise you may have problems down the track.
Avoid exaggeration. In an effort to attract the best candidates some employers exaggerate the good things about their company or the job on offer. This is a recipe for disaster. You’re only succeeding in raising the expectations of the candidate only to have them dashed once they’re in the job.