Conducting an Interview – Preparation



There are not many things more important than being able to choose the right person for the job. It is important to make a good impression even as the interviewer. With the job market as competitive as it is you don’t want to lose the right person for the job simply because you were not prepared for the interview. There are 5 simple things you can do to prepare for conducting a job interview.

  1. Set-up the job interview. Be professional and courteous when setting up the interview. Remember; ask them for the opportunity to interview them. They are doing you a favor. Set a specific time and inform the interviewee how long the interview will take.
  2. Determine the type of interview you plan on conducting; informal, general, open-ended, or a fixed-response interview. Develop a set of questions based around the type of interview you choose. Make a list of goals and determine beforehand what you specifically want to find out about the interviewee? Focus on the job competencies during the interview.
  3. Have a quiet place with adequate lighting and appropriate surroundings for the job interview. If at all possible get stay away from any distractions that may affect you and the interviewee.
  4. Before you begin the interview, explain the purpose of the interview. For example; reiterate the job they are there applying for and identify the topics that you will be discussing during the interview. Also address any terms of confidentiality.
  5. Be prepared with a notebook and pen to take notes during the interview. If you are not going to take notes, use a tape recorder. Ask the interviewee if it is alright to record the interview before you get started.

Interviewing is a useful tool for finding information out about an individual. In this case if they can do the job and be a good fit for the company. When conducting an interview stay focused on the job competencies and weigh the responses you get for each question. Use the same scale and questions for each of your applicants. Stay away from personal questions like, “Tell me about yourself.” These types of questions are too general and you may find that you just spent the last 15 minutes hearing about someone’s dog dying. When you get personal you get your feelings involved and it may be harder to conduct a fair interview for all candidates. Try to make the interview process as comfortable as possible.

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