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Interview Techniques Every Employer Should Master

interviewsAt Marble we consider it our responsibility to unearth the best candidates for the best jobs. Part of this commitment is to assist our clients in uncovering the skills and attributes of the people we provide. Marble consultants are interviewing all day everyday and because of this experience they are versed in helping their clients develop this vital skill.

Interviewing itself is a skill that does take practice to master. However, with a few pointers you can become well enough versed to make sure you don’t miss out on the right candidate because you didn’t get the information you needed from the interview.

In the current market with competition for top quality candidates being so strong, it is important the interview is a positive experience which sells the benefits of the company, as well as allowing you to ascertain if the person sitting in front of you is the right fit for your business.

There are three basic rules of hiring. You want:

  • CAN DO skills and experience;
  • a  WILL DO attitude and personality; and
  • to know that they WILL FIT your company culture.

Whilst a recruiter will do their best to ensure that these are the people they are providing you will have all these attributes, you are best-positioned to determine if they meet the criteria for your business.

Employers must understand an interview is an exchange of information and they must control the interview by asking the right questions.

Based on conversations with our consultants we came up with this list of 10 handy tips to help you conduct a great interview:

1. Follow the 80/20 rule

Get the jobseeker to do 80% of the talking. The person asking questions and listening is the person who’s in control of the interview.

2. Ask open-ended questions

These are questions beginning with “what”, “how”, “why”, “when”, or “where”.  They invite long answers that encourage jobseekers to do most of the talking.
Example: “When were you a member of a team? Can you describe what it was like?” “What would you do if …?”, “How did you handle a situation where …”

3. Avoid closed questions

These are questions beginning with “did”, “would”, “do”, and “are”.  These questions can be answered “yes” or “no”.  They do not encourage jobseekers to talk.
Example: “Do you have any experience working on a team?”
To recover if you accidentally ask a close ended question and you’ve received a short answer, you might add something like, “Can you elaborate on that?” or “Can you tell me more about that?”

4. Ask probing questions

These are questions beginning with “tell me more”, “describe to me” and “please elaborate” – if you didn’t get the level of detail in the answer the first time, keep asking until you know everything you need to know!

5. Use the power of silence

Pause while waiting for a real answer – it helps to explain to the jobseeker that you’re happy for them to ponder the question and give it some thought before responding. Don’t ever underestimate the value of a silence in an interview.

6. Past performance = future performance

A jobseeker’s past job performance is the surest guide to their future performance. Know what skills or ability you’re looking to assess and develop a number of behavioural questions.

7. The formula

A good job fit = the right education + the right experience + a compatible personality.

8. Beware of the “just like me” trap

Focus on the job requirements and the candidate’s qualifications, and not only on how similar they are to you.

9. Ease the nerves away

Help the jobseeker feel at ease at the beginning of the interview. They’ll open up and talk more freely.

10. Don’t make assumptions.

Look for repeat patterns of behaviour to draw conclusions about the jobseeker. Whenever you don’t feel you understand their answer or need more (or if something doesn’t seem quite right), follow up with another question later in the interview.

A well conducted and constructed interview benefits both parties because an informed recruitment decision can be made.

Get in contact with your Marble consultant today if you would like more information or advice on interview best practice specific to your industry.

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