Conducting Job Interviews

Conducting Job Interviews

The first time I was put into a position to interview a potential employee, I was in a panic. New experiences are difficult enough without the added responsibility of granting or refusing a job. I knew my decision about this interviewee could have a big impact on both our business and his life.

Looking back, I did a decent job with the interview, but if I’d known a few simple tips on conducting job interviews I could have saved myself a lot of stress. Here are three simple tips for conducting job interviews, aimed especially at those of you who don’t know how to interview someone.

1. Ask the Right Questions

Good questions to ask in a job interview range from simple personal questions to more detailed psychological questions aimed at revealing something about the interviewee’s personality. Asking the right questions means avoiding potentially illegal queries (like “Where were you born?” or “What is your native language?”) that are specifically prohibited by Federal law. It also means asking questions that identify the interviewee as a good employee.

2. Don’t Pretend to Be the Interviewee’s Friend

Being friendly in an interview is different from behaving like the interviewee’s buddy. There’s many reasons why the relationship between interviewer and interviewee is important, the most important one being that you don’t want to befriend a person you may have to deny a job. I find it’s helpful to pretend I’m interviewing a potential date for my younger sister. Be kind but detached. This skill will come with experience.

3. Do Your Homework

Not preparing for the job interview is the biggest mistake most first-time interviewer’s make. Having a plan of attack before the interview starts maximizes your time spent interviewing the potential employee and gives the interviewee a good impression of the way your company does business. Plan your questions ahead of time, and become familiar with the interviewee’s resume and work history.

Conducting a job interview is like riding the proverbial bicycle–once you learn how, you won’t soon forget. Over time, conducting job interviews will become as second nature as filing reports or checking your email. Until then, stick to these three tips.