Many times, it's not just the potential employee that feels that sting of anxiety on interview day. A good number of managers’ worry they aren’t skilled enough or confident enough with the interview process, making them think that they're not very good at interviewing at all. We've all been in that position, and even though it seems silly to think about both parties at an interview being nervous, it's the reality in most cases. Whether that truth helps ease some anxiety or not, we're not sure, but we do know that this guide will help you learn how to interview someone with less stress and more success.
Job interviews don't have to be intimidating, and they certainly don't have to be stressful Our quick and easy guide on how to interview someone should help make your next round of interviewing go smoother, be more effective, and help you snag the best employees for your company.
Before conducting a job interview, be sure you know exactly what type of person you want for the position that needs to be filled. What qualifications should they have? Is this position one that can be taught on the job, or should they have experienced before they come through the door? Understanding the specifics of the job before the candidates arrive is key to being prepared for employee interviews. Keep a bullet list on your desk during the interview to help lower your stress, keep you on your toes, and bring that aura of confidence every manager should have. Key points to the job description, a list of the desired traits and experience, and a list of short questions will help keep the interview on track. Try a few fact-based questions to gauge your applicant's knowledge of your industry, and a few hypothetical questions—What would you do in this situation? You can also throw in one or two stress questions to help see how they would react in a confrontational situation; but try not to do too many of these, as they tend to come off as very aggressive and can scare away great employees. A stress question would be something like "Can you name five reasons why I should hire you?"
The next thing to consider when planning how to approach employee interviews is choosing what type of interview is best. While phone, email, and video chat interviews are becoming more popular in many industries, your specific industry may need face time. If your staff will be interacting in person, either behind the scenes on the team or directly with customers, you need to see how each applicant behaves in your presence, how they carry themselves, and how well they communicate. While interview rooms aren't the same environment your potential staff member will be working in; it's a stressful time and you can get a good feeling of how they'll handle the stress of dealing with customers. That's not to say you should make your applicant uncomfortable on purpose, but do pay attention to how they act while you're conducting an interview, and you'll have a good idea how they'll likely behave on the job.
When considering how to interview someone, think of how you might feel in his or her shoes. Knowing what will happen and in what order is a good way to help calm both the interviewer and the applicant. Consider setting a schedule when conducting an interview. When your applicant arrives, welcome them and let them know the basic schedule. You could say, for example, "We'll do a quick introduction to get to know one another, I'll ask a few questions, you'll have a chance to ask some questions yourself, and then we'll wrap it all up. Sound good?" It's friendly, informative, and lets the applicant know that you don't plan on dragging this on forever, all while keeping you in control and showing your confidence in the interview process.
When you’re conducting an interview and it's going very well, it can be easy to forget your job to decide who's the best candidate for the job. Just because someone is great at interviews doesn't necessarily mean they'll make a great employee. For that reason, before conducting employee interviews, define a rating system that you can quickly jot down during the interview and later review. Having a set system helps compare potential employees side by side, reducing the stress of having to remember what you liked about them and what you didn't like. How you setup your rating system will depend on what aspects of the specific job you feel are most important. Some examples might be years of experience, types of past jobs, and past work with any competitors or similar organizations.
We mentioned having a list handy when deciding how to interview someone, but there's an easier and more professional way to handle this aspect. Using a productivity app is a great option for keeping track of things you need to ask and jotting down notes on your candidates. You can use employee tracking software to track potential employees, too, not just current ones. A good productivity app will be flexible and allow you to adjust its features to fit your needs; even better, apps keep everything in the cloud for easy sharing and safe data storage. Check out Hubworks' Zip Schedules and other cloud-based business management apps to help streamline every aspect of your business. Sign up for a free 14 day trial to get a feel for how Hubworks can help you save time, money, and gain control of your essential business processes.