As an employer you will no doubt be needing new staff for your business, either occasionally or an on-going basis. Your company may not have a dedicated personnel officer, but you will want to hire the best person for the job and there are certain skills surrounding interviewing candidates that can be learnt and that will help to ensure you get the candidate that is right for you.

  1. Firstly, prepare your questions. Get it absolutely clear in your mind what type of candidate you are looking for. Look at the people already successfully working in your business and assess what it is that they have in common.
  2. Practice your pitch. Remember that your candidates will also be evaluating you to determine whether they want to work for you.
  3. Reduce stress. Make your candidates feel comfortable and reduce their stress levels so that any interview can be undertaken in a productive, professional manner. Greet them with a warm welcome and a firm handshake.
  4. Assess potential. Look out for certain signs in your candidates. Are they curious about the position they are applying for? Do they have the determination to succeed? Engage them in a conversation about their thoughts on where your industry is going.
  5. Cognitive bias. This is the trait where you make quick decisions on whether you like, or don’t like somebody based on their appearance or their personality. Quite often the outcome of an interview is predicted by judgements made in the first ten seconds. Don’t overestimate someone’s ability to undertake the job you are interviewing for. Unacknowledged bias can lead you to overlooking strong candidates.

It can be challenging learning how to conduct effective interviews, but the reward will be in knowing that you have hired the best candidate.

Find out more in BC Training’s Interviewing Skills training course.