How To Interview Job Applicants

Use the interview process to select the most qualified candidate for a current job opening by using multiple varied criteria.

Interviewing an applicant for a job opening can be simple and fun. Or it can be laborious and intense. The main objective is to evaluate a series of candidates to find the one most suited for the current job opening.

If you plan to interview an applicant, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1. Prepare ahead of time. Schedule a time slot when you will be less busy and less prone to office interruptions or distractions. If your office is not the ideal setting for an interview, schedule the conference room or another company location. Plan for a time when you can focus on the individual after reviewing his or her documented credentials in the form of a resume application form (if one is required), statement of philosophy, and references.

2. Work with the applicant's schedule. If possible, offer a selection of times so that the person can choose one that fits best with other commitments. You don't want to spend time with someone who is hurried or harried due to job or family pressures.

3. Arrange a list of questions and considerations. Check the job description and update it to include previously overlooked or newly added tasks. Consult with others in the department to find out which characteristics are important for fulfilling job duties in their estimation. Set a priority range of skills and strengths to watch for during an interview. Prepare company data that may be of interest to applicants, along with facts about the position, schedule, and any special requirements for the future, such as travel or working holidays.

4. Be on time or even a bit early. Don't keep the applicant waiting. Give yourself a few extra minutes to calm down and get focused. Review the person's credentials. Note areas that you have questions about. Strive to appear calm, helpful, and friendly. Avoid the appearance of boredom by checking your check or yawning repeatedly. Make eye contact with the applicant to show that you are listening.



5. Greet the interviewee in a personable way. Introduce yourself by name and title. Offer a beverage, if applicable, and show the person to the interview office. Explain the interview process and stay on track as you move through each section of questions, comments, and observations.

6. Study the applicant's body language. Check general appearance for appropriate style of dress, hygiene, and grooming. Observe mannerisms for a professional demeanor and poise. Does the person appear alert, prepared, and eager to get the job? Or is this applicant distracted, nervous, lethargic, or bored? Are your questions met with a polite response or boisterous disdain?

7. Take notes about the applicant's answers to your questions. They will refresh your memory later as you rehash the session mentally. If a topic is introduced that may be of interest to the company, ask for additional materials to be emailed or sent by U.S. mail. Invite questions, comments, or concerns from the applicant, and attempt to answer each one honestly and fully.

8. Thank the person for coming in for an interview. Show him or her to the foyer and mention when you might have a hiring decision. Check contact information to be sure you can readily reach the applicant.

You may want to discuss your findings with another employee at the company. Compare interview results from all applicants to find the best fit for the current opening. Keep resumes on file for six months if you think the person might be interested in and suitable for a different future job opening.

Interviews are a great way to meet new people who can help the company grow. Maximize your recruiting potential by organizing an effective interview process.

© High Speed Ventures 2011