Washing dishes – on the same day they get dirty
Driving the speed limit
Conducting an interview
When I turned 21, I imagined that along with my celebratory drink I’d somehow be granted the knowledge of how to do all these Very Adult Things.
While I still occasionally struggle with driving the speed limit (why is it so $#&%ing hard?!), I've got the how to conduct an interview bit down pat. And if you don’t? Don’t feel bad!
You’d be amazed how many clients want a pre-interview pep talk. Of course, interviews vary a bit between industries and positions but here are five things you can do to make any interview run more smoothly.
Many small business owners have questions about how to conduct an interview. When it comes to selecting the best candidate for the open position, conducting an interview the right way is key. Follow Rikka's 5 easy steps for how to conduct an interview and you'll be able to narrow down your candidates, and find the best hire for you.
How To Conduct An Interview
1. Be prepared
Seems obvious, right? But many first time interviewers grab the candidate’s resume off the printer just before they walk into the interview – and it shows.
Take five to ten minutes before the interview to: *print off their resume *review their work history and maybe do a bit of Googling *compile a list of questions *prepare your ranking sheet.
When you interview candidates, take notes to help you remember what you liked and had concerns about. Use the ranking sheet after each interview so when you go back to find your top candidates, you have a quick, easy way to identify the best candidates. This is a great, time-saving tool that helps make interviewing multiple candidates a lot easier.
What!? You don't have a ranking sheet? You should! Use mine.
2. Give yourself five minutes to establish rapport
Interviews can be nerve wracking for both you and the candidate! Before you dive into serious questions, break the ice with a little small talk – traffic, weather, etc.
You can also lead with the ol’ chestnut “So tell me a little bit about yourself!”
This will help you form a connection with the person you’re interviewing, then you’ll both be able to relax and you’ll get better answers to your interview questions.
3. Bring your curiosity + follow up questions
As you know, I highly suggest narrowing down your candidates by using phone interviews and functional interview questions.
Now that you’re talking in person, pull out your best behavioral-based interview questions. Approach their questions with a spirit of curiosity and ask follow up questions, rather than just ticking off questions on a form. Curiosity helps you develop even more rapport and get deeper, more interesting answers.
4. Listen to their answers with your ‘Recruiter Ears’
What does it really mean when they say they had ‘creative differences’? If this candidate left three jobs because they had to work Saturdays, what does that mean for the weekends-required position you’re filling? Listen for the ‘between the lines’ answers.
What are their hot button issues? What will make them accept your offer?
5. Wrap it up with next steps
As you’re wrapping things up, you probably have a decent idea of how you feel about this candidate. If they’re particularly promising, take them to the next step,
“It seems like this could be a good fit! Let’s set up a time to talk further.”
If you’re not sure, tell them when they can expect to hear from you,“I appreciate your time. I’ve got several more interviews to complete but you can expect to hear from me by XXX.”
If you’re feeling really bold and their an obvious pass, you can give them a verbal regret,“At this time, I don’t think this is the right fit but if anything changes I’ll be in touch.”
See? Easy peasy! You’re five tips away from being a master interviewer.
Rikka Brandon is the author of the best-selling book Hire Power: Everything Entrepreneurs Need To Know To Hire Awesome People. She’s the creator of the Hire Power Program, an online program designed to help small businesses build a rock-solid recruiting strategy and stop settling when they hire. She’s the Founder of RikkaBrandon.com and Building Gurus. Rikka is the go-to girl for growth-minded entrepreneurs and forward-thinking business leaders and is considered as the USA’s Top Hiring Expert for Small Businesses.