Interviews - 'I don't do this every day you know!'

Interviews can be as stressful for the employer as they are for the applicant. Asking the right questions, making the right choice and seeing the right number of candidates are all crucial when making that all-important decision in choosing your next employee. 
Here are 10 tips to make the process more thorough and more professional and give you the edge in finding the person that fits your specification.

1. Start Off On The Right Foot. 
Greet candidates in a friendly and polite manner. Step out of the interview room to meet each applicant, you should try and give each candidate an opportunity to relax before any specific questions. 

2. Use Open Ended Questions 
Allow the candidate to give comprehensive answers. Questions that only invite ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ responses give the interview a stilted and interrogative feel and may restrict the candidate fully expressing themselves. ‘Where…’ ‘Why…’ ‘When…’ ‘How…’ questions should help the interviewee give a full answer.

3. The 20 : 80 Rule 
After initial introductions and explaining the format of the interview the candidate should do most of the talking. Interviewers should ensure that they are giving the applicant the opportunity to dominate the conversation. Typically the ratio should be about 80% in favour of the candidate.

4. Clarity is Sanity 
Ensure that the interviewee has understood your questions and, in return, you understand the the responses. It is essential that there are no misunderstandings that may cause problems when an offer is made, or worse, after employment has commenced.

5. Don't Offend
Be aware of essential legislation relating to race, sex, age and disability. Not only could irrelevant questions regarding these matters be against the law, they may also cause offence. Remember that you are assessing the candidates skills and ability to fulfil the job description. 

6. Structure The Interview 
Plan the structure of the interview in advance and maintain the same structure for each candidate. Do not cut an interview short, remember that all candidates have taken the time to attend the interview and should be given adequate opportunity to express their strengths in doing the job.

7. Don't Overdo It
Allow appropriate time between interviews to make notes on the previous candidate and to clear your mind and your desk for the next person. Don’t try to schedule too many interviews on one day. It will be difficult to maintain concentration if you are trying to complete a great number of interviews without a break. As well as being unfair to the candidates it is also unfair on yourself or your business as you may miss some vital facts that could be decisive in appointing to the role.

8. Bringing Matters To A Conclusion 
At the end of the interview, give candidates the opportunity to ask any questions they may have. Manage the candidates expectations and explain the next stage of the process if there is a second/third interview stage, when a decision is likely to be made and how the outcome will be communicated.

9. Remain Neutral 
No candidate should leave with the impression that they have been successful in landing the job. You should conduct all the interviews and consider all candidates before making a decision.

10. Don’t Delay Feedback 
Ensure that any promises concerning feedback are kept. It is unreasonable and unprofessional not to provide some feedback to those candidates that have been unsuccessful

Above all Be Fair, Be Organised, Be Honest and Be Professional.

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