How to conduct a successful job interview
The interview – it can be one of the most stressful aspects of professional life, both for the job candidate and the small business owner screening them. While there are a variety of resources available for those wanting to stand out as a good interviewee, there isn’t necessarily information available on how to be a good interviewer.
If you’re a small business owner looking for ways to conduct a successful job interview, you’ve come to the right place. These nine tips on conducting an interview will make the process easier for you and more impactful for the job seeker.
9 Tips on Conducting an Interview
1. Examine the Resume Thoroughly
A picture is worth a thousand words, but a resume is worth a million. The style, the layout, the wording – all of that shows characters of the interviewee that isn’t said outright on the paper itself. Conducting a successful interview starts with understanding who you’re interviewing.
You want to have a basic understanding of what the candidate has and hasn’t experienced in the workplace. Bring up their strengths and ask about their weaknesses.
Finally, check the resume for grammar and spelling errors. A resume free of small errors shows attention to detail – a quality that is great to have in a potential employee.
2. Ask Open Ended Questions
Reviewing a person’s resume will tell you a lot about their work experience, but some of the best questions to ask when conducting an interview aren’t about the job at all. They’re about the interviewee.
An open-ended question could be, “How would you handle this situation?” or “What do you believe is the strongest aspect of your personality?” They’re questions you can use to judge character, compliance and creativity.
By requiring a more complex answer than “yes or no,” you’re asking the interviewee to analyze the question and formulate a comprehensive answer on the spot. If they do well and are confident and personable, you may want to consider adding them to your team. A strong communicator has the potential to be an outstanding spokesperson for your small business.
3. Be as Personal as Possible
Skype and phone interviews are very popular, and for good reason. It makes sense to use these to screen out the first round of applicants.
However, conducting a successful job interview means meeting with the candidate in person. Doing so allows you to see their mannerisms, which gives incredible insight into the interviewee as a person. Do they use their hands to gesture? Are they making eye contact? How’s their body language? Make note of these during your time with them. Unspoken signals speak volumes to a person’s confidence and attitude.
4. If You Don’t Understand, Ask Questions
What are some of the best questions to ask when conducting an interview? All of them. If you’re unclear about something the interviewee said, ask. Unsure about their work experience? Ask.
You’re running the interview, so you can ask as little or as many questions as you want. Echoing the above statement, the more your small business knows before hiring someone, the better. It’s better to be a tad bit redundant that sacrifice not knowing something that could prove to be important later down the road.
5. Be Clear
One of the easiest things you can do to become a better job interviewer is to be clear. Don’t beat around the bush with questions. Don’t chit-chat. Time is money when it comes to running a small business. If this person doesn’t stand out to you within 30 minutes, you’re probably not going to decide they’re the perfect fit for your team in an hour.
Ask what you need to, when you need to and be upfront. If the interviewee asks when they’ll hear back from you, don’t say two weeks if you actually mean a month. If you expect a potential employee to be honest with you, start by being honest and upfront with them. Keep it polite but keep it short.
6. Hold Conversation
If the person you’re interviewing does peak your interest, however, try to incorporate conversation into the interview. You want to know how they respond to questions, but you also want to know how they do conversationally.
If you’re expecting this person to represent your business wherever they go, knowing how they hold themselves while speaking to others is important. Whether it be at a conference or just out on the town, how they speak and what they say ends up reflecting on you.
See what they like and why, ask how they network and feel out if you can see yourself working cooperatively with this person. If you’re feeling good about them after that, consider setting up a second interview.
7. Be Enthusiastic
If you, the business owner, aren’t enthusiastic about your company, why would an interviewee be? Get excited while conducting interviews.
Sell your company to this potential employee. Consider yourself the ultimate representation of your business. Talk about the ins and outs of your company. Tell potential employees why your business stands out from the rest. Why do people need your company? Why can’t they live without it? If they’re sold on your business, they’ll be able to sell others if you give them the job.
8. Be Yourself
Yes, you’re a business owner, but you’re also a person. Conducting a successful interview doesn’t mean you still can’t be yourself. Relax a little! This is your business, your office, your domain. Do what feels right to you and the rest will come naturally.
9. Provide an Explanation for Denial
It’s inevitable. There are going to be people your company doesn’t hire.
Instead of sending them the common “automated denial” email, give them an explanation of why they weren’t brought on the team (nicely, of course). Tell them how they can improve their chances next time. It only takes a few minutes on your end.
Providing an explanation for denial also prevents applicants from harboring bad feelings towards your company, which is big for a small business. You need all the positive feedback you can get. Plus, if the applicant is determined, they’ll take your advice and implement it – possibly coming back better prepared for the next round of hiring.
If your company needs funds to hire new workers, start a new project or purchase new equipment, consider invoice factoring to finance your small business. You can get the working capital your business needs to grow in as little as 24 hours– without worrying about adding dept or using items for collateral.