Small Business Saturday Blog

Effective interviewing techniques

Friday, April 01 at 11:26

This week, Lee Parker of Parker Sourcing gives his advice for the perfect interview when hiring for your small business


There are plenty of articles all over the internet offering tips on how to approach a job interview from a candidate’s perspective, which is great, but there seems to be a lack of help when it comes to advice for those on the other side of the table.

So, this week, we’ll look at how to get the most from your interviews, and the kind of questions you should be asking in order to make a much more reasoned and logical assessment of your candidates.
Of course, before doing any interviewing at all, you’ll need to attract the right people to your company!

Preparation is Key
Finding the right employees for your company is a tough task, but getting it right will ultimately lead to a highly productive office and a much more successful business. It makes sense then, to be as prepared as possible before sitting anyone down in the hot-seat.

A good starting point is to right down a short paragraph which sums up the role you’re looking to fill. Not only does this make you think more about the skills that will be required to carry out the job, but it acts as a constant reminder as to the position you’re hiring for, should conversation wander in a different direction at any point during the interview.

You should also jot down any essential competences and experience that are essential for role, as well as reading thoroughly through the candidate’s application and CV, making note of any sections you would like to discuss further during the interview.

Finally, be sure to compile a complete list of all the questions you would like to ask. It may also be a good idea to write all CV-related questions down on a separate piece of paper before meeting your candidate – you could put yourself across as unprepared if you have to keep scanning the interviewee’s CV during the interview.  Bear in mind that your possible suitors are also interviewing you as a company, so it’s important for you yourself to give a great impression.

Asking the Right Questions
Trying to determine whether a candidate could be a good fit for your company can be quite tricky. Many job hunters will be pretty clued up when it comes to interview techniques, and will be well aware of most of the questions they will be asked beforehand. This, in my eyes, makes for a false impression, because lines are rehearsed and it all becomes a bit predictable. What you really want to do is get beyond those walls and find out what kind of person you’re interviewing. To do this, you’ll have to throw in a few questions which will make the candidate stop and think for a minute, such as:

What do you think working here will be like?
What has working in this field taught you most about the industry?

Remember, the idea here is not to fish for a right or wrong answer, but to go beyond those rehearsed standard answers to get a truer impression of the candidate, and to let their personality come through a little more.

By all means, ask a few generic questions to tackle their professional experience or personal attributes, but be sure to throw in a couple of unexpected ones too.

Final Thoughts
There really isn’t a set way to interview potential employees – each case is completely different. What’s important is that you break down barriers between yourself and the candidate to form a much more accurate judgement on their potential to enhance your team.



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