5 Tips for Interviewing Job Candidates

Often when hiring, employers are not always equipped with the right set of questions to ask prospective employees. With a number of categories of questions being illegal to ask a candidate during the recruitment period, it can sometimes be quite difficult for employers to ask questions that will not only assist them in onboarding the best candidate for the role, but will also provide insight into the applicant’s employment history.

Many employers can end up in disputes with their employees because they did not ask the correct questions during the interview process and face challenges with the employees that could have been avoided if the employer followed the correct steps.

Below we have outlined some key considerations that every employer should take into account when interviewing potential employees.

1. Be prepared

Be clear on what your business is looking for. Write a list of characteristics and skills the business is needing from the prospective employee so that you may communicate this message clearly and efficiently. Prepare a detailed list of comprehensive interview questions and rate the employee against each metric (please see below for some helpful tips). Also include some space for any additional comments that you need to transcribe.

Ensure that you carefully read the employee’s application before the interview (not during the interview). Questions will come to mind during your review of their application and CV. Include these questions in the interview questions.

2. Ask for real life examples

Use experience-based questions by asking the candidate to give examples from their past. This will give you a better idea of how the potential employee will act in the future. These questions can relate to how they handled a stressful situation or how they managed a workplace dispute.

3. Ask open-ended questions

Ask open-ended questions for more detail and insight, by using why, who, where, how, what, when and tell questions, for example, “Tell me about a time when you’ve had a difficult client. How did you deal with the situation?”

Ask questions that look for the competencies you require for the role that you are hiring for, for example, in a leadership role, the prospective competencies would include team work, conflict resolution, initiative and client management.

4. Carefully observe the candidate

Don’t talk too much during the interview. Allow the candidate to respond. Watch non-verbal as well as verbal responses. Ask yourself – does the candidate appear to be comfortable and providing honest and balanced responses? Assess if the candidate is aware of their own weaknesses and isn’t “over selling” themselves.

5. Consider conducting multiple interviews

It is easy to be enthusiastic when we first meet, or interview someone. Consider conducting multiple interviews with multiple interviewers or different members or your team (if available) to gain a balanced view and diverse perspective.

Next Steps

Our trusted partner Business Kitz Pty Ltd provides templates to take the stress away from interviewing and recruiting potential employees. Please see the Business Kitz Recruitment Kit and the Business Kitz Human Resource Library for easy-to-use and comprehensive recruitment resources.

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