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Employer Interview

An interview is a two-way street; it is a chance for you (the potential employer) to meet and evaluate a candidate and to get to know them on a more personal basis.  It also gives the candidate a better sense of your organization.  Both can assess the fit. It can also be an opportunity for current employees to learn a bit about a potential co-worker which might help with accepting the changing workplace. 

As the interviewer, it is you that provides the first impression. Some advance preparation is in order.  Your starting point, before scheduling a job interview with a candidate, is to review each candidate's resume and cover letter.  A good review will help you select the best talent and will provide questions that can be used during a telephone interview screening and later for a more comprehensive interview.

If you think a list of 25 questions makes for an effective interview, don’t bother; just send them the questionnaire and be done with it. However, if you want the most out of your interviews, you must understand that the best interviews act and feel like conversations.

Candidates aren't willing to admit any inadequacies during an interview and some are hesitant about singing their own praises for fear they will seem like braggarts.  It is your job to find out if the person seated across from you can help your company reach its goals.  You want to design yur interview to find out more than the candidate wants to reveal. 

So how do you do that? Some keys to to successful interviewing.

1. Review the candidate's written qualifications. Whether your prospect hands you a resume or fills out a standard application in your office prior to the interview, give the page a thorough read before actually starting the interview and recheck during your interview.

2. Provide a clear, concise description of what the job entails. You have probably already done this to a certain extent on the phone, but do it again anyway. Take an extra minute to be sure you are both on the same page. Now is the time to express your hopes (or doubts) about the prospect's ability to handle the job.  Listen to what the candidate says.

3. Make your businesss standards clear. Once you have thoroughly fleshed out the prospect's thoughts about the job, it is a good idea to walk him through the work area and talk more specifically about what it takes to achieve your standards. Potential co-workers can aid with this process. Watch for non-verbal clues  that might indicate the prospects degree of enthusiasm and people skills. Introduce other employees who are not involved in the hiring process and watch the candidate’s behavior. Look for certain things like politeness, eye contact, and manners (especially important for positions that expressly manage other staff).

4. Try to pin down the candidate's abilities and insecurities about the work that he/she might be required to do. 

5. Listen to your prospect. Refer to the tips for good listening.

6. Do not make a hasty decision.  Wait until you have an opportunity to replay the interview.   The candidate my come back with information that tips the scales or you could find a new reason why this candidate is not suitable that did not occur to you during the interview.   Both you and the candidate deserve time to think before agreeing to anything. You may decide that more than one interview is needed or that you may need some additional expertise to interview the candidate.   Taking the time to make sure a prospect is a good fit for you in the beginning will lessen the odds that you will soon be looking to hire his replacement.

7. Remember, an interview is a stressful process for all. The Candidates performance during a short interview period does not necessarily reflect what they do on a day-to-day basis. Talk to your candidate.   A conversational style will give you a better idea about the person, their ability to reason, and their compatibility with you and your company’s culture. The technical aspects are easy to assess, but the intangibles are what will set a great candidate apart from the merely qualified. positions that expressly manage other staff).

8. It is sometimes wise to see how the candidate interacts with others in a personal setting, whether it’s lunch outside the office or walking to grab a cup of coffee. You want to see him or her in public with strangers; it will tell you a lot about how the candidate with deal with clients and other officials involved in the engineering process.

|Effective Listening |Phone Etiquette|