There are a lot of articles out there to teach people how to behave or present yourself in an interview but there is not much of people teaching the interviewers how to conduct one. Everyone just figure out the HR will teach anyways. Unless you are in a big company, chances are you are just going to learn on the job how to conduct an interview properly.
Beside the receptionist, you probably be the first person the interviewees sees. So you are the representative of the company. Dress according to your company’s culture. If your company is into jeans (yay!), you can wear your jeans but pair up with a nicer top. If your company like most companies are into business wear, wearing shirt and pencil skirt is good. Don’t be overly sexy and don’t be over the top. If the interviewee is hired, the person is probably going to try to dress similar to you on their first day of work to be safe.
Most importantly, wear a smile. Most interviewees are nervous and you wearing your warm smile will put them at ease.
Please do go through the interviewee’s resume before you meet the interviewee. I don’t mean right before, I mean read it properly. The interviewee took his time and effort to write it so take your time and go through it. Try to remember the key points of the resume and not keep looking and reading their resume in front of the interviewee. If you have a pool of candidates to interview in the same day, you can note down 3 – 5 key points on a separate piece of paper.
Be welcoming in your body language and smile, smile, smile. One thing I dislike is having the interviewer looking at his laptop while talking to me. Have a proper conversation with the other party, be genuine in knowing the person sitting across to you.
4. Don’t Judge please…
Perhaps you think the candidate is not suitable within 10mins into the interview, please don’t be quick to judge. Give the benefit of the doubt, the candidate is nervous or shy or both. Let him warm up. If your interview is scheduled for half an hour, please do the full half an hour. It reflects on your company as well. In my previous company, we are encouraged by our HR to give wholesome interview experience to every candidate.
Interviewers usually asked this question “Why do you want to join us?” Don’t. Because honest answers would probably be money or promotion prospects. The rest of the answers will be politically correct such as “I have admire your company for so long” or “Because I want to challenge myself.”
If it’s a fresh graduate candidate, ask them why they want to go into this field they are applying. Or ask them if they know what this role is about. I noticed a lot of candidates I interviewed does not know what they are applying for. Job descriptions put up by HR on the ad might not be as accurate as real life and words can be misinterpreted.
6. Balance with Qualifications & Experiences
Unless you are interviewing a professional such as a lawyer or engineer or accountant where they must have the right relevant qualifications, please take experiences into stronger consideration. You want someone who can work in real life and not quote from the books. So please do not discount those who does not have a degree or masters or PhD if you are interviewing for administration or sales or customer services or retail because these are the areas where having real work experiences counts more than top honors.
7. Constructive Criticism
If possible, be nice and give feedback at the end of the interview. You don’t have to reveal the results of the interview but it’s good if you can let the interviewee know what are the areas to improve on. Keep it short, just a point or two and don’t turn it into a lecture. I usually will provide the advice and direct them to free resources online to improve.
You can discuss with HR and your superior whether the candidates brought in was suitable for the role you are looking for but please keep your mouth close and do not discuss anymore with anyone else. If it is a critical position, you may seek outside sources’ referrals however, keep that to a minimum. Always respect the privacy of the candidates. Well, if you are searching for the greener pasture, you probably will not tell your current company until you get the job.
Lastly, interviewers, please remember there might be a day where tables are turned and it might be the very same candidate sitting across the table interviewing you for your next job.
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