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How to Properly Conduct a Job Interview

Job interviews can be as nerve-racking for hiring team members as it is for candidates. After all, it’s a two-way process, and for an employer, it can make or break a really important decision: will you embrace a potential hire or cut them off at this point? The stakes are high.

The good news is: With the right understanding and a little preparation, every member of your interview team can be more than ready when the time comes. It’s a process – and here are some tips for success at every stage:

Be prepared.

Make this your motto in advance of every interview. Have a game plan. This should include a checklist of hard and soft skills required for a job, interview questions, and talking points for anything you anticipate a candidate might ask. The plan doesn’t have to be followed to the letter, but nor should interviewees veer too far off course.

Facilitate the conversation.

The secret to a good interview is connecting with a candidate. So, keep the tone friendly yet professional, and try to find something interesting on an applicant’s resume or cover letter to break the ice. This will lay the groundwork. From here, continue to use eye contact, smiling, and friendly curiosity to establish rapport and keep the conversation flowing.

Get to know your candidate.

This is the whole point, yes? A good way to work on that needed rapport is to ask, “Why do you think you’re a good fit for this job?” This invites a candidate to share their reason for applying. It also enables you to gauge their levels of genuine interest, self-awareness, and motivation.

Learn a person’s work style.

It’s very helpful to check on this now to avoid friction in the workplace later on. Ask an applicant to describe a typical day in their current or most recent role. Then listen to understand how they structure their time, prioritize tasks, adapt, handle crises, and how long it takes them to get things done. Is this rhythm and pace consistent with your workplace?

Finish strong.

If you haven’t already, toward the latter part of an interview, scope out a candidate’s professional goals to see if they will grow with your organization. Where does this position fit in the larger picture of their career trajectory? Once you get the response you need, you should also:

  • Let them ask their own questions.
  • Explain what the next steps are in your hiring process.
  • Document key details of an interview so you don’t forget anything and are well prepared to share and elaborate on them when you debrief with colleagues.
  • The PrideStaff Modesto team can help with strategic staffing solutions at every step of your hiring process, starting with candidate sourcing, selection, and successful interviewing. We’ll ensure all your s short and long-term needs are met – including both temporary and direct-hire options – and that you can be confident in every hire. Contact us today to learn more.

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