How to Interview Someone

How to Interview Someone

If you are involved in screening applicants who are interested in working for your company, it's essential that you take the interviewing process seriously. Here are a few tips that can help you properly prepare and conduct employment interviews.

Review Job Description

Before interviewing someone for a position with your company, take the time to review the job description ahead of time. It's essential for interviewers to know exactly what's involved in performing a job if they are going to have a say in who will be hired to fill the position.

Review Resume or Application

Spend a few minutes glancing over the candidate's resume or completed job application form before the interview so that you will have an idea of the person's background, skills, and previous experience.

Put Candidate at Ease

Going on a job interview is a nerve wracking process for the person seeking employment. At the outset of the interview, put the candidate at ease. Shake the applicant's hand, thank him or her for coming in, make appropriate small talk, and provide a preview of how the discussion will go during the interview.

Assess Interest

Ask interview questions designed to determine if the candidate has a solid understanding of what the job entails and to determine if he or she is truly interested in the position.

Example inquiries include:

Tell me your understanding of this position.

Please describe what you think a typical day is like in this job.

Relate Skills to Position

Ask the candidates to describe the skills they have that are relevant to the job.

For example, ask: Which of your skills will benefit you most in performing this job? How has your experience doing "X" prepared you for this new position?

Clarify Essential Job Functions

Ask questions designed to help you determine if the applicant has the ability to handle the essential functions of the job. Example questions include: This job requires standing for eight hours per day. Is there any reason why you would not be able to do that? The person who is hired for this job will be required to work until 7 pm two nights per week on a rotating schedule. Is there any reason why you would be unable to work this schedule?

Behavioral Expectations

Since the best predictor of future behavior tends to be past behavior, include some behavior based interview questions in the interview. Ask questions that involve asking the applicant to describe a real situation he or she has dealt with in the past, explain how he or she handled the situation, and state the outcome.

Legal Considerations

Be careful not to ask any questions that may lead the applicant to provide you with information that cannot be used in consideration for hiring. Do not ask questions related to age, race, color, religion, national origin, sex, or disability status. Using information related to these topics when making hiring decisions is discriminatory, so interviewers should avoid inquiring about these things.

Remain Professional

As n interviewer representing your company, it is essential to remain professional throughout the entire process. Remember that your actions will have an impact on the applicant's opinion about the company's image and the types of behaviors that are valued and rewarded in your organization.

For more tips and information related to conducting job interviews, see see How to Conduct an Interview.

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How to Interview Someone