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How To Conduct a Successful Interview

Interviews are notoriously nerve-racking, but not just for the job applicant. Conducting an interview also requires a high degree of preparedness and quick decision-making. Consider a few pieces of advice that may help you to plan and undertake your work as an interviewer with confidence.

1. Screen Applicants

One of the most important steps in overseeing a useful interview actually takes place before the interview even begins. Namely, you must narrow down your list of applicants. This is necessary because trying to meet dozens and dozens of potential employees in person is unrealistic. It would not only put a strain on your time, but would also require you to keep interviews so short that they would no longer be effective. A good way to screen applicants is to require a copy of their resume ahead of time, so that you prioritize the most qualified candidates. Depending on the type of position available, you may also want to look into background check services for employers.  

2. Create a Welcoming Environment

There are some situations where it may be necessary for an interviewer to put some pressure on the interviewee. For example, if you are trying to fill a position that involves handling emergency situations, you will need to be confident that a candidate works well under stress. This being said, creating a stressful interview environment may also prevent you from having meaningful discussions and truly getting to know each candidate.

3. Be Creative With Your Questions

Another tip you may want to consider is asking some non-traditional interview questions. Many applicants have memorized answers to common questions. While these answers may still be sincere, they can sometimes give you a false representation of a candidate. Try including a question or two that requires interviewees to think through an ethical dilemma or a job-specific problem, for instance.

4. Incorporate Skill-Based Tasks

Depending on the job, you may also find it useful to ask applicants to complete some sort of task that is directly related to the position for which they are applying. For example, it might be helpful to know the typing speed of those applying for a position as a transcriptionist. Similarly, writing samples often come in handy when looking for a candidate to fill a position at a newspaper. Skill-based tasks could reveal a promising candidate who may not look as qualified on paper.

Finding just the right person to join your team is no easy task. Even so, with the right interview tools, you can unearth each applicant’s true aptitudes and match them to your company’s needs with precision.

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