Interviewing is a very particular
skill which you will develop as you gain experience. Research has shown that
what appears to be a more informal chat than a grilling tends to put a
candidate at ease and elicit a more honest response, giving you valuable
insight into their personality traits rather than simply an understanding of
their skills and experience. The following notes are designed to give you
initial guidance for good interview practice, in time, you will develop your
own personal approach.
Begin by having a number of set
questions which you ask every candidate. These questions should be based around
the requirement of the job. By asking the same questions and taking notes of
the responses, you will be able to draw a direct comparison between each
candidate, helping you to decide most effectively and fairly which candidate is
most suitable. It is also important to explain at the outset your intention to
take notes and the reason behind this. You should also gain the candidates
agreement before proceeding.
Try to ensure that the questions
are open, for example, how, when, why etc. giving the candidate the opportunity
to answer fully, rather than responding with a simple yes or no. Try to
avoid interrupting their answers or leading them in any direction. Summarise
their responses back to them and gain agreement, before making notes, to ensure
that you have fully understood what they are trying to communicate. If a
candidate has not answered a particular question to your satisfaction, dont be
afraid to question them further until you receive a response that you are happy
Dont be tempted to talk too much
and fill any potentially uncomfortable moments of silence, silence can be a
very effective way of encouraging the interviewee to offer up more information.
Dont forget the importance of
first impressions and body language. The initial shaking of the hand and
introduction can tell you so much about a person, as can their ongoing seating
position, use of hands and use of eye contact.
Remember to keep your knowledge
of employment legislation up to date, especially with regards to
discrimination. Avoid using any descriptions or words which could potentially
preclude candidates based on their physical ability, colour, sex or religion.
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