10 Interview Guidelines For Human Resources Professionals

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 17 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Interviews are a crucial part of the hiring process and a great opportunity for the candidate and the hiring manager to know each other better. Following a set of guidelines while interviewing can help you ask the right questions to the candidate and also make them feel comfortable. If you are a hiring manager or a human resources professional, following some guidelines can also help you hire the right candidates for the job. In this article, we discuss ten interview guidelines you can follow to conduct an interview effectively.

10 Essential Interview Guidelines To Follow

Along with helping in assessing the candidate better, interview guidelines can also help in displaying the professionalism of the hiring manager and the company. It may also help the candidate and the recruiter to understand each other's expectations. Here are ten guidelines you can follow while conducting an interview:

1. Establish position requirement priorities

Determine the criteria and the job requirements before conducting the interview. List out all the requirements that apply to the job and also identify the criteria that the candidate may meet to be eligible for the job. You can note them down based on the priority. Also, refer to the job posting and identify what requirements are absolutely necessary and what are the ones about which you can be flexible. A candidate may not meet all the requirements. It is important to identify the criteria that they can fulfil through training after they get the job.

Related: What Is A Structured Interview? (With Example Questions)

2. Communicate with human resources

Once you prepare your interview materials, consider asking a human resources professional to review them. It is important to get feedback on the questions you prepare. HR professionals are aware of the legal aspects of hiring candidates and can help you avoid any questions that may violate lawful interview conduct. They may also help you add or remove questions based on their effectiveness, relevance to the job and appropriateness.

Related: Human Resource Planning: Meaning, Importance And Key Steps

3. Put together a diverse hiring team

Form a diverse hiring team for the interview process. This includes everything from shortlisting candidates to rolling out job offers. Doing so can ensure that the entire process is seamless and that you have divided the responsibilities equally among each team member. It can also make all the team members feel that they share equal importance in the hiring process. Besides, a diverse team can help you assess candidates through various viewpoints and hire the best ones for the jobs.

Related: 12 Essential Virtual Interviewing Tips For Hiring Managers

4. Review job applications in advance

It is a good practice to thoroughly review a candidate's job application before the interview. This may allow you to learn more about them and form questions accordingly. It may also provide you with information about which you may not ask direct questions to the candidate. This includes questions related to caste, gender or disabilities.

5. Develop a welcoming environment

Your interview is more likely to succeed if you develop a welcoming, distraction-free environment in which you conduct it. It can benefit you and the candidate by helping you in staying focused on the interview. Ensure that the room is quiet and well-lit. Remove the items that you may not require during the interview. Greet the candidate with a smile as they enter the room. Also, ask them questions to ensure that they are comfortable before beginning the interview. This may make them feel welcomed and relaxed, and allow them to perform well.

Related: 15 Recruitment Objectives To Improve Your Hiring Process

6. Avoid asking personal or unfit questions

It is important to understand which questions to avoid during an interview. Some questions may be too personal or inappropriate for the candidate. This can make them feel uncomfortable. Here are some topics you may avoid talking about during an interview:

  • Affiliations: Focus only on asking about applicable professional associations rather than about their membership or affiliations in groups or unions.

  • Age-related: Some candidates may become conscious if you ask them age-related questions. Instead of asking your interviewee about their age or maturity, simply express to them that if you decide to hire them, they may require providing documentation of being a legal adult.

  • Appearance: Talking about appearance can be too personal for some candidates. Rather than making comments about their appearance focus on their abilities and experiences related to the position.

  • Disability: Though you may ask a candidate about their ability to perform work with or without reasonable accommodations, you may not ask them about any disabilities. You can gather this information beforehand from the candidate's job application.

  • Drug use: Instead of asking a candidate about drug abuse or offences, you can ask them if they are currently using any kinds of illegal drugs.

  • Family status: You may want to avoid asking candidates questions about their children, but if they are interested in family-oriented conversation, you can listen and answer their questions.

  • Financial status: Finance can be an uncomfortable topic for some candidates. Instead of asking them about their financial status, you can ask the candidate about their skills and approaches to financial situations.

  • Gender: Though you may ask if the candidate has worked using other names, do not make assumptions about their gender. Always ask candidates for their preferred pronouns.

  • Race-related: Avoid asking candidates if they belong to a specific race or caste. Instead, focus on their relevant skills and background.

  • Relationships: This may be a personal topic for most of the candidates. Although you may avoid questions about a candidate's current relationships or marital status, you can engage in a genuine conversation about their family if they offer the information.

  • Religion: You may ask about workdays the candidate may need off due to religious reasons, but do not ask them about their religious beliefs.

Related: How To Find Employees In 6 Steps: A Complete Guide With Tips

7. Document the interview process

Ensure to document the entire interview session. You can record the session on audio or on video. If you do so, make sure you inform that candidate of this beforehand. This can help you in assessing the candidate later on if required. It may also serve as proof of the questions you asked and your and the candidate's conduct. You may also take notes during the interview. Keeping a record of candidates' responses can help you compare them post-interview and determine which candidate is the best match for the job.

Related: What Is An Interview Process? Definition And Steps Involved

8. Maintain neutral body language

It is important to maintain neutral body language throughout the interview. Avoid any prominent facial expressions or sudden hand gestures that may alert the candidate. For example, if the candidate's response is unexpected or surprising, keep your facial expressions neutral instead of reacting to the response. This can help you maintain your body language and ensure that the candidate feels comfortable answering your questions. Also, avoid taking too many notes during the interview. Note down only those responses that are important for you to make a decision about the candidate's application.

Related: Recruitment Process: A Step-By-Step Guide

9. Refer to the candidate's resume

You can refer to the candidate's resume while asking questions during the interview. Based on the information they have provided on their resume, you can add or remove certain questions. This also gives you an opportunity to verify if the information the candidate has mentioned on their document is accurate.

10. Ensure all questions are relevant to the job

One of the most important interview guidelines to follow when developing your interview materials is to ensure that the interview questions are relevant to the job. Be sure to avoid asking personal or unfit questions, but also create your questions to be job-related. This can increase interview efficiency and make everybody involved more comfortable. To present yourself professionally, stay focused on the relevant aspects of the position.

Explore more articles