13 Useful Tips For Interviewers And Hiring Managers

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 29 January 2023

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.

Most interviewers follow a set system when conducting a job interview so that they can glean key information about a candidate. Effective interviewing often involves preparation, active listening and asking the right questions to the right candidates. If you are planning a career in human resources, you can benefit from learning some interviewing tips and best practices. In this article, we share some useful tips for interviewers that you can follow to improve your interview process.

Related: What Is An Interview? (Types Of Interviews And Formats)

13 Tips For Interviewers

Here are some useful tips for interviewers and hiring managers who want to conduct effective interviews:

1. Understand what you are looking for in an employee

You can start interviewing a candidate once you know what you are looking for in a potential employee. Identify what kind of talent the company needs to help you narrow down your search. Explore what qualifications you want the candidate to possess to better screen and interview them. Understand if there is a minimum threshold for qualifications and experience to aid you in your search. Determine what the needs are for the company you work for and note the important requirements before moving forward with the interview process.

Related: How To Evaluate Interview Candidates: A Step-By-Step Guide

2. Verify the candidate's details

Before you interview a candidate, make sure you are ready with all the relevant information about them. The easiest thing to do here is to have a printout of the candidate's resume with you when you interview them. This can make it easy to ask questions about their experience and educational background. Verifying a candidate's contact information before starting the interview process is helpful. Ensure that the contact number, email address and residential address that the candidate provided on their resume are correct. This can help you communicate with them easily in the post - interview period.

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3. Begin the interview process slowly to ease the candidate

Start slowly and further speed up the interview process. Creating an easy rhythm and humanising the interaction helps the candidate relax, making the conversation easy for both parties. A great tip is to put the candidate at ease by welcoming them and having a quick conversation about a shared topic. After making the candidate comfortable, you can start the interview process with softer questions about where they grew up, where they are from and what they do currently. As the interview proceeds, you can ask more in - depth questions on job - related topics.

4. Be polite and professional

Always use a professional and formal tone when interacting with a candidate during an interview. Be sure to use professional courtesies, especially when beginning the interview with a candidate. There can be a few semi - casual instances in the conversation, but ensure that the interaction does not get too informal. Maintain a professional stance in your choice of words and actions.

5. Listen to the candidate

An interview is more about what the candidate has to say in response to the questions that you posed to them and less about what you want to say. Allow the candidate to respond and give them opportunities to express themselves. This can help you assess their response and help you understand their personality. Active listening can help you to engage with the candidate and understand what they want to say. Ensure that you listen to them and avoid interrupting them frequently when they speak. Wait for them to finish speaking and then pose your argument or follow - up question.

Related: Active Listening Skills: Definition And Examples

6. Do your pre - interview homework

To help yourself better interview a candidate, you can do some pre - interview homework and get to know more about the candidate. Go through the details of the person you are going to interview, starting with the primary contact and personal information. Understand their academic performance and employment history and assess their strengths and weaknesses.

Researching the candidate may give you a detailed picture of them, which may help you with the interview process. You can note anything that interests you about the candidate and ask them if you want to know more about the same. As an interviewer, you can also scan through their social media profiles to get an idea about their values, qualities and thoughts.

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7. Have a structured interview questionnaire

Structure your interview in a way that has a rhythm and flow, with a systematic approach to how you pose each question to a candidate. Check that the interview structure has consistency and does not feel like you are starting with questions on experience, moving on to an introduction and then jumping back to experience once again. Have a list of questions that are important to the interview process. Here are some commonly asked questions:

  • How did you hear about this position?

  • Why are you interested in this position?

  • What makes you a good fit for this position?

  • Tell me about a time when you had to overcome a challenge at work.

  • Tell me about a time when you made a mistake at work and how you handled it.

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

8. Ask specific questions

Specific questions mean focussing on certain details and receiving more information about a candidate's work and experience. Asking questions like What are your strengths and weaknesses? or Where do you see yourself in five years? can help you get specific information from the candidate.

For example, if you are looking for someone who is very detail - oriented, you may find that a few candidates talk about how they like to be organised and how much they like to plan. But if you ask more specific questions about how this candidate organises their workday, they might tell you they rely heavily on reminders from their phone or email calendar. This tells you more than just their general attitude towards the organisation. It also shows you what kind of technology they prefer and how they use it.

9. Ask some open-ended questions

A balanced mix of close - and open - ended questions often works well for an interviewer. Open - ended questions give a candidate the opportunity to provide subjective answers. These answers can further help you understand the candidate's thoughts and views. Open - ended questions like Where do you see yourself in the next five years? or What do you think are the areas where the company can improve? can help you assess the candidate's opinion.

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10. Avoid discriminating questions

Avoid asking questions that might discriminate against the candidate. This includes questions about their age, race, religion or sexual orientation. Also, avoid asking questions that the candidate could perceive as invasive or personal. Stick to questions that pertain directly to the job and the candidate's qualifications.

11. Watch for non-verbal cues

If you are interviewing a candidate in person or via video call, you can check for non - verbal, behavioural cues. This includes noticing the candidate's hand gestures, posture and attentiveness during the interview. Aspects like personal grooming, especially for in - person interviews, can help you assess the candidate's personality to see if it fits well with the company's ethos. Ensure that you make notes about any of these behaviours so you can gain clarity when you decide on a candidate's competencies after the interview.

Related: What Are Channels Of Communication? (Importance And Types)

12. Notify the candidate about the next steps

When closing an interview, make sure that you thank the candidate for their time and patience. Express your gratitude for interviewing with the company. After you have completed interviewing the candidate, you can ask if they have any questions and then answer them to your knowledge. Notify the candidate about the next steps. For example, you can ask them to keep checking for a reply on email for the next steps. Informing about the status of their candidature helps the candidate remain calm and gives them some closure in case of rejection.

Related: How To Notify A Selected Candidate: Template And Examples

13. Emphasise the job's good characteristics

Emphasising the job's good characteristics to a candidate may help you get them excited about working for the company. To do this effectively, articulate what makes the job exciting and why it would be a great fit for the candidate. Be sure to take the time to explain what the company does and what the team is like.

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