Joe feels comfortable and secure about his job advancement, but then one employee gives their two weeks’ notice. Now Joe realizes that part of his job requires him to do some hiring. He doesn’t remember taking a class on interviewing and knows nothing about it.

Interviewing can be just as or more stressful to the interviewer than the interviewee. The interviewee does better with practice, so does the interviewer. Here are some tips to help Interviewers, like our friend Joe.

Where to Start

One of the first steps is to review the job description for the position. The interviewer then develops a list of questions based on skills, education and experience requirements. The interviewer needs to have a clear idea of correct responses, ask general questions, be prepared for, and anticipate second and third party questions based on the candidate’s responses.

A good place for the interviewer to start is with a person’s background. This allows both the interviewer and the candidate to become comfortable (make eye contact). The interviewer doesn’t need to worry about phrasing questions in an eloquent manner. A few fumbled questions will put your interviewee more at ease.

Ask Open–ended Questions

The interviewer will get better results if he or she will ask open–ended questions, so the candidate will give out more information than just a simple yes or no. Open–ended questions begin with words such as how, What, Why, Describe, Tell me, Explain and When. Here are some examples:

  • How will you be able to contribute to this company?
  • What kind of management style do you prefer?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Describe some of the most significant responsibilities you have managed in a work environment.
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Explain to me a time when a good boss motivated you.

Topics to Avoid

There are a few topics to avoid including illegal questions. Some topics to avoid include:

  • Arrest records
  • Marital Status
  • Religion
  • Age
  • Disabilities
  • Worker’s compensation claims

The best guideline is if it doesn’t relate to the job, then the interviewer shouldn’t ask.

Listening Tools

The interviewer should follow the 70/30 rule, which is the interviewer listen 70% of the time during the interview and only talk 30% of the time. It is also good for the interviewer to paraphrase the interviewee’s answers to show they are listening.

The interview does not need to sound like an interrogation. The interviewer needs to be conversational. If the interviewee does stray into other subjects, it is the interviewer’s job to redirect as quickly as possible. He or she can do this by saying this for example: Before we move on, I would like to find out about.

Checking References

It is wise to check references anytime the interviewer is considering someone for employment. Checking references is one way to get good, solid information about the applicant.

It is a good idea to tell the applicant that you will be checking references. Additionally, the interviewer should evaluate negative references fairly. A negative response from one individual does not necessarily mean the candidate is unqualified, or vice versa one positive evaluation does not mean that the candidate is qualified. There needs to be more than one reference checked.

Just like any job candidate should research the candidate, you should research your candidates. Any money spent ensuring that a job seeker would be a good fit for the company is money you avoid wasting to rehire at a later date.