The interview is by far the most important piece of the recruitment process. It is an opportunity for you to hone in on the information that is most important to you, and to try to gain insight on whether this candidate will be a good fit in your organization. The most successful hiring managers recognize that not only are they interviewing the candidate, but their ideal candidates are also interviewing them.

Here are a few tips to help you interview with confidence, leave a positive impression, and have the candidate walk away telling everyone what a great experience they had. 

Look and Act Professional

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” This is just as true for you as it is for the candidates applying. From the moment they walk in the door, strong candidates are starting to analyze everything about your company. They will be observing the professionalism and cleanliness of your space. They will be gauging your company by the interactions they have with other team members. Be sure to set the tone for a positive experience with your team. 

Make It Easy for Them to Talk

Even for the most confident of candidates, interviews can be stressful. It is up to you to make the candidate feel welcome. Starting the conversation with a little casual small talk will help ease a candidate’s nerves and start the rapport building process. It is important to keep in mind that occasionally the best person for the job is also sometimes the one with the worst interview skills. Show them you are easy to talk with, and the conversation will flow. 



Give Them Your Attention

Turn off your distractions. This could be your email, your office phone, and yes – your cell phone too. It is crucial to show candidates that you are respecting their time just as much as you want them to respect yours. In the off case you can’t turn off your distractions, letting a candidate know ahead of time will go a long way to show them you do see them as a priority. While all interviews should be genuine conversations, be sure to keep focused on the questions you prepared. 

Prepare Ahead of Time

Take time before the interview to review the candidate’s resume and cover letter. You may also find that reviewing the job description at the same time will help you compare strengths and weaknesses in the resume, allowing you to hone in on the most important questions to ask. Making notes or highlights on the resume will also demonstrate to the candidate that you are taking this process, and them as a candidate, seriously. 



Take Notes

No matter how good you think your memory is, taking notes is essential. Chances are, you are interviewing multiple candidates, and notes will help you accurately recall what a candidate said or how they reacted to certain questions. While you will probably be left with a gut reaction, and certain candidates may stand out in your mind for various reasons, these notes will allow you to focus on what was said and evaluate candidates on the meat of the conversation versus the feeling you got from them. 









Probe For Details

Some candidates may not be as descriptive as others. The best interview questions are open ended and encourage the candidate to tell a story versus giving a simple answer. The thing to keep in mind is that open ended questions also most often require candidates to pause, reflect, and then answer. Be sure to give them the opportunity to do that. When all else fails and you want more information on a certain topic, just ask “Can you tell me a little more about that?”