Impactful Interviews

The Art of Effective Interviewing

As you know, hiring the right talent is essential for driving your business’s growth and success. Conducting effective interviews is a critical step in the hiring process, allowing you to assess a candidate’s skills, experience, and fit for the role and organisation. Let’s look at five tips to help you master the art of effective interviewing.  

1. Prepare Thoroughly
Before conducting interviews, take the time to thoroughly prepare by reviewing each candidate’s CV, cover letter, and any other application materials. Familiarise yourself with the job description and key requirements of the role and understand the skills and attributes needed. This will help you to ask relevant questions and assess candidates effectively. Consider developing a structured interview guide with standardised questions to ensure consistency and fairness across all interviews.

2. Focus on Behavioural Questions
Behavioural questions are designed to elicit specific examples of candidates’ past experiences and behaviours, providing valuable insights into how they may perform in the role. Instead of asking hypothetical or theoretical questions, focus on asking candidates to describe situations they have encountered in previous roles and how they handled them. For example, “Can you tell me about a time when you had to resolve a conflict with a team member? How did you approach the situation, and what was the outcome?” If the skill or experience is important to the role, look for corroborating evidence that the candidate has dealt with the situation more than once.

3. Listen Actively
Effective interviewing involves active listening to understand candidates’ responses fully. Avoid interrupting or rushing candidates through their answers, and instead, give them the opportunity to articulate their experiences and perspectives. Pay attention to verbal and non-verbal cues, such as tone of voice, body language, and communication style, to assess candidates’ level of engagement, enthusiasm, and suitability for the role. Don’t be afraid to ask for more details and don’t be afraid to redirect your candidate if they are not answering the question.

4. Assess Cultural Fit
In addition to evaluating candidates’ skills and qualifications, and equally important, is assessing their cultural fit with the organisation and team. Consider factors such as values, work ethic, communication style, and compatibility with company culture. Ask questions that probe candidates’ attitudes, motivations, and alignment with the organisation’s mission, vision, and core values. For example, “How do you approach teamwork and collaboration? Can you give an example of a time when you contributed to a positive team dynamic?” Think also about the management style of the team they might be joining. How will the person work with the manager of the team?

5. Follow Up Promptly
After conducting interviews, follow up promptly with candidates to provide feedback and next steps. Keep candidates informed about the status of their application and any further steps in the hiring process. If you can, provide constructive feedback to unsuccessful candidates, highlighting areas for improvement and offering encouragement for future opportunities. Maintaining clear and timely communication demonstrates professionalism, respect, and a positive candidate experience, regardless of the outcome.

The interview, while imperfect, is an important way to identify and hire the right talent for you organisation. Following the steps above can help you can conduct interviews that yield valuable insights and lead to successful hires.

At HR Ready, we are dedicated to helping companies navigate the hiring process and build inclusive, high-performing teams. Please get in touch with a member of the team who will be able to support you further at info@hrready.co.uk or 01223 641 017.

Associated courses available.
Interview Skills Please link to 2024 Training Calendar page