5 Proven Tips for Conducting an Effective Interview

We all know that to do well in an interview, we must prepare.  But few of us spend much time learning how to give an effective interview. After years of focusing on what to say as a candidate, we never think about what to say as an interviewer. 

Knowing how to garner genuine insight as to whether or not the candidate is the best person for your job requires skill.  Most interviewers are either too casual, and don’t bother asking the hard questions—or the opposite, and are too regimented.

Here, our consultants give you their 8 top tips for conducting the type of interviews that will save you from making the wrong hire.

Tip #1

Don’t machine gun fire questions.  Have a conversation.

Rather than rely on a set list of questions for your interview framework, think about it more like a conversation with the overarching goal of getting to know this person. Most of the time, it will be easy enough to naturally weave your questions into a fluid conversation about their work history, current position, skills, etc. Don’t miss out on a great follow-up conversation or useful side-track because you are trying hard to stick to your agenda.

Tip #2

Ask open ended questions. 

Try to use words like "how" and "why" when asking about something. The candidate can’t answer with a simple yes / no to questions like that. You will gain far more insight in a short time-frame than if you ask questions easily answered with a word or two.

Tip #3

Open arms. 

Don’t put anything between you and the candidate—even your arms (by crossing them).  Try not to have a note pad in your lap, or a recorder on the table between you.  Make sure you face the person directly. All of this helps to build a human connection and will aid you in determining whether or not the interviewee is a truly good fit for your organisation.

Tip #4

If you record the interview…

Sometimes Directors will want hiring managers to record interviews so that they can listen to them. If this is the case at your company, try not say things like, "ummm" and "ahhhh." While it sounds natural in everyday conversation, those little expressions will make you sound unprofessional and unconfident when played back. It is very hard to do, but if you practice, you will learn.

Tip #5

Say nothing. 

This is an old trick of the trade, but it works. Most candidates will have been interviewed many times before, and will know the questions you are likely to be ask. To prevent them from solely delivering their well-practised answers, wait for five seconds after they finish their last sentence and do not say anything. More often than not, that moment of silence will get them thinking and they will start speaking from the heart (giving you a much more rounded perspective).

About Oliver Parks

Oliver Parks offers search-based recruitment solutions to the technology sector, specialising in the ERP, CRM, CMS, ECM and Business Intelligence spaces. The firm’s multilingual consultants operate in narrowly-defined niche market segments, enabling them to gain extensive knowledge of the people and companies operating in each technology.  Oliver Parks has a proven track-record with more than 100,000 candidates worldwide and more than 300 clients globally.  For more information, please get in touch.