10 Effective Interview Techniques for Assessing Candidates

The interview process is often the most critical phase in the hiring cycle. While CVs provide insights into a candidate’s background and skills, the interview delves deeper, unveiling their personality, values, and potential fit for your organisation.

Mastering the art of interviewing is paramount for any manager aiming to identify the best talent. Let’s explore some essential techniques to effectively assess candidates and elevate your interviewing prowess.

1. Preparation is Key

Before conducting the interview, invest time in understanding the job requirements, studying the candidate’s CV, and planning the questions you intend to ask. A well-prepared interviewer fosters a more focused and meaningful conversation.

2. Behavioural-Based Questions

The principle behind behavioural interviewing is that past behaviour predicts future performance. By asking candidates about specific situations they’ve encountered and how they responded, you can gauge their skills, decision-making capabilities, and problem-solving prowess. Examples include:

  • “Describe a time when you faced a significant challenge at work and how you overcame it.”
  • “Tell me about a project where you had to collaborate with a challenging team member.”

3. Situational Questions

While behavioural questions focus on past experiences, situational questions project hypothetical, future-oriented conditions. They help evaluate a candidate’s critical thinking and adaptability. For instance:

  • “How would you handle a situation where you have multiple projects with the same deadline?”

4. Open-Ended Questions

Encourage candidates to think and articulate their thoughts, feelings, and motivations. Open-ended questions prevent yes-no answers and often reveal more about a candidate’s personality and mindset.

  • “What motivates you in your professional life?”
  • “How do you define success in your role?”

5. Active Listening

While asking the right questions is crucial, the ability to listen actively to candidates’ responses is equally essential. This means fully concentrating, understanding, and then responding. It often reveals the nuances behind a candidate’s words, providing insights into their attitudes and values.

6. Take Notes

Jot down key points during the interview to help you remember significant details about the candidate’s answers. These notes are invaluable when comparing multiple candidates or when discussing impressions with other interviewers.

7. Evaluate Cultural Fit

Beyond the skills and experiences, ensure the candidate aligns with the company’s culture and values. Ask questions related to teamwork, work ethics, or how they handle feedback. Their answers can provide insights into whether they’ll thrive in your organisational environment.

8. Give Them the Floor

Allocate time towards the end of the interview for candidates to ask questions. Their queries can reveal their priorities, how much research they’ve done about your company, and their genuine interest in the role.

9. Consistent Criteria

To maintain fairness and avoid biases, ensure that you’re evaluating all candidates based on the same criteria. It’s beneficial to have a scorecard or a structured evaluation form to rate each candidate post-interview.

10. Post-Interview Reflection

After the interview, take a few moments to reflect. Consider not just the candidate’s qualifications but also your gut feeling about how they would fit in the role and within the organisation.

Bringing it all together

The interview process is both an art and a science, requiring a balanced approach of structured questioning and genuine human connection. By honing these effective techniques, managers can elevate their ability to discern and select top talent, ensuring the ongoing success and growth of their business.

Are you looking to expand your team? Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.

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