Back to Basics: Tips for Conducting an Interview


If you were ever an interviewee, you probably didn’t take notes on how to be the interviewer. When conducting an interview, you are a leading example of how your company operates. Go into it prepared and ready to make a good impression.


Here are 10 tips for conducting an interview:


1. Prepare

The very first thing you’ll want to keep in mind is what type of candidate your team needs. The person(s) you interview will fill a gap in your team. What do you want the outcome to be? What are the deal breakers?

Gather background from the prospect’s resume and highlight points you want to ask them about during your conversation. Perhaps they have an employment gap or a relevant project you want to discuss. A little preparation will help you gain insightful questions to ask and avoid questions that their resume already answers.


2. Small talk

Start with a conversation about the person (not the job) to ease any tensions they might have. It will also give you a good idea of their personality, something you’ll want to be aware of as you bring new members aboard.

If you are interviewing in person, give the candidate a tour of the office to paint them a better picture of the setting – especially if it’s an onsite role and your office space is a selling point. It might even help generate workplace-related questions and spark useful conversation.


3. Brief background

Give them an overview of the company and where they would play a role in growing it. If appropriate, give a quick intro to your role as well. Remember to maintain eye contact and do not do all the talking. The majority of the conversation should be listening rather than speaking.


4. Outline

Give the candidate an idea of how the process will go from the interview to the next steps. Provide an overview so they can adjust their expectations and so you can stay organized.


5. Ask questions

Save time by asking well-rounded questions that reveal their skill level, critical thinking, and ambitions. You can find a range of questions to ask, from pre-interview, during the interview, and exit interviews, right on our website. Here are some examples:



6. Look for cues

As you conduct an interview, look for clues that reveal if the candidate has potential or if it’s mutually not the right fit. Think back to your hiring intentions and the standards you want to hold up in your business. Are you looking for a go-getter who’s great at communicating? Or someone who might lack confidence but is an excellent problem-solver? Keep in mind what you can and can’t ask during an interview.


7. Answer questions

Ask your candidate if they have any questions you can answer. Questions they ask could reveal their interest in the role and preparedness for the interview, while helping them learn more about the job. Be prepared to answer their questions. At the very least, you should know the start date, the team they will be working with, why the position is open in the first place, and what you like most about working there.


8. Own your process

You’re the leader conducting this interview. Keep the conversation on-topic and on schedule. Have a checklist of things you want to go over and a timeline for the discussion, so you don’t forget anything. Come prepared with their resume and qualifications for the role.


9. Take notes

If you are interviewing multiple candidates over a short period of time, you are going to want to take notes. Not only about points on their resume but also things that come up in conversation that you liked or didn’t like.


10. Follow-up

The prospect will probably thank you for your time and ask for the next steps. Be respectful by letting them know your decision as soon as possible, whether it’s good or bad news. If they are an excellent fit for the job, the sooner you let them know, the less time they will spend finding opportunities elsewhere – especially during a candidate’s market.


To some, this may all be interviewing 101, but going back to basics will ensure you come across as an organization they would want to work for.


Sound like more than interviewing basics? Our IT recruiters have experience placing hundreds of top IT professionals successfully. We understand the value of a great hire and the time it can take to make a successful one. As a niche staffing firm, we take the legwork out of hiring so you can focus on what you do best. From cultivating relationships to administrating screening, interview prep, and more, our team is here to make the hiring process as seamless as possible for you. Reach out and let us know where we can help!

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