Four tips to conduct a top job interview

We discover four practical steps you can take to conduct a great interview first time around.

If you are conducting an interview for a small business, it can be difficult to perfect the technique in the first, second or even third instance. So here are four practical steps for all small businesses to consider when hiring new staff:

1. Set up the interview room

The best interviews are ones that are professionally structured but come across to the interviewee as friendly and relaxed. The aim is to get the candidate to feel comfortable so both parties can get the most out of the interview.

Set up the interview room with all of the necessities to conduct the interview. If you need a projector, test it beforehand. Interviews are a two-way street. If your projector doesn’t work resulting in the candidate not being able to showcase his/her presentation, it might affect their overall decision on whether your company is right for them.

2. Structure the time

In most cases, the candidate is told how long the interview will roughly take. If this is so, try to plan the time efficiently. Here is an example of how you can plan a 60-minute interview:

  • For the first five minutes you can introduce yourself, discuss what will happen and make the candidate feel at ease.
  • The next 45 minutes can consist of interview questions and/or and tests they need to undertake.
  • The last 10 minutes you can take their questions and tell them what happens next in the interview process.

3. Focus on the candidate

Be friendly when interviewing. Try to maintain eye contact when talking and listening, nod to reinforce the fact that you understand what they are saying and when writing notes, try not to look down at your pad for long periods of time. This will hopefully help the interviewee feel more relaxed when speaking.

4. Follow up

If you are unsure of anything that they are saying – ask them. This helps create friendly conversation while it also gives you extra information about the candidate. Don’t go as far as Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight, but usually follow up questions are appreciated as you are taking an interest in the candidate’s previous work experience.

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