An interview can be a challenge for both the interviewer and the interviewee. It can be daunting to have the responsibility of evaluating a stranger in a short time span and determine if he/she is apt for the job. So how do you make sure that you select the right candidate? After all, you have the responsibility of choosing the person who will be an asset to your organization and help further it. You cannot afford to make a mistake.

Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when you take on the role of the interviewer for the very first time.

Prior Preparation

Planning is crucial while taking an interview. There will be several candidates and many points of comparison. Prepare an extensive questionnaire to cover all the things you desire to know. This will ensure that you don’t forget any question while conducting the interview. Discuss the questions with your supervisor to ensure that they are appropriate.

Next, always take notes. There is no guarantee you will be able to remember each candidate’s responses. Prepare a checklist of qualities or skills that you are looking for. This will make sure you don’t miss any important evaluation parameter. Additionally it also makes grading each candidate easier.

Be Confident

 It is natural to feel nervous and shaky since it is your first time as an interviewer after all. But remember you have a huge responsibility and your candidate is probably more nervous than you. Maintain your cool at all times and follow your decided course of action.

Remain Professional

As a company representative, it is your responsibility that you act in a way that will project your organization in good light. The candidate is also going to form opinions about the company based on how you act. You should be professional – dress appropriately and behave in a formal manner.

It is good to talk to the candidate in a friendly manner to put him/her at ease. But maintain proper limits and don’t get too casual or familiar. It can give the wrong impression to the candidate about your authority. Respect the candidate and his/her privacy and don’t make comments that may be derogatory or inappropriate.

Know What to Look For

The entire purpose of the interview is to know more about the candidate’s nature and attitude. As an interviewer you must know what attitude you are looking for, depending upon the job profile.  The nature of the candidate can be inferred from his/her answers and how they listen. Also body language conveys much about their level of confidence.

You can gain insight into their motivation and interest levels not only by their answers but also by the kind of questions they ask. Are they genuinely interested in the company profile or just the package offered?

Interviews can be a scary experience for many candidates. Put them at ease so you can get a better idea about them. Pay attention to the little details to get past the prepared answers.

Ask Relevant Questions

 There are a standard set of questions that are a part of interviews. You know it and so does the interviewee. These questions are basic of course, but they help get the ball rolling. To avoid being too pedantic you could ask the same question in a different way. This will help you get a more honest thought out answer rather than a bookish, prepared one.

Ask only those questions which are relevant to the job. Make sure your questionnaire covers all the basic concepts the candidate is supposed to know. If you are not sure about an answer, ask follow up questions till you are absolutely convinced.

Ask questions, which reveal the candidate’s knowledge about your company. This helps to understand whether the candidate is genuine or not.

Some of the types of questions that you should ask are

  • Tell me about the  progression in your career till now
  • What skills do you have that you think are apt for this position?
  • Give me an instance when you have had to reinvent your work according to your company’s changing needs
  • Why do you want to work for our organization?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • How well do you take criticism?
  • How would you handle conflict with a fellow colleague?

Armed with these tips, forget your nervousness and charge ahead confidently to conduct your very first interview.




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