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Basic Interviewing Techniques

Interviewing candidate after candidate can be quite a tiresome process, especially when you aren't sure of how to evaluate them lest you miss out something crucial.
Uttara Manohar
Interviewing a person requires good communication skills, presence of mind, and general sense of logic. Interviews can be of different types, like business interview, research interview, media interview, and so on.
Research interviews require interviewing with the primary aim to gain information from the subjects, and hence, require a deep study of the research subject, as well as a clear idea of what information is required from the subjects. Media interviews require a great presence of mind, and study of the person you want to interview.
Business interviews are a tough job no matter which side of the table you are sitting on. If you though it is a tough job to appear for an interview, then you must know that interviewing a candidate is no child's play.
There are many things that need to be kept in mind while you interview a candidate. The basic interviewing techniques need to be followed before the interview, during the interview, and after the interview as well.

Before the Interview

Keep these pointers in mind before you actually interview a candidate.
  • Inform the candidate about the venue and timing of interview in advance. It is considered polite to convey the approximate duration of the interview to the candidate.
  • Before the interview, make sure you have a clear idea of the qualities and technical skills that you are looking for.
  • Plan the interview, decide if you want a rigorous question answer session, or want the candidate to speak his mind about general issues.¬†If you want a question answer session, list down all the probable questions and even if you want to make it an impromptu affair, it is better to list down the general points that you want to address during the interview.
  • In case you already have the candidate's resume, reference letters, or any other documents which have been submitted beforehand, make it a point to go through the documents. It will give you an idea about the candidate's educational qualification, work experience, and other useful information. This will help you answer better and more relevant questions.

The Actual Interview

The actual interview requires a combination of good communication skills; presence of mind, and enough research about the company's requirements as well the job profile.
  • Greet the person with a smile and a professional handshake. Make sure the candidate is comfortable. Do not intimidate the candidate.
  • Make sure to mention things from the candidate's resume or other submitted material that you find impressive or problematic.
  • Do not ask personal questions during a job interview.
  • Listen carefully while your candidate speaks. Ask questions about the things that he mentions during the interview.
  • In case the candidate seems reluctant or is stuck at a particular point, lead the conversation further by introducing another issue.
  • Keep the interview like a healthy conversation rather than making it a question answer or quiz session.
  • Keep an eye on the time, make sure the interview doesn't extend way beyond the set time.
  • At the end of the interview, make sure you tell the candidate the time frame within which you will inform him the decision, or schedule the next interview.

After the Interview

After the interview, make sure you call up the candidate within the promised time frame. Inform him about the decision, without beating around the bush. In case you have rejected the candidate, be polite while conveying the message, and also assure that if in future the company needs their services, you will contact them for sure.
Remember that interviewing a person is a tough job. Keep all the mentioned points in mind and rest assured that the interview will be smooth sailing.