Hiring managers come at various levels in many companies. Each person’s interview style is different, depending on his or her needs. However, there are certain tips to keep in mind regardless of your position in the company. Whether it is your first job interview or your 50th, the goal remains the same. Here are some things to remember to ensure that your new hire is not only a good fit for the job, but will also fit into the company dynamic.
1. Make a game plan. Sometimes it’s necessary to replace a departing employee in a pinch, but you still want to make sure that the new hire will be the right one for the job. Before reaching out to candidates, form a clear idea of the type of person that you see in the position. Of course, you can change your mind as you meet interviewees, but knowing traits that are necessary for the job–and the company–will help you formulate questions that yield results.
2. Mix it up. A good interview should contain a range of questions varying from factual to hypothetical. Some candidates may prepare “canned” answers for typical questions. If you want to see how creative your interviewee is, throw him or her a curve ball. Asking which fictional character he or she would most like to have dinner with (or a similarly absurd question) may help you assess ability to think quickly, and react to the unexpected.
3. Ask for a self assessment. A common question in job interviews is to ask the candidate to describe a weakness. If a person claims that he or she doesn’t have any weaknesses, it may be a negative sign about personal accountable. It could also be nerves, but it’s worth noting. Also ask about accomplishments to gain insight.
4. Know your workplace. A thorough knowledge of your company’s culture will help you draft questions to determine whether your job candidate is a fit. If your company is big on teamwork, make sure that there are a few questions to assess the candidate’s ability to play nicely with others. Ask for examples of team projects that went well and how the interviewee handled any conflicts that arose.
5. Confirm the facts. Make sure that your interviewee isn’t overstating his or her qualifications. Ask a few questions that will require elaboration. If the person’s resume states that he or she is an expert in SEO, ask for specifics. Have him or her walk you through a successful campaign.
6. Be prepared. Just as you expect your candidates to have some information on you and your company, you may want to offer them the same courtesy. Make sure you read a candidate’s resume thoroughly. Also, strategize some answers for potential questions he or she might ask of you.
7. Be relaxed, but don’t veer. When you are building a good rapport with your interviewee, it can be easy to get off topic. However, you want to be respectful of your job candidate’s time, and the time of others who are waiting to be interviewed. Be friendly, but stick with discussing qualifications. There will be plenty of time to get to know the person after you’ve offered the job.
Alaina Brandenburger is a freelance writer living in Denver. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.