Seven steps to running a great interview

Here's a step-by-step guide on conducting a killer job interview and find the best person for the job!

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December 09 2016


Job interviews: they’re stressful, and not just for the person going for the job. If you’re looking to fill a position in your business and you’re not too sure what to do, here is how you can run a killer job interview and weed out who the best person for the job is.

Step 1: Do your prep

All interviews should have a bit of a structure. A warm-up, peak, and cool-down, if you will. First thing is to prep before the interview happens. Look into the candidate, jot down the questions you want to ask them, and know what information you want to tell them before they leave (hint: why is your business a good one to work for?)


Step 2: Welcome them in

Welcome the candidate in, and try to keep them at ease (this can be tricky). If they’re nervous, they might not interview well and you could miss out on a quality candidate. Simple pleasantries like “did you find us okay?” and “still warm out there?” can go a long way with breaking the ice.  


Step 3: Start from the beginning

Open the interview with their career history. This will help you get a good grasp of their background, interests and why they left their last job. Ask open ended questions like “tell me about yourself” or “what did you enjoy about your last roles?” and the most obvious question: “why did you leave?”


Step 4: The technical part

Here come the questions that are specific to the role that you’re hiring for. Ask them about their experience that is specific to this role. For example, if you’re hiring for administration, don’t ask closed questions like “do you know excel?” or “have you got customer experience?” These things should all be written on their resume. Ask questions like “tell me about your experience with excel” or “tell me about a time when you delivered great customer service.”


Step 5: Sell your company

Interviews are a two way street. While you’re sizing up whether you want to hire the candidate, they’re sizing up whether they want to work for you. Tell the candidate about your business. Talk a bit about the role, the company culture, the benefits, and who the role reports to. If you run a small team within a larger business, let the candidate know how this particular role helps the team as well as the business. Remember to make it brief! If you hire them, they’ll learn more on their first day.


Step 6: Wrap it up

Ask if they have any remaining questions (and be prepared for them!) then thank them for taking the time to come in for an interview. Let them know the next steps, that is, if there is another interview stage, when they will hear back from you. Firm handshake, friendly smile, and you’re done!


Step 7: Let them know the outcome

This one is a big one. It doesn’t matter whether they get the job or not. If you interviewed them, let them know if they were successful. If they weren’t they may be disappointed, but they will appreciate you letting them know. If they ask why they were unsuccessful, be prepared to provide constructive feedback. If they lack experience in a certain area or if they could take another qualification to improve their skill set, tell them. 

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