What Things a Recruiter Should Pay Attention to While Conducting a Job Interview

Human Resources (HR) departments have come a long way in recent times. Long gone are the days of protracted recruitment processes and a focus on screening out candidates, rather than wooing them.

We also now have more advanced technology and a different kind of generation flooding the job market that is much more prone to burnout. And yet what does all of this mean for you as a recruiter?

One of the biggest trends of recent times is Artificial Intelligence (AI), which seems to be infiltrating just about every industry imaginable, the recruiting industry notwithstanding. In this particular industry, it is being used to automate a great part, if not all, of the workflow associated with recruiting.

Hiring volume is on an upward trend, generally speaking, while most recruiting teams aren’t necessarily growing larger in tandem. AI is rapidly filling in that gap to ensure hiring success.

Making work easier

A recruiter’s success in the future will depend on how well they can manage their workflow, especially when it comes to automation. With the growth of hiring volume, the ability to automate workflow frees up a recruiter’s time to deal with other things.

It also gives them more time to be even more personal with each candidate and give them the necessary individual attention they need in order to build the right bonds.

It’s no surprise that the hiring process is a unique challenge for every company. As such, many different companies have found their own solutions to the challenge. All the same, whatever method of hiring you’ll be using as a recruiter, one of those stages of recruitment you’ll be hard placed to replace, is an interview.

An interview gives you a very rare opportunity to know the candidate on a personal level; to uncover who they are beneath their resume and cover letter and determine whether they are, indeed, the right person for your company.

Improve your employee engagement

Improve your employee engagement in less than two minutes

Get started for free today.

Free sign up

Because of how important the interview is, you should take the opportunity of an interview to learn as much as you can about the candidate. You should also use the time to validate the information they have provided and also determine how suitable they are for the position you are hiring for.

There are lots of things you should consider while interviewing a candidate that ensures you get all of the information you need from them:

First, you should know exactly what you’re looking for in the perfect employee for that position. What are your general requirements for the position? What are your specific requirements for the position?

You should also know how your company conducts its interviews overall and what standards it upholds during the process. You should also take into account the level of skill of the HR personnel or the recruiter that will be conducting the interview, as well as the past experience and present personality of the potential employee being interviewed.

Thinking about these things will help you come up with an efficient and effective way to conduct the interview. Moreover, if you think about them well in advance, they will inform the kind of questions you ask during the interview.

The factors behind a successful job interview

Atmosphere is just as important as anything else when it comes to an interview. It’s very easy for a candidate to get stressed and disoriented during an interview, and it is, therefore, up to you to create the right kind of atmosphere where they won’t feel any tension whatsoever.

The form of the job interview is also another important thing to consider. You want to simulate as many different scenarios as you can with your questions so that you can explore different aspects of the personality of the candidate and also to figure out how skilled he or she is at their profession.

The form of the questions you ask should also be clear. You don’t want to waste time having to explain what your question meant to a client. Instead, you want to spend that time listening to their answers to your questions. A good idea is to have the questions categorised by topics and to transition smoothly from one topic to the next in a clear and logical fashion.

That way, the job interview will stay on the course you have designed for it. There are lots of services that can help you prepare the questions.

There are general tips that you can follow to help an interview move in the right direction: for starters, you should speak much less than the interviewee. The 80:20 rule is a good rule of thumb here; spend only about 20% off the time talking or asking questions while the rest is spent by the candidate answering them and talking about themselves.

You should also pay attention to the nonverbal cues just as much as you do to the verbal ones. As for their answers, pay attention to the details they provide and try to glean valuable information from them.

Do they give answers that indicate they are risk takers? Does their lifestyle or way of doing things imply that they are methodical? A candidate that mentions bungee jumping as a hobby is more of a risk taker than one who likes to bake, and so on.

That said, here is a list of things you should pay close attention to during the interview to know as much as you can about the candidate.

How punctual is the candidate?

The punctuality of a candidate indicates how much they value your time, as well as their own. The very best of them will arrive between 10 and 15 minutes earlier than the appointed time, while the worst ones can come in over an hour late.

All the same, don’t be too quick to jump to conclusions about a late candidate.

Listen to their reason for being late and determine how plausible and reasonable it is, then determine if you’re willing to continue with the job interview. All the same, you have to pay attention to this as it can give you valuable clues about the candidate’s attitude towards time and timekeeping.

How does the candidate present themselves

It is only reasonable to expect that a candidate turning up for an interview will be neat in appearance and present his or herself well, which suggests that they take the interview seriously and that they will present their work in the future with the same kind of seriousness.

It therefore makes sense to pay attention to the candidate’s overall dress and manner of presentation just as the job interview starts. If they are untidy or inappropriately dressed, then this is probably how they will be even after they get the job. It is, therefore, up to you to decide whether their manner of presentation and dress code are in line with your company culture.

Listen to how they answer open-ended questions

Open-ended questions are a great way to get to know the candidate better. They tell you what motivates them and what their vision for the future is. That way, you get to know right off the bat if they’re a good fit for the job position you’re recruiting for and for your company as a whole.

“Ask them what talents they feel they have that aren’t being fully utilised at the moment,” says James Hill, a writer that offers help in London.

There are lots of questions you can ask to uncover what a candidate really wants out of a job. For example, you could tell them to tell you a few things they would like to change about their present job if they happened to be their own boss.

You can ask them about their most and least favourite places of employment and ask them to give reasons for them. You could also ask them about their greatest accomplishments on the job and the kind of impact those accomplishments had on their employers.

“It’s also a good idea to ask why they’ve changed jobs in the past so you know if they have any recurring issues,” says Maria Pablo who works with Best Essay Service.

There are lots of open-ended questions you can ask: the key is to ask relevant questions that will get the candidate talking and then listen to them intently in order to figure out their personality and motivations.

job interview

Image: Unsplash

The candidate’s achievements

What does the candidate have to say about their past achievements? Do you feel that the descriptions of these achievements sound rather embellished and emotional? If so, then chances are they are giving you a false narrative. Open-ended questions are a great way to uncover this.

However, once you feel that they are embellishing the story more than just a little bit, you should ask them more specific questions that are tailored to prevent them from exaggerating so you can get at the heart of the matter.

How does the candidate talk about their mistakes?

While every candidate will gladly talk about their past achievements, not all of them will proudly mention their past mistakes, and therefore, this is something you should pay attention to.

The truth is that we all make mistakes and no one is perfect. What separates the really good candidates from the bad ones, however, is how they think and talk about their mistakes. You want a candidate who is willing to acknowledge their mistakes and learn from them to prevent them from ever happening again.

A candidate that doesn’t openly talk about their mistakes is neither paying attention to them nor learning from them, and that’s a red flag.

In Summary

Ultimately, the job interview is your best opportunity to really get at the heart of the candidate and figure out who they really are so you can, in turn, figure out if they fit in your company. By paying attention to the right things, you can ensure you end up with the right candidates in a much shorter span of time.


About the Author

Michael Gorman is a highly skilled freelance writer and proofreader from the UK. Being interested in everyday development, he writes various blog posts and discovers new aspects of human existence every day.

Team 6Q

Team 6Q