Interviewer preparation before the interview
We all hear about the preparation job seekers should do before an interview. But likewise, it’s just as important employers should be prepared for interviews.
In today’s competitive job market, it can be hard to keep up with everything.
You might think preparation is time-consuming with no effect, but good preparation pays off. You’ll evaluate candidates more effectively and create a positive experience for them.
In this blog post, we talk about the most effective preparation you can do before an interview to get the best talent for your role.
Let’s take a look…
Interviewer preparation before interview
In this section, we look at the hiring process and see what preparation you can do to best prepare for your candidate interviews.
Review the job description
Make sure your job description templates are customised to suit your workplace’s needs. The template is only the basic outline and you need to know every little detail of your open position agreement, what goals the position offers, and what qualifications are a must.
Prepare your interview questions
Before you start interviewing your interviewee, have a list of questions to ask. Have a list of questions you want them to answer as well as ones to use if they're not answering your question.
How to know what questions to ask? Create a list of the skills, experience and qualifications that you’ll need your candidate to have. Then create interview questions around this.
In other words, consider what you want the interviewee to say, then ask that question.
Have a clear picture of your ideal candidate
You need to clearly define your ideal candidate in order to make the best choice. This is why putting together a candidate's persona with his/her skills and qualifications will allow you to know what to expect from them. It can also help give you the required motivation
When interviewing candidates, it's sensible not to ask for the information they've already given you. You don't want to waste your time or look unprepared in their eye.
Instead of writing a canned question, I recommend reading candidate resumes, profiles or applications for at least 10 minutes to make note of key points about their skills and past experience. Then, during the duration of the interview, you may elaborate on these points or ask for new information that you need.
Select the best interview questions
One of the best ways to get a feel for the person is to ask them questions. This article provides a list of some of the best interview questions. It's important to ask questions that will give you a sense of who they are, what they value and how they work.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
How would you like this position to be described?
Can you give me an example of something that went well?
Prepare to answer candidate questions
When conducting an interview it’s important to remember that the interview works both ways. Candidates are evaluating recruiters to see if the organisation meets their needs. As well as recruiters evaluate to see if candidates are a great fit for their role.
A candidate will assess if this job fulfils their aspirations and if this company would be a good place to work. Good candidates will ask questions about the organisation. If you are able to answer them, it offers a better insight into the culture of the company. This in turn helps persuade good candidates to apply for your positions.
Thinking about how to answer these questions in advance will require you to do a bit of initial research, but it’s worth it!
Once you know the questions, answered your practice interview questions and feel confident, you’re ready for the interview phase.
Coordinate with other interviewers
Many interviews have a panel. If this is what you’ll be doing, ensure you arrange with your team who will be asking what question and in which order. Also, decide which interviewers will speak about each topic and who may answer the candidate's questions on a certain topic.
E.g. The HR manager is the most suitable person to discuss pay or employee benefits.
However, the interview panel should all be in agreement on how to work as a team during an interview.
All interviewees should assess the candidate's skills in the same way. This way, each perspective is coming from the same place giving you broader feedback on the candidate.
If interviewers are looking for a specific skill, avoid asking the same questions to evaluate these skills. It stops the candidate from feeling tired and resentful. While getting a sense of equality and fairness throughout the interview process.
Plan your time and agenda
Clear your schedule at least 15 minutes before and after every interview. It's best not to leave the candidate waiting or rush them out in order to fit in another meeting.
With some preparation, you’ll be able to find their respect. For instance, when doing a video call, have your laptop and other devices ready beforehand so you can quickly fix any issues beforehand.
Next, plan out a rough agenda for the interview. Unstructured interviews without an agenda are not effective, which is why you should draft one beforehand. It will help guide your discussion more efficiently and make sure you don’t miss any important topics.
Prepare how you want to open and close the interview.
Many interviewers make small talk at the beginning which can introduce bias that will affect how you judge the answers candidates give. It might be a good idea to standardise the "getting-to-know-you" questions as an effort to make your hiring process more effective.
You could also begin by introducing yourself and talking about an assessment or test that candidates took so you can evaluate them better. At the same time, in a hypothetical scenario- imagine your candidates for an Editor role were given an editing exercise. Ask them what they think of it and discuss their performance.
Develop a rating system for your candidates
A rating system helps you to organise your candidates in a way that you can easily find them. It also provides a way for your candidates to understand how they are doing and what they need to improve on.
Rating systems can be done in many different ways. You can assign numbers, letters, or symbols to the candidates. You could also use a sliding scale where the higher the number is, the better the candidate is doing. Another option is to use colour coding where green means good and red means bad. The most important thing about these rating systems is that they are easy for both you and your candidate to understand and follow.
Sharpen your selling skills
You're not the only one who wants to make sure a fit is right. The person you're interviewing may still be trying to go over if they want to work for your company. If they feel it is, then there's more of a chance that they'll accept your offer. Or, even if you don't offer them the job, the interview itself can build up
Create a checklist to help sell your company and job position to potential candidates. As an example, you can include some of the following tasks:
- The company culture
- New building developments or exciting plans (like new products, new offices etc.)
- Employee benefits
- company training and mentoring
- The importance and contribution of the position to the company's success.
Elevate your interview process
If you’re looking to make your interview process even more successful keep reading!
We are experts in video interviewing. Our product Reworking allows recruiters to properly prepare for their interviews.
Our video interviewing tool works by allowing the recruiter to send out a link to a one-way video interview. On the screen, candidates will be able to see each unique interview question. They’ll also be video recording their answers. Once the candidate has recorded themselves answering each of the interview questions, the video is instantly sent to the recruiter.
Recruiters can view the interview on their phone or desktop. Another wonderful feature is the interview-sharing tool. Recruiters can send the interview to other members of the recruitment panel to watch and review the candidate.
There is also an instant messaging feature on the platform that works to improve the candidate experience.
Candidates are kept in the loop and are communicated with at every step of their hiring process. Recruiters can even send an instant message to candidates as soon as they’ve reviewed the interview. Either with a job offer or a decline of the role.
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