Do's and Don'ts of Successful Interviewing

An interview plays a very important part in the selection procedure in any walk of life. An interview is a formal interaction between a seeker and provider. This interaction is crucial for both of them and both are expected to be well prepared for it. Today, instead of the usual discussion of do's and don’ts of giving interviews, and asking you to be confident about yourself, I will be discussing about the there side of coin i.e. do's and don’ts of taking successful interviews. So all the 'providers' especially job providers and HR managers read through tips of successful interviewing. The Art of conducting Interviews successfully can go a long way in the development of the organization because it is only through the interviews that the company is able to judge the caliber of candidate. A good selection will become an asset for the organization, while a bad one will be a liability soon. Here, it is also important to know that interviews also serve as criteria on which candidates evaluate the organisation for which they are applying. Keep the importance of interviewing in mind and let us get to do's and don'ts.

Do's of Conducting Interviews

Before the Interview
   1) Plan Location and Process: An interview should be conducted at a silent place where you are able to give proper attention to the candidate with minimum distractions. Prepare the blueprint of the process and the rounds of interviews he will made to go through and convey the same to prospective candidates.
   2) Prepare Yourself: Just like candidate, you too need to prepare yourself for the interview. Make a note of job profile for which you are conducting interview. It would be helpful if you chalk-out the flow of interview as well, it will help you in judging all aspects of evaluation.
   3) Turn off cell phone or at least keep it at silent/vibration mode.

During the Interview
   1) Introduce: Just as you get ready to start "drilling" the poor candidate, it is advised that you introduce the panel to him/her. Also, define the role of each member of the panel in the interview.
   2) Start slow: Start by asking some general questions before jumping the gun. Try to establish an easy, informal relationship with him. This will help in making him comfortable and would help you know his qualities better.
   3) Let him talk: Encourage him to talk and interrupt him where ever necessary. A word of caution: keep a track of time and the flow of interview. Your basic objective is to judge whether the person sitting on the other side of the table is suitable for the job or not, so don't waste time in listening to his stories unless they reveal something about his ethics and behavioral pattern.
   4) Be truthful: Sometimes, candidates are not sure about the job profile and things which will be expected from them. In such a case, tell them frankly about their role in the organisation if they are selected and the growth opportunities they will have. Also explain to them various overtime and shifts norms which may apply to his position. All this will help candidate make up his mind about whether he can do a particular job or not.
   5) Past Experience matters: If you are interviewing a candidate with experience, it is advisable to ask enough questions about his past experience in order to judge his loyalty, work ethics, inter-personal skills, etc. People may say forget the past and talk about present but it’s always advisable to learn from past mistakes and work accordingly, so try to gain necessary information about his past experiences.
   6) Document and keep note: Keep a pad with you and write down points about the candidates that you found note-worthy. This will help you judge strengths and weaknesses of all the candidates at the end of the day and short-list few.

After the Interview
Shortlist the candidates on clear objective grounds and select only qualified candidates rather than over/under qualified ones. Give proper thought before short-listing or rejecting anyone. It would be advisable to keep a written copy on why a particular person was accepted or rejected.

Don'ts of Conducting Interviews

Before the Interview
Unplanned and Haphazard Preparation: A big NO-NO. Through interviews you are going to recruit a person whom you will be giving a substantial amount of salary over the period of time. And no organization can give away money to anyone who is not qualified to do a particular job. Thus interview process needs to be well planned in order to select the most suitable person for a particular job.

During the Interview
   1) Jump the gun: Never start the interview with leading, tough questions. Always try to break the ice first before gradually moving on to job related questions.
   2) Don't Talk to much: Don't ever forget you are here to select a candidate and not to show-off your skills. Let the other person talk. You just need to listen to him and take down points which might be important. You should only answer to his questions and ask him related queries. Keep the flow of the interview.
   3) Don't make him feel you are superior: This is probably the most common mistake the interviewer makes, don't demean the other person, treat him as an equal. Various intimidating tactics used can have a negative impact on the interviewing process and the reputation of the organisation.
   4) Don't ask personal questions: Be too the point don't ask personal questions. Also avoid ask questions relating to politics, religion and other sensitive issues.
   5) Wrong information about the organisation and job profile: While telling the candidate about the organization and job profile be truthful. Don't make false commitments and claims about job or institution.
   6) Don't pay too much attention to a particular thing: It has been often seen that interviews take a particular strength or weakness of candidate and keep on discussing about it. Instead of doing so one should be judicious enough to move on other topics and evaluate other factors of candidate’s personality.

Interviewing is an art which will help you draw a perfect future of your organization so practice it well.

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  1. Agree with you, when we talk, we might be giving wrong impression for the new boss. Less talking is an advantage.

  2. Interviews can be very tricky, some times it is better to listen more and construct a focussed response rather than just the first thing that comes into your head.