If a job interview is a conversation between two individuals, then it’s one of the most important conversations imaginable. While it’s well-known that an interview is important for candidates there’s also a lot at stake for the hiring manager.
Hiring the wrong candidate can have significant and long-term implications for your organization. Consequences of a poor hire can range from conflicts between the new employee and existing workers, to waste of valuable time attempting to correct the new arrival’s mistakes. As a hiring manager, your goal for an employee interview is simple: Determine which of the candidates is the best fit for the job. In the best case scenarios this can be very obvious but life rarely hands us the best cases. As a result, it will take a nuanced approach to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the various applicants.
The only way you will be able to make an informed decision is to ask good interview questions. Here are four tips that will lead you to ask questions that will make your decisions much easier:
- Research: Job seekers prepare for the interview by researching your organization, so it stands to reason you should also look into their background. Keep an eye out for any red flags that you will want to explore further when it comes time for the interview.
- Go off Script: You should always prepare a list of questions you want to ask candidates but you shouldn’t be afraid to go off script if the situations calls for new questions. For example, you will want to ask follow-up questions to applicants’ answers to get more details about their qualifications.
- Be Creative: Questions like “what are your greatest strengths” are predictable and will often elicit generic answers. While these questions have their place, you should be more creative with your inquiries. One good alternative to asking about a candidate’s strength is to present a hypothetical situation where he has to solve a problem. This will give you a better idea about how he will fit in your organization.
- Push Past Resistance: There are some questions that a candidate will not want to answer. If you get an answer that is vague or not forthcoming, say something along the lines of “I’m not sure what you mean by that. Can you explain a little further?” If you still encounter resistance, put that in the back of your mind to consider when making your final decision.