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Jobs > Hiring Tips & Strategies > Preparing for the Employee Interview

Preparing for the Employee Interview

January 4, 2013

Out of all the hiring tips you read, the most important might be those related to interviews. Let’s face it, the key to hiring and keeping new workers is conducting a great employee interview. By asking the right interview questions, you will be on your way to selecting the employee that is the best fit for your nonprofit organization. However, if you don’t hone your interview skills you will be in great risk of selecting employees who are ultimately not a great fit for your company.

Of course, job interview preparation is an art, and there is no perfect way to do it. There are some hiring interview tips , however, that all interviewers should know.

  • Prepare: This seems kind of obvious, doesn’t it? But believe it or not, there are plenty of interviewers who don’t review an employee’s resume and other paperwork before the interview. This is absolutely important. No matter how good you think your memory is, you should always go over information again at least a few hours before the interview. Prospective employees like knowing that they mean something to the employer, so you should make sure to show them the proper respect and know their history well.
  • Along these same lines, you should consider preparing some interview questions. This could mean reading a list of top 10 interview questions or consulting with your HR department to see if they have any premade questions for you. I would specifically recommend asking open-ended questions; avoid asking things that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” You want to find out as much as you can about this person, and those kinds of employee questions won’t help much.
  • Set a good tone: When the candidate first walks in, make sure to express how glad you are to meet them. This is a simple yet effective way to make him/her feel welcome and relaxed. Also, before the interview begins you should let the person know how long you expect it to last. Of course, there is no real way to tell exactly how long it will take, but it’s good to let them know so you can both manage your time efficiently.
  • Trust your gut: After the interview is complete, you need to assess what you thought of the candidate. Did he/she seem almost too perfect for the position? If this is a thought that pops into your head, you should go with it. In the follow up interview, try and ask more specific questions to see if they are as good as they claim to be. You could also do some background checking , such as calling the references they have provided you with.
  • Make sure the interviewee knows the exact type of skills you are looking for in the position. You might think it is obvious from the job description, but you should lay out in specific terms what kind of employee you are looking for. This is important because you want to make sure there is no confusion about the job you will be wanting them to do.

Finally, don’t forget that the candidate is also interviewing you. While it is indeed important to ask quality employee interview questions, it is equally important to present the prospective employee with a good impression of you and your company. That is why it is so important to be professional and engaging. If the candidate doesn’t think you are prepared and knowledgable, they will have no interest in joining your nonprofit. So really, an employee interview is as much about you as it is about the candidate.

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