Interviewing is challenging work, but being able to hire wonderful people and strengthening your company can be very rewarding.

An interview should be a two-way discussion, and good interviewers make a deliberate attempt to get the most out of each one. They know that making applicants comfortable and combating personal bias will result in a high degree of hiring success while burnishing the company’s image.

If you’re looking to become a better interviewer in 2019, consider the following tips on how to improve your interviewing skills.

Be prepared for a good discussion

Interviewers who aren’t prepared may not be capable of properly assessing an applicant. They can seem indifferent, which doesn’t help when it’s time to make a job offer.

Start getting ready for your interview process by refreshing your knowledge of the company mission, values and culture. Then, read the set of qualifications and responsibilities for the open position. Develop your questions by using this base of information.

Also, be ready to respond to questions about the company’s goals and worker benefits.

Be systematic in your approach

While you want a free-flowing conversation, completely unstructured interviews can easily lead to subjective assessments. Interviews are more effective when there’s some method to the madness.

Start by trying to make your interview subject feel at ease. People are more likely to be honest if they feel comfortable. An effective way to relax your subject is to ask easy ‘softball’ questions. Ask about their interests outside of work and why they got into their particular line of work. Be careful to avoid small talk questions about family, nationality, race, etc. These questions can trigger claims of discrimination.

The end of the interview is when you should ask your most challenging questions, such as questions about work history gaps or how a candidate handles failure on the job. Ideally, the rapport you have built throughout the interview will lead to honest answers to these tough questions.

Push back against personal bias

We naturally tend to identify most with people that look like us. This innate bias toward similar people can result in a severe lack of valuable diversity if this bias is out of control.

One effective way to push back against bias is to ensure all candidates get the same questions.

This will allow for uniformity in the interview process and a offer a basis to contrast applicants. Use open-ended questions to provoke more detail from applicants. Avoid asking leading or closed-end (yes-or-no) questions.

Being deliberate also helps to reduce bias. If you haven’t already, learn about how personal bias works and how to spot it. Resist the urge to make snap judgements about candidates.

It also helps to have people with different backgrounds involved in the interview process.

At Action Group Staffing, we help companies acquire the talent they need to achieve their targets and launch new initiatives. If your company is currently in need of a talent sourcing solution, please contact us today to find out how we can be of assistance.

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