Background Verification Basics, HR Corner

Tips for Productive And Effective Interviews

“Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?” Could this question be part of a job interview? In fact, it is a question quite common in interviews with Dell. “How lucky are you and why?”, AirBnB is known to ask. From contemplative questions to factual asked as Xerox, “Why is a tennis ball fuzzy?” how a recruiter conducts job interviews shows what and how the company is trying to assess a candidate.

Research from Yale School reveals that unstructured interviews can lead to bad hiring. What then could be a systematic or structured way of conducting effective interviews? An article in the Harvard Business Review breaks down the interview process into four parts:

1. Planning and Preparation

  • Focusing on the purpose of the interview can help the interviewer cover all the necessary points. Not only that, if the interviewee is informed about the points that would be covered in the interview, it would give the interviewer an added advantage to prepare and strengthen the purpose of the interview. How many times have you experienced a complete mismatch of the interviewee’s expectation and interview’s direction?
  • Prepare blocks of time dedicated to each point to be covered in the interview. This would ensure that all the necessary points are covered, all the important information is gathered and nothing is left out. Keeping the purpose in mind, prepare well but do leave some space for spontaneity.

2. Build rapport, get to know the candidate

  • Building a rapport in a short time requires efforts. The interviewer should make honest attempts by showing signs of helpfulness, positivity, friendliness, and kindness – just some of the ways through which an interviewer can make the interviewee less stressed.

According to researcher Joyce Bono, even small positive experiences can help in reducing stress. Give the interviewee some time to adjust to the environment and get settled in the situation. New and strange situations can leave an individual anxious.

  • For an interviewer, it would be difficult to remember each and every detail unless and until the points are noted down. Having a paper and pen can help the interviewer create a record of what happened and the key points. Writing down points even compliments the interviewee as it gives them a sense that their points are considered important. In a nutshell, be friendly, but stay professional.

Guiding the direction of the interview

  • Questions are the key tools for any interviewer. They can take the interviewer and the interview towards the direction or the purpose of conducting the exercise. It’s simple: irrelevant questions might not provide any information worth gathering. Targeted questions will add to information that can help analyse.
  • A capable interviewer will not only know how and what information to gather but also would guide the conversation along productive lines. A good practice for interviewers to follow would be to review their questioning skills from time to time.
  • Broad and general questions at the beginning of the interview would allow the interviewees to respond with answers that expand into areas of their interest and concern. Once the general information is gathered, the interviewer can sharpen the focus with specific questions that relate to the position, role, and qualities that the interviewer is looking for. For example, a question like, ‘How would you feel about working with our company?’ would reveal broad information that would be useful at the beginning than at the end of the interview.
  • When gathering information, there are numerous points that should be considered:
  • Whether or not the information that the candidate is sharing is reliable.
  • Short one-line answers could be insufficient for the interviewer to gather deep insights and might mean the interviewee is hesitant in speaking more about it.
  • Constant shifting of the subject or short attention span might point to nervousness or lack of articulation.
  • If there are gaps and voids in sharing information, the interviewee should be smart and quick enough to intercept and pose a direct question.
  • Observations about visual aspects should be gathered: body language, eye contact, eye movement, the expression on the face, dryness of the mouth, and tone of voice, among other details.

Analysis and concluding the interview

The concluding minutes of the interview is perhaps, a period of great importance since the more in-depth information would be shared in these few minutes. Apart from that, it remains vital for the interviewer to note the level of attention, interest and energy level of the interviewee at this stage and compare it to the beginning of the interview.

Concluding a meeting would also entail a plan of action – the interview providing a brief summary and indication towards the next steps would be the best way to conclude an interview.

What about candidate experience (CX)?

But what do candidates make of the hiring process? It is their first impression about an organization. If it’s not engaging enough, it speaks about your company. It’s easy to lose key talent at the interview stage, especially when we’re talking about millennials.

The next steps

However, the interview is just one step cleared. If the interviewer finds the candidate desirable and fitting for the position, the next and most important procedure should be the background verification process. Education check, professional reference verification, criminal records check and global data screening are just a few checks that will ensure your recruitment process is fool proofed and at FactSuite we offer you best in class service.  To know more about us, visit: Even though an interviewer might be experienced and ace at evaluating candidates, professional background screening can provide more insight about the candidates & enable the interviewer make a right hiring decision.