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Interviewing Best Practices & Tips for Employers - HRDQ

Interviewing Best Practices & Tips for Employers

From narrowing down applicants to interviewing potential employees, finding high-quality talent can be a difficult process. To find the most qualified candidates to join your team, it’s important to refine your interviewing skills.

Interviewing isn’t just about evaluating applicants’ skills and qualities. Employers also need to be able to assess cultural fits and demonstrate why qualified individuals should join your company. Hiring managers need to know what questions to ask and what practices to follow to make a good impression while extracting important information from interviewees.

To help you find the right employees for your business, here are the best practices and tips for interviewing that employers need to know.

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Selecting Candidates to Interview

The hiring process starts with selecting the right candidates to interview. Beyond reviewing resumes and cover letters, employers should consider starting the interview process with telephone screenings to filter out unqualified candidates.

Telephone screenings can be very short and cover basic information like qualifications, education, experience, and salary expectations. Screening employees before moving on to more formal interviews saves time and helps employers narrow down their pool of applicants.

Essential Interview Tips for Employers

After narrowing down your list of interviewees, it’s important to prepare for interviews. This includes preparing questions, reviewing applicants' information before interviewing them, and verifying their information.

To ensure you are able to find the best candidate for the job, make sure to follow these essential interview techniques and tips.

Ask the Right Questions

Effective interviewing involves asking the right questions to obtain important information relating to an applicant’s skills, qualifications, attitude, behavior, and other critical qualities.

Start by thinking of questions that directly relate to the role’s responsibilities. Consider talking to existing employees that would work closely with the new employee and ask them what qualities they think are necessary for the position.

Interviewers should also be sure to ask questions that relate to behavior and emotional intelligence. Questions like “How would you handle a conflict with a coworker” or “How would you handle a customer complaint” make it easier to determine how well the applicant would fit in with your workplace culture. Employers should also always ask follow-up questions when necessary to get more thorough, unrehearsed answers to important questions.

Don’t Let Single Factors Influence Your Decision

When reviewing applicants’ information, you may be impressed by a candidate’s qualifications. For example, if an applicant graduated from a prestigious school, you might be inclined to view them in higher regard than other applicants.

However, employers should be careful not to let single factors or qualifications influence their hiring decision. While one applicant’s resume may be more impressive, you might find that other applicants are a better fit after reviewing their answers to questions regarding their behavior, abilities, and workplace preferences.

Be Consistent

Employers should be sure to use the same criteria to evaluate each employee. Use the same interview process and ask the same questions when interviewing every applicant to ensure you are fairly comparing each individual. 

Make the Interviewee Comfortable

Interviews are stressful, and this pressure can prevent some applicants from putting their best foot forward. There are simple things interviewers can do to put candidates at ease, including:

  • Offering them a glass of water
  • Outlining the interview structure so they know what to expect
  • Explaining what you're looking for and what qualities you value
  • Offering them the opportunity to ask questions about your company

Making applicants comfortable ensures a more authentic interview and makes it easier to accurately evaluate their aptitude.

Use the STAR Method

STAR is a framework for coming up with effective interview questions that help interviewers properly evaluate candidates.

If you’re having trouble coming up with worthwhile interview questions, use this method to help prepare for interviews.

STAR stands for:

  • Situation: Ask questions regarding situations that require the candidate to use relevant job skills.
  • Task: Ask follow-up questions that require the candidate to explain the task they needed to accomplish in the described situation.
  • Action: Ask them to explain the actions they took to accomplish the task.
  • Result: Ask the candidate to explain the results of the situation that they have described to you.

Using this method ensures that you ask questions that require more than a basic ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer.

Behavioral Interviews is an evidence-based training course for ensuring you hire the right person for the job. The program discloses practical, valuable tips and techniques for uncovering the most pertinent information necessary to make the best possible hiring decision.

HRDQ Makes Employee Training Easy

Cultivating a productive team starts with identifying the right candidates to join your company. We hope this guide on interviewing best practices for employers helps you to find the most qualified applicants. When you’re ready to train your new employees, HRDQ can help.

At HRDQ, we provide high-quality training materials that help employers increase productivity, boost office morale, and improve workplace productivity. HRDQ offers a fully customizable virtual soft skills training library, so you can provide specialized training content to your team no matter where they are. 

Explore the Reproducible Training Library 

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About our author

Bradford R. Glaser

Brad is President and CEO of HRDQ, a publisher of soft-skills learning solutions, and HRDQ-U, an online community for learning professionals hosting webinars, workshops, and podcasts. His 35+ years of experience in adult learning and development have fostered his passion for improving the performance of organizations, teams, and individuals.