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Interview tips for the interviewer.

by Evalyne Ndanu
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It is not only the interviewee who needs to prepare for an interview, the interviewer needs to make preparations as well. Here are interview tips for the interviewer.

1. Review the candidates resume before the interview.
Familiarize yourself with the candidate’s resume. If possible, print it out. If there will be other interviewers on the panel, print out copies for them too. Read about their educational background and identify how it has mirrored to their work experience. Identify possible questions you may have from reviewing their resume and write the questions down. Review the duties and responsibilities in their previous jobs.

2. Be Prepared and have the proper questions.
Have in mind exactly what you are looking for and then tailor your questions around this.
Ask open-ended questions. Open ended questions break the ground for more conversations and are not limited to the one word answer of yes/no. For example, one of the most popular question you can ask is “Tell me about Yourself”.

3. Make the interviewee feel comfortable.
Create a safe space for the interviewee to feel comfortable. This will include,

  • Setting the right location for the interview. Somewhere which is noise-free, well-lit and comfortable.
  • When meeting them, smile, maintain eye contact and give a firm handshake.
  • Learn to offer the interviewee(s) a drink. It could be coffee, tea, what is available.
  • Be friendly and caring. Give them additional information on where they can get washrooms for example.
  • Understand that they are human as much as you are and they can get nervous too. Expect some signs of nervousness.

4. Listen carefully and take notes.
The best way to get to know a person is by listening to them. Actively listening to answers is very crucial in the interview process. Ask questions and actively listen to the responses. Additionally, take notes on what the interviewee said. Making notes of what the interviewee comes in handy especially in the decision making stage. Moreover, In situations where you have many interviewees, these notes will be helpful in determining how different interviewees performed and in giving proper scores if required.

5. Have a proper interview structure and of the time.
Arrange in details the structure of the interview. Keep in mind the duration of the interview. A proper interview structure can look like something like this;

  • Having an introduction.
  • Session of reviewing the resume.
  • Specific questions in relation to the responsibilities.
  • Questions from the interviewee.
  • Conclusion of the interview.

6. Allow for a conversation.
However much an interview involves a lot of questions, allow the conversation to flow. Give ample time for the interviewee to express themselves. Give them time without unnecessary pressure. As the interviewee keeps speaking, you can pick up more questions to build up on the conversation. Besides this, give Information about your company. It encourages the conversation to flow and for the interviewee to know more about the company. The interviewee is also seeking to know if the company is a good fit for them. They can make a good judgment if they get good information from the interview.

7. Be punctual.
Being punctual shows you respect your interviewee in as much they respect you. It’s honorable to be on time for interviews. It reduces chances of more time-panic to the parties involved. It also gives you adequate time as the interviewer in case you need to tidy up the location, print documents or do any necessary arrangements.

8. Avoid distractions.
Avoiding distractions puts the interviewee at ease. It also allows you as the interviewer to fully engaged in the interview. Put your phone on silent and if possible inside the bag. Avoid fidgeting with the things around you. This includes playing around with stationery. It can be a form of distraction to the people around.

9. Encourage questions and be prepared to answer them.
Allow the interviewee an opportunity to ask questions. If they did their homework well, they will definitely have questions to ask. Be prepared to answer these questions as well. Be authentic in giving these answers. Don’t try to be someone else. Answer them from where you are.

10. Give details about the follow up process.
After an interview, comes the decision making. The interviewer(s) need to advise on the next steps. For example, after how long the interviewee will expect to be contacted for feedback. Be transparent with this information. A good timeline allows you as the interviewer adequate time for decision making if necessary and proceeding with the subsequent steps. It’s courteous to give follow up details on the process.

To do a really good interview, you have to be truly interested in the person.
Daisy Fuentes

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