Interviewing is an art that is transforming in the wake of a growing remote culture. Interviewing techniques give you the tools to cover the most important ground during the job interview.
Mastering interview technique gives hiring managers more time. It also helps candidates leave the experience happy. Let's not reinvent the wheel but rather look at interview tips that test candidates’ fit.
Here are nine interviewing techniques that elevate the hiring process and help you find the right candidate.
1. Prepare Interview Questions in Advance
Interview questions should always be ready in advance. Plus, you may want to consider using a structured interview format to help curb any unconscious bias. A structured interview means asking the same questions to every candidate in the same order.
Here are a few other types of interview questions worth exploring:
- Behavioral interview questions: These questions gauge behavioral tendencies by asking candidates about how they navigated professional situations.
- Skills-based questions: These questions verify the candidates’ listed skills.
- Imaginative questions: When interviews get too formal, it can be hard for a candidate to feel they can be themselves. Questions like “What cartoon character would you be?” break candidates out of a performative mode and encourage creativity.
- Situational questions: To gauge how a candidate will react to tricky situations they’ll encounter in their role, you’ll want to focus on these questions.
2. Study the Job Seeker's Resume
Candidates can tell when the interviewer shows up for an interview unprepared. In contrast, careful preparation shows job seekers you respect their time. By giving yourself a buffer period of 15 minutes between interviews to read through their application and writing down questions in advance, you can focus on being present for the job seeker's answers. Prelude automatically provides this buffer to make sure you have all the time you need. Plus, when you're not scrambling to read their documents in the interview, you can give eye contact to show the candidate knows you’re intently listening.
3. Create Routines That Support a Positive First Impression
Set yourself up for success and create a routine for interview days. Plan to eat beforehand, silence your phone and other distracting devices, and make sure your schedule allows time for a focused conversation. If your notifications chime every few minutes, it can show job seekers you don’t value their time.
4. Leave Time to Answer Questions
Candidate questions can provide more information to you, so leave time for these at the end of the interview. From their questions, you'll learn how engaged they are with the company and role. If the candidate has zero questions prepared, it can signal a red flag. Even if you answer their prepared questions during the interview, an engaged candidate will generate new follow-up questions.
5. Bring Company Culture Into the Interview Process
Interviews are a two-way street that also allows job seekers to test whether they fit with your company culture. It's easy to talk about company culture, but it requires a bit more intention to show this in the interview process. When you live your values and demonstrate your company culture, it can become clear whether a candidate fits with your team.
- If feedback is a central value to the company culture, provide feedback to job seekers, and ask for their feedback on the interview process.
- When your team is collaborative, introduce job seekers to other members of the team.
- If the culture thrives on organization, demonstrate this with clear instructions and timelines.
Your company culture also relates to your verbal communication and behavior.
6. Explore Alternatives to Traditional Interview Formats
Sticking to traditional interview formats may not always work. Introduce flexibility in the interviewing process, and you'll provide a better candidate experience.
To shake things up, you might consider pivoting to one of the below options:
- Video interview: This emphasizes verbal communication over non-verbal cues.
- Group interview: This interview style assesses how a candidate reacts within a larger team dynamic.
- Panel interview: This provides visibility to the larger team the candidate will work with. It also helps reduce unconscious bias since multiple managers discuss the candidate post-interview.
7. Watch Body Language
We often use job seekers' body language like their handshake, eye contact, and posture for signs to see if they’re the right candidate.
Body language provides insight into things like confidence and capability. This is why as interviewers, we should also remember our non-verbal cues.
If you're in a reactive state from back-to-back meetings, candidates will perceive this. Any whiff of a toxic work environment can cause top talent to run in the other direction. Forbes reports that “nonverbal communication has been shown to carry between 65% and 93% more impact than the actual words spoken, especially when the message involves emotional meaning and attitudes.”
Be mindful of your non-verbal image with some simple tips:
- Make eye contact while candidates are talking.
- Ensure your body language matches your speech. For example, if you're saying you love to have fun at work, smile.
- Underscore important points with hand gestures.
- Stay still and avoid fidgeting with papers or technology.
- Don’t hide behind the candidate’s resume — make your interaction as personable as possible.
- Angle your body towards the job seeker.
- Be subtle about looking at the clock. Instead, set an alarm that lets you know when to wrap up.
For a more in-depth review of non-verbal cues explore a course like LinkedIn’s "Communicating Nonverbally."
8. Take Time Between Interviews
A reactive schedule causes unnecessary stress which you can project onto candidates. Respect yourself and your candidates by leaving 15-30 minutes between interviews. This time allows you to jot down important notes, grab a cup of coffee, and refresh for your next appointment.
Prelude does this by using interviewer preferences to determine time limits, find the best option for all interviewers, and provide schedule buffers. This is all automatically updated on calendars in Outlook or Google Calendar.
If you give time for yourself between interviews, you and the candidate will be more relaxed and likely have a more productive interview.
9. Always Follow Up
A follow-up email or call is not determined by whether a candidate receives a job offer. Any candidates who have visited your offices or participated in the second stage of the interview process should receive a personalized follow-up message.
This detail shows candidates respect and provides a positive candidate experience. This can benefit your brand as well as future recruiting efforts (sometimes, candidates resurface later).
Some things to include in follow-ups where there is no job offer:
- The reason for your decision
- Some personalized feedback that can help them with their job search
- Sincere gratitude for their interest
You can automate this follow-up email via Prelude to ensure it doesn't slip through the cracks.
Interviewing Techniques Enhance Candidate Experience
Putting a few procedures in place can enhance your interviewing techniques and make a world of difference to candidate outcomes. An interview should expand your perspective on any given candidate. You don't want that to be hampered by a lack of preparation or stress.
Follow these nine steps and you'll save time, enhance the candidate experience, and uncover your next best candidate. An effective interview process includes preparation and care. Luckily, Prelude can help.
Schedule a free demo with one of your product experts to see how Prelude can support your hiring process. We want to make sure you get the most of your time as you find your next dream candidate.