Conducting job interviews can be relatively easy; conducting successful and effective job interviews takes planning and strategizing. Hiring employees is basic, but hiring the right employees for your organization requires keen and innovative interviewing skills and approaches. When you apply the skills discussed below you will have a better chance of finding and hiring the right person for the job and for your company.

Here are 5 key skills for conducting successful job interviews:

  1. Know what skills the candidate needs.

Before interviewing your next job applicant, make sure you have a full understanding of the job skills required so that the new employee will be successful in the position. Clearly appreciating which specific skills are required will enable you to ask the right questions during the interview.

  1. Create a list of relevant interview questions.

With the skill requirements in mind for the position, create an appropriate list of questions to ask each job applicant you will be interviewing. Asking the right questions and in the right way will help you to determine which applicant will be the best fit for the position and the culture of your company.

Open-ended questions, which require more than a simple “yes” or “no” response, are best in an interview situation because they require the applicant to not only demonstrate their communication skills but also provide more valuable information regarding their background, experiences, values, and character.

  1. Carefully review each applicant’s resume conducting the interview.

Many job-seekers litter their resumes with catchphrases or buzzwords in the hopes of catching your attention. If you have not familiarized yourself with the applicant’s skill set before the interview, you may waste time interviewing an inappropriate candidate. This sort of “padding” on a resume can make it more difficult to actually discern the potential capabilities of the candidate and determine their actual skills. It’s important to be familiar with the candidate’s background prior to beginning the interviewing process as you only want to consider a candidate who possesses the attributes and skills you have determined are essential for success in the position.

  1. Create a friendly and comfortable environment.

Candidates will be more willing to open up if they don’t feel intimidated by you. It is best not to start interrogating them as soon as they enter the interviewing room. It is more effective to engage the interviewee in some small talk, to “break the ice” for both of you.  In addition, it is a good idea to acknowledge that you realize their time is valuable and that you are making every effort to begin the job interview on time without making the applicant feel rushed. Try to deep your tone of voice warm, welcoming, and conversational throughout the entire job interview.

  1. Offer information about your company and give the applicant an opportunity to ask questions.

The job interview is beneficial to both you and the applicant because it gives you a chance to get to know the interviewee while giving him or her the chance to learn more about you and your organization. One goal of the job interview is to help candidates determine whether or not your company is aligned with their values and career goals.

It is important to give the candidate a chance to ask questions. Try to be as transparent as possible about your company’s objectives and culture. If it turns out that a candidate is a poor fit for your organization, this information may allow him or her to realize it before you do. Most likely, when that happens, the person will no longer pursue the position and you will avoid a bad hire. On the other hand, sharing this information with the more sought-after candidates can add appeal to your business, increasing the odds that they will decide to choose your company over other job offers.

Conducting job interviews can be simple, effective and very successful if you apply these 5 interviewing tips. I wish you success in your future interviews!


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Sandy Chernoff
SANDY'S 30 years of didactic and clinical teaching in study clubs and continuing dental education, coupled with her almost 40 years of Dental Hygiene practice bring a wealth of experience to her interactive soft skills workshops. With her education background she easily customizes interactive sessions to suit the specific needs of her clients. Her energetic and humorous presentation style has entertained and informed audiences from Victoria to New York City. Sandy’s client list includes law firms, teaching institutions, volunteer and professional organizations and conferences, businesses, and individuals. Her newest project is turning her live workshops into e-learning programs using an LMS platform. Her teaching and education background have helped her to produce meaningful and somewhat interactive courses for the learners wanting the convenience of e-learning options. As the author of 5 Secrets to Effective Communication, Sandy has demonstrated her ability to demystify the complexities of communication so that the reader can learn better strategies and approaches which will greatly improve their communication skills and ultimately reduce conflict, resentment, disappointment, complaining, and confusion. As a result, the reader will be able to increase productivity, efficiency and creativity, improve all the relationships in their lives and ultimately enjoy a happier, healthier existence! Sandy blogs regularly on her two websites on the various soft skills topics that are featured in her workshops and e-learning programs.
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Chris Pehura

An excellent list. I would also add “potential” and the level of “investment” to obtain that potential. Good leaders are indeed hard to come by.