As an employment specialist I regularly give interviewing tips to candidates on how to nail an interview. But from time to time I also coach employers on how to conduct an interview, how to catch red flags, and what NOT to say.
1. Be respectful of the candidate’s time. Put yourself in the candidates shoes, would you enjoy waiting 20 or 30 minutes after your scheduled time? Keep in mind this is also a reflection on your company.
2. Do NOT ask questions related to Age, Sexual Orientation, Religion, or Race. Don’t even try to ask the cleverly disguised questions, “When did you graduate from high school” or “Will you need time off the day before Christmas?” It’s not worth the legal liability should I candidate feel offended so be sure to follow EEOC guidelines.
3. Be aware of body language. Pay attention to a candidate’s body language more so than what they say. Signs like slouching in their chair or diverted eye contact usually indicate a candidate’s lack of interest.
4. Ask for examples relating to “Soft Skills.” Candidates often describe themselves with typical answers such as “hard worker,” “willing to work late,” and “people person.” To avoid this ask for very specific examples. Ex. “Describe a time when you had to work past your shift?” “Why did you have to work past your shift?” “How did it make you feel?” Asking open-ended questions to keep the candidate talking.
5. Be conversational. Make the candidate feel comfortable. You will get more genuine answers.
6. Try to interview candidates without a table or barrier between the two of you. This is a very effective tool I learned early in my recruiting career. Removing barriers helps you to better view candidate’s body language and makes candidates feel more relaxed. Again, this will also allow you to get a more genuine personality assessment from candidate.
7. What does your gut tell you? I call this feeling my staffing sixth sense. Others may call it “an eye for talent.” Whatever you call it just remember to trust your instincts. If it doesn’t feel, right don’t hire. However, if the person doesn’t quite fit the job but would fit into your company culture than make the hire. You know your business, customers, and needs so trust yourself!