Consider the items on this checklist when conducting an interview:
- Look for detailed, specific answers that support the qualifications you’re looking for in a candidate. Be wary of general answers; if the candidate cannot produce details upon follow-up questions, this could be cause for concern.
- Watch body language; understand the candidate is likely nervous, but he or she should still at least maintain basic eye contact.
- Gather multiple opinions. Especially if only one person interviews the candidate, find other ways of gathering information. For example, ask for the opinion of the receptionist or anyone else the candidate interacted with. You can learn a lot about someone by the consistency of his or her behavior when he thinks he’s not being evaluated.
- Ask questions about what the candidate enjoyed and didn’t enjoy at previous jobs. Some candidates will “spill all” and complain about a former boss or co-worker. Be wary of these candidates; even if it is all true, it shows poor judgment to complain about co-workers in an interview.
- Ask about the candidate’s preferred work style and compare that to the job requirements. For example, does the candidate prefer solo work but the job requires a lot of collaboration?
- Conduct the “airport” test. This is especially important for teams that work closely with each other or with customers. If you wouldn’t want to be stuck in an airport with this particular person, he or she might not be a good fit for the team.
- Gut instinct. While your gut instinct is obviously a subjective thing, if everyone who met the candidate has the gut instinct to not hire him or her, don’t necessarily discount that. However, be careful that you’re not allowing any type of prejudice based on protected characteristics to influence this (e.g., race, sex, age, marital status).
For more information on the interviewing process, dowload our Interviewing Toolkit. This toolkit is designed to guide you step-by-step through the interview process and help you find the right people for your organization.