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Interviews that get results

Skillful interviewing is critical to choosing the right person for the job, but it doesn’t happen without careful planning. Follow these quick tips for preparing and conducting an effective interview:

Before the interview

At this stage, your main goal is to further clarify what you’re looking for and begin to seriously assess the candidate’s qualifications in light of your requirements.

  • Review the job description for the position. For additional insight, talk to people familiar with the position to learn what they think is most relevant.
  • Develop interview questions that target the requirements you’ve identified. Avoid questions unrelated to these requirements.
  • Review the candidate’s resume and any other application documents. Note any issues or questions you want to follow up on.
  • Secure a comfortable, quiet space for the interview, and schedule sufficient time to conduct it effectively and allow for unexpected questions.

At the interview

During the interview, your main goal is to further assess how well the candidate meets the requirements you’ve identified by carefully monitoring their responses.

  • Start with a bit of small talk before beginning. This sets the tone for the rest of interview and puts the candidate at ease.
  • Follow the interview questions you’ve prepared, but expand beyond as needed to further assess the applicant.
  • Let the candidate do most of the talking. This is the best way to assess the applicant’s qualifications.
  • Watch for body language (like sudden lack of eye contact) that may indicate that the candidate is uncomfortable with a particular situation.
  • Always leave time for candidate questions. These can help you further assess a candidate’s level of interest and preparation.

For help with interviewing candidates or other workforce issues, contact your local American Job Center to connect with a Business Services Representative or other resource.

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