How Does an Interviewer Get The Most Out of The Interviewee?

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The interviewer should have a precise agenda and a well planned list of questions, which will detail the exact criteria of what the company is looking for in an individual.

The first rule of any interview or meeting is preparation.  The interviewer should have a precise agenda and a well planned list of questions, which will detail the exact criteria of what the company is looking for in an individual.

There will, no doubt, be several candidates for one job who all possess the correct qualifications, skills and experience.  An interviewer will normally select between four to six applicants for interview to provide them with wide latitude for comparing and judging the candidates.

It is now common practice for there to be more than one interviewer, which ensures limited bias towards a candidate and also not restricting the subjective choice to the opinion of one interviewer.

Greeting the interviewee
A professional and courteous company will welcome the interviewee, offer them refreshments and ensure the interview is carried out in a comfortable room without interruptions.  All these factors are important in safeguarding the company’s employer brand.

The more relaxed a candidate is encouraged to be then there is more likelihood of an assessment being accurate.

If an interviewer presents a warm, friendly handshake that will have an immediate effect on the interviewee’s nerves, this is to the company’s benefit as well as the interviewee.  Remember, a company wants the best person for the job, and if a person is too tense because the atmosphere is too intimidating, then an interviewer will not get the best out of that person and risks losing a promising candidate.

Inviting the interviewee to first of all introduce themselves and perhaps give the interviewee the opportunity to discuss their curriculum vitae, will put them at ease and the interviewee will respond to questions more fluently.  It is from these answers that the interviewers will form an objective assessment of the interviewee.

Length of time of interview
Interviews normally last between thirty minutes to one hour depending on the nature of the job.  Interviewers should each ask questions, so that one interviewer is not dominating the interview, which also enables the interviewee to engage with all interviewers.

Interviewer must identify gaps in interviewee’s curriculum vitae
When the interviewer is studying the interviewee’s curriculum vitae, they should highlight gaps, where time is unaccountable, and ask the interviewee to explain this, there could be any legitimate reason for this, for example; living abroad, poor health, unemployment or perhaps detention in a criminal institution.

Interviewee’s answers to questions should provide a framework of the interviewee’s personality and ambition
The interviewers should deliver questions in a manner which will enable them to form a picture of the likelihood of that candidate slotting into the firm, or not, as the case may be.  It could be from the replies to the interviewer’s questions that they will soon realise that this candidate will not fit into the company’s culture.

The interviewers need to address such areas, as skills, education, work experience, ambitions and ask the interviewee to try and identify their weaknesses and strengths - giving an interviewee the opportunity for honest self analysis.

Encouraging the interviewee to speak as much as possible will display their level of confidence and demeanour.
Questions such as: “what achievements (concerning work) are you most proud of; why did you leave or want to leave your present job; what do your duties include; do you prefer to work alone or part of a team, what attributes do you possess to contribute towards teamwork; have you ever solved a problem which consequently saved costs for the company, how do you see yourself in five years time and what are your career goals?”   This will help shape the interviewers overall assessment of the interviewee.

Knowledge of interviewers
Also the interviewee could ask the interviewers questions, from this the interviewers will know how much preparation the interviewee has set aside and will display their willingness and eagerness for the job.

All interviewers sitting in on an interview should possess expert knowledge of their organization.  They should be able to answer an interviewee’s question quickly, as both interviewer and interviewee should have the technique of influencing each other. 

Engagement and interaction is vital for a professional successful interview.
The interviewers should be skilled enough to highlight a certain credential listed on the curriculum vitae and ask the interviewee to expand on this and they will discount other less important areas of the interviewee’s curriculum vitae.

Concluding the interview
The interviewer should explain to the interviewee, the next stage of recruitment, and when they are likely to make a decision on the candidate of their choice.  It could be the case that there will be a second interview, when the interviewee may be given the opportunity to meet potential colleagues, and a general guide or walk-about of the company.

This will give the interviewee the chance to get a feel of the company’s culture and also for the interviewers to get positive or negative feedback from the company’s existing employees regarding the interviewee.

The interviewer should at all times be courteous to the interviewee and thank them for attending. 

Notes and ranking of the interviewees
All interviewers must make written notes of each interviewee concerning an interviewee’s attitude and overall opinion of the interviewee’s personality.

Many candidates could be interviewed in one day and it is essential notes are available to remind the interviewers of the credentials of all interviewees.  Interviewers could rank and place candidates into groups of: yes; no and maybe. 

It goes without saying the extreme relevance and importance of checking references to confirm a candidate’s identity and also their recent employment history.  Every company has their employment brand to consider and vetting a candidate for any criminal behaviour is normal procedure.

It is unusual for a person to supply a bad reference, perhaps fear of defamation, but a company can refuse to provide a reference.  If so, investigation is required and an interviewer should directly question the interviewee to clarify the situation.

Job proposal
An interviewer will not take too long to ponder on which candidate best suits the job, once suitable references have been received, and an interviewee has been vetted, they will contact their first choice of interviewee.