Interviews are not just a means for HR staff and employers to find the best employees for a vacant post within the company. They are a means for applicants to gauge if the company is worth working for as well.
Gone are the days for interviewers to be ill-prepared or unsure of what to do. To make the meeting successful and beneficial for all parties involved, it is essential for the interviewer to conduct some preparations as well. These recruitment consultants in the MENA region recommend the following tips to help you do just that.
1. Research the candidates
Having the applicants’ resumes is not enough. Much like applicants are expected to do their homework on the company and the job they are applying for, interviewers are also expected to know more about the interviewees than ever before.
Go beyond the resume and look at the applicant’s LinkedIn profile and other social media accounts or websites managed by the individual. With information being readily accessible online, there is no excuse for employers not to learn more about the person applying for the job.
By researching the individual’s online profile and looking at what the applicant posts, you have a better idea of the candidate’s personality and whether or not the person will make a good fit. Furthermore, doing your part in knowing more about the applicant gives the impression that you are an organized person at work.
2. Look and act the part
Employers who intend to do the interview themselves should look their best. The interview is a way to sell the company to the applicant after all. Present yourself in such a way that the applicant would be excited to work for you and the company.
Treat applicants the same way you want to be treated. This means arriving, starting and finishing the interview on time.
In the past, it was common for employers to arrive late or go beyond the scheduled interview. However, this type of behavior is considered rude, inconsiderate and unprofessional. By not valuing the applicant’s time, you are implying that the applicants, and possibly the other employees as well, are not significant to the company.
3. Prepare a list of relevant questions
An interview is your chance to learn more about the potential employee, but there are certain boundaries you should not cross. Ask questions that are directly related to the job to assess if the candidate has the skills needed.
Use the job description as the basis for your questions. If a job description is not available, list down the key responsibilities for the vacant position as the basis instead.
Some employers like to ask behavioral questions as a way to understand how the applicant thinks. By asking these types of questions, you have a better idea of how the person will react to stressful or problematic situations.
For instance, you can ask interviewees of a goal that they reached and how they were able to achieve that goal. You can also ask about goals that they didn’t meet and how the individual handled the situation.
Never ask the applicant personal questions during the interview. Questions involving the person’s age, marital status and number of kids (if any) have no place in an interview. Not only are they awkward to answer but the answers you do get will not give you any clues as to how the person is as a worker.
4. Extend professional courtesies before and after the interview
Small talk is allowed during an interview as it can help both parties feel more relaxed. Ask the candidate if they found it difficult to find the place or offer the applicant a glass of water.
Before going into the interview itself, you can give an outline of the interview. Provide a brief description of the company and the key responsibilities of the job. This will provide the applicant with an idea of what to expect during the interview.
Once you’re done with your questions, give the candidate a chance to ask you as well. This provides you with opportunities to tell the applicant more about the company and the work culture.
Why Good Preparation Pays Off
Always remember that you only have an hour to make a great impression to the aspiring employee. By following these tips, you are on your way to finding people with the right skills needed for the job, excited to work for your business and work well with your other employees.
David Mackenzie, a recruitment professional with over 20 years’ experience in the field and a record of entrepreneurial accomplishment, is Managing Director and Head of HR at Mackenzie Jones. As the Group MD, David is responsible for the overall direction of the Mackenzie Jones Group, including Mackenzie Jones, MumsAtWork, MENA Solutions, Simply Digital and ThinkTech.