This list is not extensive, but is based on my experiences as an interviewee from the past few months.
# 1 Do your homework
At the very least read through the applicant’s resume before the interview. There is nothing more annoying than having to sit there while the interviewer reads through your resume, in detail, while you sit there in silence. If you happen to have more time, it would be beneficial to view their LinkedIn profile and if they have a website I would recommend checking that out too.
# 2 If possible, have a secondary interviewer
Actively listening and taking detailed notes can be tricky. If you can, have a secondary person in the room whose main purpose is to take notes, while you ask the questions and listen.
# 3 Be on time
Getting an interview is scary enough without worrying that you got the date, time, and/or place mixed up. Do your best to be on time or early, interviewees are expected to do this so why shouldn’t interviewers be held to the same standard? If you are going to be late try to send a message to the person you will be interviewing.
# 4 Put your phone away
One time, when I went for an interview where the person was not only 20 minutes late, but throughout the whole interview they left their phone out on the table and it kept buzzing. Not only was it distracting to me, but it was to them as well. It made me mad because I had rearranged my day to be there and instead of listening to what I had to say they were busy looking at their phone.
There are circumstances where it is okay to leave your phone out, like if someone you know is in the hospital and you need to have your phone out in case the hospital calls. If this is the case, communicate that with the interviewee at the beginning. Say something along the lines of, “Now, I do not normally have my phone out or even on during interviews, but…”.
# 5 Do not talk too fast
Not only is the person being interviewed nervous, but a lot of the time so is the interviewer. When people get nervous they often speak much faster, which can cause the other person to not understand or mishear the question. Try to speak slowly and clearly to avoid confusion.
# 6 Start off with ‘easy’ questions
Easy questions help ease both you and the interviewee into the interview. Do not start off with questions that require more thinking and articulation. A few ideas from interviews I have had are:
- What do you like to do in your free time?
- What are your hobbies?
- Please tell me a bit about yourself.
- Besides working, what else are you looking forward to doing this summer?
These questions are ones that people can think of quite easily and as a result helps get them used to speaking to the interviewer.
# 7 Do not ask multiple questions at once
I have gone to a few interviews where they layered the questions and by the time the interviewer was done and let me speak the count was about four or five questions. Try to limit the amount of questions you ask to one or two. By the time the interviewee is done answering the first question they have often forgotten what the next question even was. Once they have answered your previous questions then you are free to ask a follow-up question or a new question.
# 8 Do not waste the interviewee’s time
I have witnessed and heard about interviews where the interviewer has spent almost an hour describing every little detail of the job and then in the end the person did not get the job. Most of those details could have been covered in training and by going through all those details it gave the interviewee false hope. If an interviewee has a specific question about the job they will ask!
# 9 Be honest about the job opening from the beginning
Some jobs have an interview process where there is more than one interview. In my own experience, at the initial interview I was given a completely different job description than the one I was given in the secondary interview. If I had known the true job description I most likely would not have continued onto the next step, that way my time or the interviewer’s time would not have been wasted.
# 10 If possible, communicate to the interviewee whether or not they got the job
This is not quite to do with the actual interview process, but has more to do with post interview. Sitting around and wondering if you got a job is no fun, so when possible let the interviewee know whether they got the job. I am always grateful when I am contacted because it shows they care. I especially appreciate when they let me know if I have any questions about the interview and why I may not have gotten the job that they will be happy to discuss it with me.
If you follow these tips it should help improve the interview process for both you and the interviewee. Do you have any other tips? Please feel free to add them to the comments!