How To Be a Good Interviewer (Top Tips and Examples)

July 28, 2023
-
Hady ElHady
How To Be a Good Interviewer (Top Tips and Examples)

When it comes to the hiring process, interviewing is perhaps the most vital part of it. As an employer or hiring manager, interviewing gives you a chance to understand the candidate closely. You can analyze and assess their qualification, skills, and experience and ultimately make the right choice for your company. Similarly, candidates also get to meet their potential employer in person, learn more about their job role, and decide if they'd be a good fit for it.

Successful interviews help you improve your organization's culture, boost efficiency, and increase profitability. However, to conduct a successful interview, the interviewer's skills and knowledge are of the utmost importance. To become a good interviewer, you require a combination of specific skills, some preparation time, and a thoughtful approach to accurately assess a candidate's abilities. In this guide, we'll give you the most effective tips and examples to help you become an effective interviewer.

You can also leverage HiPeople's AI-powered Assessment and Reference Checking tools to boost your interviewing and hiring process. These tools will provide invaluable insights, helping you make the best hiring decision for your organization.

How to Be a Good Interviewer: Top Tips and Examples for Success

Let's have a look at the top tips for becoming a good interviewer:

1. Be Sure to Prepare Thoroughly for the Interview

When it comes to honing your interviewing skills and becoming a top-notch interviewer, thorough preparation is essential. Before you meet with the candidate, take a few moments to go over their resume, cover letter, and other materials. Get to know their qualifications, experiences, and skills, so you can ask meaningful questions and explore certain topics more thoroughly during the interview. This will help you make the most of your time and get a deep understanding of the candidate's skills, strengths, and weaknesses.

Example:  If you're interviewing someone for a content editor role, and they have plenty of experience, you should take out the time to go through their application materials beforehand. This will give you a better understanding of their past projects, and you can ask more specific questions about their editing process, their preferred tools, and so on.

2. Leverage Structured Interviewing Format

Consider using a structured interview format to ensure fairness and consistency when evaluating potential candidates. Prepare a list of the same questions and criteria for each candidate so that you can fairly compare their answers. This way, you can reduce potential biases and ensure everyone is judged fairly.

Example: You can create a system or scoring system for each question. This can help you make more reliable decisions and reduce the risk of subjective assessments when evaluating candidates.

3. Ensure to Listen Actively and Take Notes

Another excellent tip to improve your interviewing skills is to practice active listening and start taking notes. This helps you show your interest in the candidate's answers and also gives you topics for follow-up questions. Make sure to keep eye contact, give a nod of understanding, and ask follow-up questions for more clarity. Taking some notes can help you to remember important details, plus it lets the candidate know that their answers are valued and will be taken into account when making a decision.

Example: If the candidate mentions that they have no experience working a full-time job but have other relevant experience, you can elaborate on this in your notes. You can mention that the candidate has no full-time experience, but they have certain years of freelancing or internship experience. This will help you make an informed hiring decision at a later stage.

4. Give the Candidates Time to Ask Questions

A good interviewer always encourages the candidates to ask questions about the role, company culture, growth opportunities, or any other relevant topics they want. Not only does this help candidates get the information they need, but it also shows you're open to conversation and create a collaborative environment. Make sure to be patient and approachable, so the candidates feel comfortable while asking questions.

Example: Once you have asked all the necessary questions and written down your notes, don't wrap up the interview immediately. Instead, check if the candidate has any questions. They might want to know more about the job benefits, your company culture, learning or development opportunities at your organization, etc. Listen carefully and answer their queries in detail so they get a good idea of the job and the company.

5. Be Clear and Honest

When it comes to taking job interviews, honesty and transparency are incredibly important - both for the candidate and for your company. To become a good interviewer, always ensure to be upfront and clear about the job, company culture, and what's expected from the candidate. Potential employees always appreciate your honesty and clarity about the role. Setting realistic expectations helps draw in truly interested applicants who fit in with the organization's values.

Example: Let the candidate know what the role entails, how the team works, and what challenges they might face. That way, they can decide if it's a good fit for them, and both parties can be on the same page about what's expected.

6. Always Ask Some Meaningful Open-Ended Questions

A good interviewer knows that asking strategic open-ended questions is essential to know a candidate better and understand their skills, experiences, and problem-solving capabilities. Open-ended questions will help you understand their thought processes and get more detailed answers. Similarly, you can also ask behavioral questions to gain insight into how they handled similar situations in the past. By doing this, you can evaluate their critical thinking and communication abilities and their suitability for the job.

Example: Instead of asking questions like "Have you ever faced a difficult situation at work?" you should ask questions like, "What's one difficult situation you encountered on the job, and how did you handle it?" This encourages the applicant to talk about a specific example, giving you a chance to assess their problem-solving aptitude and judgment.

Best Practices for Conducting an Effective Interview

Now that you have learned how to become a good interviewer, it is also important to know how to put these skills into practice and conduct an effective interview. Conducting good interviews is necessary for bringing the right people into your team. Here is the complete framework for conducting successful interviews:

1. Pre-Interview Tips:

  • Define a Clear Selection Criteria: Before the interview, it's important to define the job requirements, desired qualifications, and key selection criteria. This helps to make sure that all the interviews are on the same page and allows you to evaluate candidates more effectively. Put together a comprehensive job description that outlines the essential skills, experience, and traits needed to be selected for the job role.
  • Review the Candidate's Resume and Application: Before you interview a candidate, make sure you go through their application materials - resume, cover letter, and any other documents they sent. Familiarize yourself with their qualifications, work experience, and achievements. Jot down some notes and mark any areas that you'd like to get more details on during the interview. Doing this will make sure you're well-prepared and can come up with any follow-up questions that might be relevant.
  • Create a Welcoming Interview Environment: To ensure a successful evaluation, create a positive and welcoming environment for the interview. Make sure to confirm the schedule with the candidate ahead of time, provide clear directions for the location or platform, and give yourself plenty of time. Have all the resources you need, like interview evaluation forms or scoring rubrics, on hand. Setting up a well-organized and friendly atmosphere for the interview is a great way to kick off a successful evaluation.

2. Tips to Use During the Interview:

  • Try to Put the Candidate at Ease: Start the interview off on the right foot by building a good rapport with the candidate. Welcome them with a warm greeting, introduce yourself and any other interviewers in the room, then give them a brief overview of what the interview will involve. To help them feel at ease, you can use light conversation or icebreakers to get rid of any stress or tension. With a relaxed candidate, you'll be able to get a better idea of their true abilities and personality.
  • Leverage Behavioral-Based Questions: Ask candidates Behavioral-based questions that get them to share details about their past experiences, skills, and problem-solving abilities. This way you'll get an idea of how they've handled situations that would be important for the role. Make sure you get them to give you details, results, and their specific roles in those scenarios - this will give you a much better understanding of their abilities.
  • Listen Actively: One of the most crucial tips for conducting an effective interview is to listen actively. Show that you're paying attention by maintaining eye contact and expressing genuine interest in what the candidate has to say. Ask probing questions that allow them to go into more detail about their experiences. Speak clearly and concisely to make sure your questions are easy to comprehend. Good communication will lead to a successful and engaging interview.
  • Promote the Job, But Be Realistic: Give your candidate an honest look into the job they're applying for. Let them know what their responsibilities will be, what kind of environment they'll be working in, and any potential issues they might face. Let them ask any questions they have so that they can get a full picture of the job and the organization. Being open and transparent will help the candidate understand what the job is all about and make sure that everyone's expectations are in line.

3. Post-Interview Tips:

  • Collect Feedback From All the Interviewers:
    Gather feedback from all the interviewers who were part of the process. Exchange thoughts, observations, and notes on what each applicant did well and what they could have done better. Assess their qualifications and decide if they're the right fit for the role. Having different points of view makes the decision-making process more meaningful and eliminates any possible biases.
  • Don't Be Too Quick to Make a Decision: While it is tempting to make a decision too quickly, it's best to wait until you've interviewed all the selected candidates. Consider the feedback of all the interviewers and go over your notes before making a decision.

Conclusion

So that was all about how to be a good interviewer! The ability to carry out a great interview is vital for all hiring managers and recruiters. It can have a massive impact on the kind of talent that comes into a company.

Becoming an excellent interviewer is all about practice, dedication, and following a few essential tips. Prepare for each interview thoroughly, create a welcoming environment, ask meaningful questions, actively listen, take notes, use a structured format, provide clear information, and give the candidate time to ask questions. By putting these into action, you can conduct fair, insightful, and compelling interviews that help you identify the best candidates and build successful teams for driving organizational growth.

While all these tips will help you become an efficient interviewer, you can also streamline and improve your hiring process by investing in some advanced tools. Software and tools like HiPeople AI-powered Reference Checks and Assessments can help you analyze various skills of potential employees and make the right hiring decision efficiently.