The Top Five Interviewing Techniques

December 1, 2022
Mikaella McInerney
The Top Five Interviewing Techniques

There’s all kinds of advice out there for performing well in a job interview as a candidate. Try the STAR method, use plenty of examples, don’t forget to smile! But sometimes the interviewer is just as nervous as the interviewee. And even if you’re an old hand at interviews, it’s always a good idea to brush up on the best techniques and strategies to ensure that you’re getting the best results out of every interview. In this article, we’ll break down the top five most important techniques to keep in mind when conducting an interview.

Why is it important to be good in an interview as the employer?

The balance of power during a job interview is usually on an employer’s side. After all, you’re the one with a job that the candidate wants! But there’s several very important reasons why you should always ensure that you are as prepared and well-trained during the interview as the candidate you’re speaking to.

  • It gets the best out of the candidate. Bad interview questions or bad interview techniques are not going to give you an accurate and insightful impression of the candidate themselves. Just like good managers lead to good employees, a good interview strategy ensures your candidate has the space they need to shine.
  • It makes you and your company look good. In the time of the Great Resignation, many candidates have a lot of different companies to pick from. If you come across unprofessional or even unlikeable in an interview, it might give a candidate serious doubts about working with you. On the other hand, offering a professional and friendly face to the company is only going to make the candidate more enthusiastic about the role!
  • It helps you avoid mis-hires. Hiring the wrong candidate - or missing out on the best candidate - can be a costly mistake. Save yourself time and money by implementing best practice interview techniques into your hiring funnel.

The best interviewing techniques and strategies

Here we go! Let’s break down the top five most important techniques and strategies to keep in mind as an employer during a job interview.

Plan ahead as part of a team

We can all probably pull some questions off the top of our head: what are your strengths and weaknesses? Why do you want this role? But to get the most in-depth answers, information and insights into a candidate, you’ll need to be well-prepared. Spend a lot of time deciding what areas you need to cover, including not just skills-based questions but culture, working style and more. And make sure you invite other members of the team into the process - not just HR but the department with the open role as well as the candidate’s eventual line manager, to make sure you have an opportunity to get the answers you need. 

Set candidate expectations

We hope employees prepare for their work on a day-to-day basis. In the same way, we want them to prepare for an interview! It’s both unreasonable and illogical to expect a candidate to go fully blind into an interview. By preparing them for as much of the interview and the hiring process as you can, you make it more likely that the interview will go well and you can focus on the important things: like whether or not a candidate is a good fit for the role, and not how good their internet connection is.

Ensure you cover topics like:

  • How long the interview will last
  • The format of the interview and how best to approach it - i.e., if it’s over a video call tell them any technical requirements they’ll need to meet, if it’s in person give detailed directions to the office
  • Who they’ll be meeting with
  • Any information you need them to prepare, i.e. if you’ll ask them to complete an assessment
  • Next steps in the hiring process

Be conversational, not confrontational 

Building rapport is important for a number of reasons. First of all, it puts your candidate at ease and ensures they won’t be panicked or unduly under pressure as they answer your questions. A bit of pressure in an interview situation can be assumed, but you also don’t want to make it worse than it has to be. And you definitely don’t want to be so antagonistic that you scare a great candidate off!

It also gives you a preview of how the candidate will work as part of your team. You probably prioritize teamwork and collaboration, so let this interview be the first step in that direction! If a candidate responds badly to your friendly professionalism, that’s a good red flag to note. On the other hand, if someone is warm in response, that’s a great sign for the kind of colleague they’ll be.

Stay consistent

Though you might have specific questions you want to ask a candidate about their particular CV, whenever possible stay consistent. That means ask each candidate the same set of questions, offer the same set of pre-employment tests and conduct the interview in the same format, context and situation. As a result you’ll be able to compare candidates accurately against one another. The more identical data points you have, the more you’ll be able to see who scored higher in each category.

Avoid bias

Bias is a real issue in the recruiting industry and there are all kinds of ways it can get you in trouble during an interview. Look out for social discrimination (where we compare a candidate to ourselves), confirmation bias (if we’re overly impressed by a candidate’s resume), familiarity bias (if the candidate has attended the same college you did or worked for a company you also worked for), recency bias (if the last candidate you spoke to always seems like the best) and more. Here are some good ways to avoid bias:

  • Make sure there are multiple people on the hiring team
  • Hire based on objective points, not feelings
  • Ensure your hiring process is equitable and inclusive

Want to hire the right candidate every time?

Don’t just rely on your interview techniques. Smart hiring software like HiPeople ensures that you get a well-rounded and data-driven insight into every candidate, making it easier than ever to hire the best fit. Book a demo today.