How to conduct an effective interview?

effective interview

Conducting an effective interview that can be less hectic, less complicated and results a good candidate for the job. It becomes very important that you do your homework by floating the right job description to various job channels and then review candidate profile and call shortlisted candidate for an interview. Now a days Video calls are becoming more popular and saves lot of time for both candidate and interviewer, this article highlights typical step by step process to conduct an effective and successful interview be it any medium online or face to face.

Step1: Introduction

Brief About you: To make it an effective interview always start with your name, the group you belong to, what do you do, how long have you been there and what’s your total experience.

Organisation/team details: Please state about the team your belong to and what the various functions your team involved, total number of people working with you in the team.

Job Description: what is this role about, what do you expect from the candidate, how soon you wish to fill this position, what you are not looking for.

Step2: Candidate’s Introduction

  • Ask candidate to combine relevant experience, domains, job functions, tools & technologies worked
  • Clarify if you have heard correctly- then form your questions and in case of mismatch of skills it would be easy for you to end the discussion then and there and save time.

Step3: Ask Questions

  • If its technical then ask question around one particular area and get the confirmation if candidate has worked on it
  • The approach could be “Question followed by supporting question to confirm candidate has sufficient knowledge in that work area”
  • If candidate struggle to answer then ask easy questions first followed by complex one to boost candidate’s confidence.
  • Sometimes due to influence of mother tongue you may face difficulty in getting the right answer, better to be crisp and clear in your articulation, use different examples to explain your questions
  • If you have a heavy Mother tongue influence and need to conduct interview then your can prepare your script and use it in interview.
  • Prepare a table in which each work area is mentioned like: Domain, Presales, Programming, Java, C++, Design etc.
  • Some questions may require candidate to draw something on paper, please do not hurry to offer something on paper if candidate is taking time.
  • Always be ready with scale of 1-5 or 1-10 whatever suites you to rate candidate’s performance in that work area, you can hide your sheet if face to face interview.
  • After you are done with questions, give chance to candidate and ask whether you have missed any area of candidate’s strength?

Step4: Candidate Questions

  • After you are done with your set of questions, give chance to candidate to ask questions
  • Some candidate may ask you “how did they perform?” take your call. Whatever you would say candidate is not going to take it positively so better to use the usual sentence.

Step5: End the Interview Properly

  • Please remember in front of candidate you are the face of company you work for, it is important that you close the discussion on positive note and be goodwill ambassador for your company.
  • Complete the assessment form quickly and pen down everything you observed during discussion.

Other points for an effective interview:

  • Always put a smile on your face even if you feel candidate is unable to answer your questions.
  • A good face would always attract the interviewer and yes it’s the candidate’s plus point however it would be better if you concentrate on experience, skills and expertise along with appearance.
  • You can always appreciate the appearance of candidate specially if they are in formals even on weekends for interview
  • Do not get into argument with candidate that they are wrong
  • You can always use terms like “generally I have seen”, “mostly in our projects”, “this is what I have noticed in my career”, “our company uses slightly different method” etc
  • Soft skills are very important during conversation so please allow candidate to behave professionally and normally.
  • Setting the time expectation would be good and drive you to get desire result.
  • Always design your score table in such a way that experience gives chance to exploration and allows candidate to prove him/herself in future.
  • Taking calls during interview is now a days a fashion, consider if candidate ask you to hold your question till phone call gets’ over? How would you feel? Well candidate is rejected I guess then why not candidate reject you as an employer?
  • Please avoid taking calls during interview this will prove the right candidate that his time and your time both are important.
  • During video calls network may be an issue in-between however don’t lose your composure and maintain the good energy levels throughout the interview

Example of Assessment table:

Skill Area Description Score
5 4 3 2 1 0
Domain Banking Domain, retail, online banking, banking process 4
Agile Scrum, Extreme programming, tools, metrics 3
Transition Methods, tools, Roles 3
CoE Services offered, core-flex model 2
Project Manager Team managed, reporting, planning 5
Tools Visual Studio, Eclipse, TFS 1
Process Business process, Dev Process, release process 4
Analytical thinking 3
Communication 4

Conclusion:

It would be prudent to do a random search on internet about candidate just o get an extra idea if the candidate is famous or is involved in something not as per the job, these are other means to make sure that you conduct an effective interview. IF you are a candidate and searching for a job then you might like to read how to get your resume shortlisted

Disclaimer: This article is based on my experience of conducting interviews for last 19 years and have nothing to do with one particular company or organization I am working or worked for.

Amit Mishra

About the author

Amit Mishra is an IT professional around 2 decades of experience in Software Industry. He brings deep experience in Solutions, Quality, Sales, Marketing. He is mentor to MBA students at JAGSOM Bangalore and always helps people with varied career aspirations.

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