Types of Interviews
The interviewer should decide what type of interview
works best for them. Some interviewers prefer a more informal, relaxed
type of interview while other people prefer a more formal, structured
type of interview.
Regardless of the type of interview, the interviewer
should ensure that they effectively assess the qualifications of the
applicant through the interview process.
When Utilizing an Agency
Utilizing an employment agency can be very helpful in
finding the best candidate for the position. Utilizing an employment
agency to short-list applicants can streamline the process for the
It also affords more time for the interviewer to
evaluate the personal traits of the applicants, therefore making it
easier to identify the candidate who best fits the corporate culture of
Regardless if an employment agency is used, it is in the
best interest of the employer to verify the applicant’s experience and
Preparing for the Interview
When choosing an agency to help in the initial screening, find out what
criteria they used.
Do they conduct testing?
Do they only interview?
Have references been checked for the short-listed candidates?
Do you need to ask more technical questions or do you need to focus on
questions assessing personal traits?
This will help you determine the type of interview you will conduct.
Being prepared for the interview is critical to the
success of the hiring process. Knowing the particulars of the job such
as salary, duties, education, etc. is the first step in finding the
best candidate for the position. Look around at other staff, what
personal attributes do they have that make them a vital asset to the
- Prepare a list of questions as
this helps to keep you focused on the important aspects of the job.
- Review the candidates’ resumes
before they arrive.
- Give yourself enough time for
- Be prepared to answer questions from
Conducting the Interview
Interviews require active listening, not just hearing
the words but also understanding “what is really being said”.
Maintain good eye contact
and be aware of body language. Remember that verbal
communication is a small percentage of effective communication so be
aware of what is “not being said”…voice intonation or body language can
reveal much information about a person.
to make the interviewee as comfortable as possible. Determine if
there is something of mutual interest that could be discussed briefly
before starting the interview. This icebreaker technique will help both
the interviewer and interviewee to relax.
Discussing the advantages and benefits of the
job during the interview may become essential in a very “hot” job
market. If the job market is very active, attracting qualified
candidates may prove to be a challenge.
The interviewer may be required to do some promoting of the
position/company in order to attract suitable candidates.
- Open-ended Questions: You want to
get as much information as possible from the candidate, so avoid yes or
Try to ask open-ended questions where the interviewee will be required
to provide examples and specific details in response to the questions.
- Try not to anticipate answers.
Questioning Techniques (Continued)
Questions you can't ask:
Direct questions about family, marital status, age, religious or
political affiliation are not permitted within the employment
Labour standards have determined that these questions are not relevant
to a person’s ability to do the job. If you have concerns about certain
issues, the question needs to be worded so that it is relevant to the
For example, if you are concerned that family obligations will present
a problem with required overtime, you might want to ask the following
question: “Will working evenings or weekends interfere with your family
Check with local labour standards to find out more about what can and
cannot be asked in conducting an employment interview.
- How does your past experience make you qualified for
this particular position?
- Tell me about your education/designation/courses?
Which course(s) do you/did you like best? Why did you like it best?
Which course did you dislike? Why?
- What part of your job do you enjoy the most?
- What part of your job could you could improve on?
- What work-related accomplishment are you most proud
of? Did it save the company money or time?
- What additional responsibilities would you like to
see in a new job?
- Why are you looking for new employment?
- How could you make your current job better?
- Who do you use for references? What will they tell
me about your performance, attendance, attitude, and teamwork skills?
- Describe a difficult work situation with a co-worker
and how did you resolve the situation?
- Describe your ideal boss? What do you expect in
regards to his/her management style?
- Have you ever supervised people? If so, explain.
- What creates stress for you on the job?
- How do you eliminate stress in the workplace?
- What value added can you bring to this new job?
- What do you do in your spare time? What is your
- What are your salary expectations and when are you
available to start?
Mistakes Interviewers Make
- Talking too much. If the
interviewer talks too much then several things happen: the interviewer
does not gather enough information to make an informed decision about
the applicant, the applicant feels that the interviewer may not be that
interested in them or their application, and the process can not be
used to adequately compare the skills and abilities of all the
applicants being considered.
- Accepting general answers. By not
“digging” for more clear answers, you may not get a good feel for what
the person can really offer you. Get them to describe information in
detail or provide examples of when and how they used those skills.
- Relying on memory instead of notes.
When you are seeing several candidates in one day, it can become very
confusing. Take notes…most candidates will understand if you have to
pause between answers to document their answers. Once you have
completed the interview process, it will be much easier to compare and
rank the candidates. Detailed notes will help you identify the best
person for the position.