Interview Tips for Employers – Part Two

Image by JaBB via Flickr

We left off with the cliff-hanger gap between steps 3 and 4.  And so we continue from last time….

Step 4:  Establish Rapport

  • Do not betray (by word, gesture or facial expression) approval or disapproval, agreement or disagreement.
  • Do not challenge answers or engage in debate with the candidate.
  • Keep your body language neutral and keep writing.
  • Look up once in a while, nod, smile and otherwise encourage the candidate.

Step 5:   Pacing the Interview

  • If the candidate is going over time on a particular question, gently intervene to move on to the next question
  • If the candidate is not expanding on answers use silence (up to 10 seconds) to encourage candidates to say more
  • Prompt the candidate, if required, to obtain missing/additional information.
  • In addition to the specific probes for each question, you can also use general prompts such as “Can you please tell us a bit more about that?,” “Could you please be more specific?,” “What did you do next?,” etc.
  • If candidates have difficulty thinking of an example, ask them to think about another example they have used and consider its relevance.
  • Remind candidate that they can always come back to a question and expand on their answers if there is time left at the end of the interview.

Step 6:  Take Notes

  • Do not be selective in your note taking — write down everything and sort it out later, when you do the evaluation.
  • Take notes of factual data (examples, quotes), not your judgments.
  • Allow the candidate to make notes or record the question.
  • Even though these notes may be solely for you and the individuals who are involved in the hiring decision, never write notes that relate to prohibited grounds (e.g., “Haitian woman, 35-ish”).

Stay tuned…more to come later this week.  Same Bat-Channel!


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