How HR Pros Can Conduct Effective Interviews

How HR Pros Can Conduct Effective Interviews

Interviewing candidates is one of the most important responsibilities that a recruiter or HR professional has. After all, your goal is to find people who will help your company to succeed. That means you need to ensure the interview process yields accurate, thorough information about their skills.

Thus, it helps to keep certain tips in mind when preparing for an interview. Asking unique questions is just one tactic to employ. For the best results, consider these points, as well:

Conduct Research

A job candidate preparing for an interview will typically conduct thorough research to ensure that they fully understand your company.

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You should do the same. Too many HR professionals make the mistake of simply glancing at a candidate’s resume and cover letter before the interview. However, if you take extra steps, such as reviewing their LinkedIn profile or researching the companies where they previously worked, you’ll simply know more about a candidate before you meet them. This will enable you to better determine what types of questions you should ask.

Help Them to Relax

People have different personalities. Some candidates are extremely vocal during job interviews. They enthusiastically discuss their previous experiences, and they immediately seem to get along with interviewers.

That’s not the case with everyone. Some people are shy. This doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t have the skills they need to succeed in their roles.

That’s why it’s a good idea to prepare some questions about a candidate’s hobbies or personal interests. If you strictly discuss business, they may be tense throughout the experience. On the other hand, if you talk to them the way you would talk to a new friend that you’re getting to know, you can help them to loosen up more easily.

Make a List of Potential Scenarios

Vague questions such as “What’s a skill you think you need to improve on?” often don’t provide interviewers with genuinely valuable information about a candidate. Even interviewees who actually want to provide useful answers might not know whether their answers are relevant to the type of work that they’ll be doing if they get the job.

Instead of asking these generic questions, make a list of scenarios that a candidate may experience in their work. Ask them how they would handle those situations. Doing so is a simple way to find out how they’ll actually overcome some of the challenges that the role may involve.

Don’t Talk Too Much

Very few job candidates are going to feel comfortable interrupting you during an interview. That means, if you spend most of the time talking about the role, you may not hear enough from the candidate to determine if they’re a good fit.

Make sure you spend most of your time listening to them instead of lecturing. While it is absolutely important to share information about the job and your company, you need to remember that the interview is supposed to give your company an opportunity to learn about a candidate, and not the other way around.


Having a list of questions prepared for a job interview is obviously important. However, that doesn’t mean you should always stick to your list.


For instance, the way in which an interviewee answers a particular question may (if you’re listening) give you reason to ask a follow-up question. Maybe you simply want them to elaborate on or clarify a point they made in their initial answer. When you’re willing to go “off-script” if the circumstances warrant doing so, you’ll potentially learn a lot more about a job candidate than you would otherwise.

Be Pleasant

Most of the people you interview won’t get the job. That said, when you find the perfect candidate, you can’t be entirely certain whether they’ll accept the offer. There’s a good chance that they’ve applied to several jobs recently. Your job opening might not appeal to them if you make the wrong impression during an interview.

That’s why it’s always important to be as friendly and professional as possible during an interview. Although a candidate may get a brief glimpse into your organization’s culture if they visit the office for an interview, for the most part, you’re the primary individual representing the company to them. You want to make sure you do so in a way that makes the company look like the type of place where a candidate would want to work. By being friendly, you’ll also help interviewees to relax.

Keep these points in mind when preparing for a job interview. While it’s always important to use interviewing strategies that have worked in the past, it’s also wise to adjust your strategy if you believe there’s room for improvement.

As an HR professional or recruiter, you need to find the best possible candidates to fill roles at your organization. These tips will help you to do so.

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