An interview is essentially a structured conversation, the most prevalent kind of planned communication during which participants exchange information: the interviewer asks the interviewee a series of questions in order to obtain information about specific predetermined subjects.
The English word “interview” comes from Old French and nearly translates to “between view” or “seeing each other”. It means that both sides involved in an interview try to know each other better. And in this process, the role of interviewers becomes more important because, to a large degree, the collecting of reliable, complete, and high-quality information in a truthful and appropriate way depends on them.
In other words, a good interviewer acts as a communicator that can overcome the psychological barrier between the interviewee and the interviewer. That’s why the interviewer should know the traits assessed during the interview like intelligence, aptitude for an inter-personnel relationship, self-motivation to work, and also qualities like honesty, ability to communicate, emotional balance, and coordinating ability.
Therefore, it is essential to count among interviewing skills behavioral and engagement strategies that will put the interlocutor at ease.
Interviews are great tools that help both the company and the candidates to make the right selection for the jobs. Interview not only helps the establishment to prosper and grow by selecting the right candidates, but it also provides a way for the employee to grow professionally.
What are the qualities of a good interviewer?
Conducting an interview with a job candidate might seem easy to inexperienced interviewers. Many business owners and managers think that conducting a job interview is as simple as asking candidates a few job-related questions. Good interviewers spend a lot of time planning and preparing for the interview. This is their single most important characteristic. Here are the top characteristics that set good interviewers apart from bad ones:
- Excellent listening and conversational skills
- Flexibility and detail-oriented skills
- Superior evaluation/assessment skills
- Friendly demeanor
- Maturity and emotions control
- Responsibility and punctuality
- Experience managing people
- Ability to read body language
How to become a better interviewer?
Becoming a good interviewer takes some training and practice.
The following are several tips and tricks which help to improve interviewing skills and become a better interviewer:
As an interviewer, the key to your success is preparation. In order to prepare for the interview, a good interviewer carefully studies candidates’ resumes and cover letters and examines their portfolio, work samples, and assignments. A good interviewer is familiar with candidates’ previous working experience, education and positions held and refers to this information during the interview.
Structure the interview
Establish a structure for the interview to help you and the candidate get all your questions answered. Most interviews follow a similar pattern consisting of three stages: the introduction, the information exchange, and the wrap-up. Having a structure will also help you keep track of the time and ensure you discuss everything you need to discuss during the allotted time.
Carefully choose the right questions
Clearly establish objectives of the interview and determine the specific questions to learn about candidates’ skills, their motivation and to assess their cultural fit.
Make sure your questions follow these basic principles: avoid leading questions and hypotheticals, use shorter questions.
Take notes and listen carefully
Both listening and note-taking are important parts of an interview. Good interviewers are attentive listeners. They listen more than they talk. The listening tendency helps the interviewer to make a better evaluation. Many interviews fail because the interviewer talks more than listening.
Note-taking is the key to making a good hiring decision. It helps you keep track of how each candidate performed and allow you to compare candidates once the interview stage is over. If you’re interviewing more than one person for the position, it can be hard to remember exactly what a candidate said days or weeks later when it’s time to select the new hire. Taking notes on the candidate’s resume is an easy way to remember who is who and highlight job-related skills and qualifications.
Watch the body language
Good interviewers know that actual words are just a part of overall communication. They know exactly what they can learn from their candidates’ body language. The candidate’s body and face send many different nonverbal cues that can provide extremely useful insights. Good interviewers are able to connect verbal and nonverbal cues, notice contradictions, and investigate them in an unobtrusive way.
They are also aware of their own body language and use it to help candidates relax and feel comfortable.
The interviewer should be free from biases and undue emotions should have the ability to judge the situation based on logic and wisdom. Control of anger, arrogance, or aggression is a fundamental trait of successful interviewers.
In order to have a successful and effective interview, the interviewer needs to follow these points:
- Listen patiently
- Don’t be defensive
- Don’t get angry
- Know when to quit
Be kind and polite
The process of interviewing establishes a connection with the interviewee. And the success of the interview is dependent to a great degree on the interviewer’s conscientiousness and effort. Aside from the preparation that goes into interviewing potential employees, keep in mind that you should also make the interviewee feel as relaxed as possible to elicit the best response from them. A good interviewer is kind, polite, welcoming, conversational, and considerate.
Kindness is a characteristic of being friendly and considerate, with a pleasant disposition. By making an effort to make a job interview pleasant, a good interviewer significantly improves candidates’ experience. A good interviewer knows the importance of treating candidates professionally and respectfully.
Give a warm welcome and end the interview in the right way
Set the stage for a successful interview by giving a warm welcome to your candidates. Make sure that your body language is positive, that you have a firm handshake and a big welcoming smile on your face.
Always end the interview in the right way. Leave enough time at the end of the interview and give candidates a chance to ask questions. Describe the next steps and provide an expected timeline.
Author: Anna Sardaryan
I’m Anna, a Master of Public Administration. I’m a freelance copywriter at Jooble, a great lover of flowers and nature. I like writing about everything: culture, philosophy of life, traveling, marketing. I enjoy dancing, reading, and playing table tennis with my son and friends.