Questions employers always ask

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Mary was recently promoted to management of a large Fortune 500 company.

One of her new job responsibilities is interviewing job candidates into the engineering department.

Mary does not know anything about how to interview someone and needs some guidance on how to conduct an interview and demonstrate to the candidates that his company is a great place to work. She’s in a competitive industry and needs to attract good people into her company.

Mary’s Question:

I work in the communications industry and I have recently been promoted to management. Our industry is very competitive and it is vital to our survival that we attract and hire top talent. Since being promoted to management one of my new job responsibilities is and interviewing.

I don’t know how to conduct an interview and I don’t want to look like a fool in front of my peers, nor any of the candidates I will be interviewing. Can you tell me how to conduct an interview?

Don’s Answer:

You are right, hiring top talent is vital to keeping any business running, but it’s not always that easy. You can’t just look at a candidates resume and base your decisions on that alone.

Conducting an interview is kind of like detective work and preparation is key. I don’t think job seekers understand how much time and effort a company has to go through to prepare and conduct an interview.

You need to ask every candidate a series of the right questions that, based on their answers, will define whether they fit your criteria or not. Failing to ask the right questions, or not enough of them could cause you to offer the job to someone is not a fit for your company.

Hiring top talent is an art and requires a certain amount of skill. You need to be a great listener and you need to be able to filter out the people who say they can do the job verses the ones who can get the job done.

There are many job seekers out there who are very good at selling themselves, but low on delivering results. Unfortunately, the choices are not always clear, which is why interviewers have turned to competency based interviews.

The basic theory behind competency-based or behavioral interviewing is that “the best predictor of a candidate’s future behavior is how he/she performed in a similar situation in the past.” But even behavioral interviews can’t predict how someone will work out.

How to interview someone

Here’s how to conduct an interview, create a framework of what this position is all about. What are the requirements for this position? What does this person need to be able to accomplish? What will they need to know? What will they need to learn? Then start building interview questions that will support that framework.

Do your homework and don’t insult your candidates by reading their resume in front of them for the first time. You should have already read their resume several times and have made notes about it as well as created specific questions about their work history you want to know more about.

Welcome them into the interview and let them know you are happy to meet them. Thank them for taking the time to coming out to meet you. Set the tone for the interview and explain your interview process to them from start to finish. This way they won’t have to ask you what is next.

How to interview someone: You need to have a script prepared for how you will progress through the interview. Even if you know what questions you will ask, you should definitely write them down and use them as a guide for each interview.

You should also have a notebook for note taking about each candidate you interview so you can have something to look back on after they’re gone.

It’s generally a good idea to ask open ended questions that might generate a more detailed response for a candidate. Questions like, “how did you come about applying for this position?”

It’s good to ask a mix of general type interview questions to get candidates comfortable and then work towards more specific work experience related questions.

Ask questions that will give you an insight to their behavior, their opinions, and ones that demonstrate their vast experience and how it will be able to benefit your company.

It’s also important to remember that the candidate is also interviewing you and your company. I have walked away from several job opportunities because I did not like the company or the person who was interviewing me.

In the end, it’s important for you to know what you want. If you don’t know the type of person you are looking for, then you probably won’t find them. This is why creating a framework that defines the perfect person you are seeking will help you make the best choice in the end.

You will probably never find the “perfect person” for the job, but you can usually get pretty close. But if you don’t have anything written down that defines the perfect person you are seeking, then you will never know if the best person for the job is sitting right in front of you.

Many hiring managers ask questions from Don’s interviewing guide to job candidates because it shows interviewers the types of answers job seekers are expected to give.

The Complete Interview Answer Guide will show you how to conduct an interview. The 201+ sample answers in the guide will quickly help you craft your own professional answers for ALL types of interview questions for any occupation.

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