recruiting firms also have confidence that the candidate will be a decent “fit” with the company’s culture.

When you have to choose among several qualified, promising candidates, the interview offers the best chance to narrow down the field and help you choose a “top player.” Better interviews lead to better choices – so how do you become a more effective interviewer?

Try these five tips:

  1. Do your homework. You expect candidates to come to the interview with some background knowledge about the company, the demands of the job, and the industry, so do no less for them. Take a few minutes before each interview to look over resumes and other application materials. Make notes about apparent strengths and weaknesses, background, and experience, and use these to guide your questions during the interview. When you know what you want to cover, you can spend the interview learning more about the candidate and getting a feel for “fit.”
  2. Help the candidate feel at ease. Research shows that the “high-stress” interview actually reduces the quality of feedback and damages the ability to make solid hiring decisions. Use the first few minutes of the interview to greet the applicant and create rapport with friendly, sincere small talk. Display enthusiasm and passion for the company and for your own job. Remember, if this is the ideal candidate, you want him or her to say “yes!”
  3. Ask thoughtful questions and listen sincerely. Skip the lists of boilerplate interview questions. Instead, use the candidate’s application materials and information gleaned from your recruiter to ask questions that relate directly to this candidate’s experience and background. Let candidates think about questions before answering, even if the silence lasts several seconds. Use active listening techniques, like rephrasing and follow-up questions, to explore candidates’ answers and learn more.
  4. Stay on track. Few interview situations frustrate top candidates more than distractions, unnecessary pauses, and obstacles that prevent the conversation from moving smoothly. The candidate wants to share their background as much as you want to hear about it, so create an interview environment that lets this conversation flow. Steer candidates who ramble back to the topic at hand, and make it clear that during interviews, you are not to be disturbed by staff.
  5. Have an “exit strategy.” Nothing is more awkward than an interview that ends abruptly or without a sense of closure, no matter how well the conversation flowed up to that point. Avoid the urge to comment on the candidate’s performance or give a job offer; instead, offer a friendly, positive closing that thanks the candidate for his or her time and outlines the next step in the hiring process.

At FootBridge Energy Services, our experienced recruiters help you find outstanding candidates, so you can make a better hiring decision. Contact us today to learn more.