When the day of the interview arrives, carefully select the right environment for the meeting. Pick a space that is welcoming, but that minimizes potential distractions for both you and the candidate. During the interview, be mindful of the candidate's character - what he or she does. Did the candidate arrive on time? Dress appropriately? Bring a portfolio of samples? Ask relevant questions? It is also important to be aware of the time. Cover your most critical questions first, but then allow time for the candidate to ask questions and a few minutes for you to explain the timeline for next steps.
The type of interview that you conduct can also be telling, and potentially sound a warning signal for some candidates. Consider mixing several of the interview styles below or offering a new approach during different phases of the process to avoid alienating some candidates - or possibly your best-fit candidate.
- Traditional: An initial phone screening by an HR team member, followed by two or three in-person interviews with the hiring manager.
- Panel or Group: One or more sessions in which the candidate is interviewed by multiple people at once for a more comprehensive assessment of fit. Typically these interviews include the hiring manager, peers, other team members and an HR executive.
- Speed Dating: Short (less than 15 minutes each) interviews with team members and key executives to encourage meeting a large number of people within the organization. First impressions are key here as most people quickly decide if the candidate is the right fit. Plus, this also gives the candidate broad exposure to those with whom he/she will be working with directly. After all, hiring is a two-way selection process.
- Behavioral/Situational: An assessment of specific actions or behaviors in given circumstances or jobs through situational questioning to predict future performance in a position.
- Stress Tests: Monitoring a candidate's creativity and composure during purposefully stressful mock scenarios to assess his or her ability to handle pressure.
- Job Shadowing: Following an initial screening of applicants, a job shadow encourages the employee to follow a peer in a similar or the same position for an entire day, allowing the hiring manager to preview his or her actual knowledge/skill.
- Provoking Reaction: Lampooning candidates with off-the-wall questions to assess problem-solving capabilities and to elicit creativity.