Interview Etiquette: 9 Things to Remember When Conducting An Interview
As a Manager looking for a new employee for your team, you may feel you have the upper hand in the interview process. You get to ask all the questions, make the interviewee want to impress you and ultimately make the final decision. This does not mean, however, that manners and etiquette go out the window.
You are trying to impress your interviewees just as much as they want to impress you. After all, what happens if you love one of your candidates, offer them the job and they don’t accept? Being prompt, polite and prepared are the basics to remember. Follow our 7 Things to Remember When Conducting An Interview below to “wow” your interviewees!
1.) Be On Time
Whether you are giving a phone interview or an in-person interview, you must be on time! For phone interviews call them when you said you would. There is nothing worse than waiting by a phone, anxious and nervous. If you make them wait 15 minutes, they’ll remember that. Waiting in the lobby of your office isn’t much better. Don’t start a big task or conversation knowing someone is coming in to interview.
2.) Offer Them A Beverage
This might seem like a no-brainer or a small act but it makes a huge difference. Often, when people are nervous, their mouth gets dry and having the glass of water there is a huge help. Don’t forget this step! Your interviewee will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
3) Tell Them What’s Happening
Before you start with questions, tell them what you’re doing that day. Maybe it’s your first time meeting them or it could be the final interview. Explaining to them what you’re after and how long it will take is very polite. Something like, “Today I just want to get to know you and your background a bit better. I have some questions about your experience and expect it should take about an hour. Does that sound ok?”
4.) Have Your Questions Ready
Don’t go in there and wing it. Have some questions prepared ahead of time. This will ultimately help you. If you ask all your interviewees the same set of questions, you’ll be able to compare answers that much easier. Also, look at their resume before the interview as well. They will be impressed that you know their background and skills.
5.) Listen and Engage
While having your pre-determined list of questions ahead of time is important, so are asking questions off the cuff. Actively listening to your interviewee speak and asking questions based on what they said will provide you with better insight into their experience. It shows you’re interested in what they are saying and also gives them more of an opportunity to elaborate on the initial question. Taking notes as the interview is going on is also a good idea but don’t get so lost in taking notes that you’re not making good eye contact and listening actively.
6.) Let Them Ask You Questions
Again, this is something most people know to do and it’s very important. Not only does it give them a chance to learn more from you, it’s great insight into them. If they are only asking questions about what holiday’s you have off and how much PTO there is, it might be a red flag that they aren’t the best person for the job. Answer their questions truthfully and to the best of your ability.
7.) Tell Them What’s Next
After they’re done with their questions, tell them what happens next. Let them know that you have a few more interviews in this round or that the next step is interviewing with another member of the team. You don’t have to make any promises of moving on with them at this point, just let them know where you are and an approximate time they will hear back from you about your next steps.
8.) Give Them Your Business Card
This is simply a courtesy. They will (hopefully) send you a thank you email or note and giving them your business card makes it easier on them to do so. It’s also a way to show that you appreciate their time and they can connect with you now or in the future.
9.) Follow Up
If in Step #7 you told them you’d follow up next Tuesday, you better follow up next Tuesday. Regardless if you are taking this person on to the next round or not, you need to call them and let them know. And yes, calls telling someone they didn’t get the job or another interview are hard but is the nicest thing you can do for them (whether they know it or not).
As the job market continues to grow, the need to complete this process in an effective and timely manner is important. People will start getting more interviews and job offers. Then your job offer won’t be the only one on the table for them to choose from. Making your company stand out as someone who cares and values it’s employees is important to candidates. Remember, just because you said “You’re hired!” doesn’t mean they have to accept.
By: Megan Blair
Megan graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 2007 with a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing. After college, she started her career in event coordination in Chicago planning corporate and personal events. Her career took her down a corporate marketing path where she gained experience at the leading GPS vehicle tracking company, Navtrak. Megan started with Synergis in 2009 and is enthusiastic about search engine optimization, social media and the IT staffing industry.