How to Interview - Quick Guide

How to Interview - Introduction

Interviewing a person is all about trying to find a win-win situation where a talented, experienced person and a company of good reputation get to work together in a mutually-benefitting way. What an interviewer needs to make sure that he looks for positives more than negatives, rather than the other way round. Every profile will have something worth a second look if the screening standards are very strict. In today’s extremely competitive market, HRs know that they can’t be too picky.

Talented resources are prized assets, so HRs need to frame policies and set expectations in such a way that once they recruit someone, that person stays for long and keeps adding value to their organization.

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Interviewing Skills

Interviewing someone is much more than just having a brief glance at someone’s resume’ or CV, and knowing his career journey. Interviewing people is one of the most primary and fundamental jobs in an organization. It’s a crucial step in order to get the best team for the company.

Interviewing Skills aren’t just limited to asking a few questions; it’s about identifying the entire gamut of talents that an individual has, and which process can utilize these talents to the optimum. Studying someone’s resume’, asking the candidate questions, and analyzing the responses are necessary, but they are, in no ways, means to an end. In fact, these are just tools to working your way in from the outside only. Trying to understand a candidate involves being aware of the complete workplace scenario, which helps in identifying and recruiting new professionals to enhance your team.

Interviewing Skills

Many recruiters think that new processes need completely new employees, but this lack of complete workplace scenario makes them blind to some obviously talented people who are already working in their company. Instead of utilizing such talent to the optimum, they recruit more staff, thereby adding up to the liability factor.

Why Interviewing Takes Time

Being aware of exceptional people is part of a manager's ongoing functional area. Successful managers will take the recruitment process sportively as their mindset spells out that they are representing the whole organization. If the initial screenings aren’t executed perfectly, then a vast amount of time will be wasted in going through the pages of unqualified candidates.

The recruitment process consumes a lot of time and needs a great deal of effort from the Human Resource Managers. Many HRs adhere to a corporate structure for the recruitment process, one that is incorporated with human resources in order to select the candidates and for conducting the initial screening.

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Most HRs form a list people they need as per job profiles, however as a first-time recruiter, maybe it’s a good idea to look around the office − you probably already have the team you need. You just have to sort the right pieces of the puzzle at the right places to get the right picture.

Internal Talent Searching Process

An important, yet often-ignored part of interviewing, is the internal talent searching process. For a recruiter, it’s not sufficient to just get new talented people. It is equally important to identify the hidden skills of multi-talented staff-members, getting them a new job profile, conditioning them to changes, and making them fit enough to deliver on their promise.

This method works best for finding people who have enough experience while working in the company to understand their functioning, their way of doing things, is well-known in office circles, and adapts quickly to the job. Successful companies manage to identify such people and hone them over a period of years before finally giving them the designation and see them run their department efficiently.

Recruiting Ideal Candidates

When the HRs are not recruiting for senior managerial positions, they are busy recruiting people who fit the ideal candidate profile. As every single wrong choice will be a waste of time, money and other resources, the HRs are very careful and meticulous in their work. This is the reason interviews are generally time-taking exercises.

Recruiting Ideal Candidates

During an interview, an HR is trying his best to not only understand who the interviewee really is, but what best he can offer to the company. It doesn’t help that many candidates claim to have plenty of talent, expertise and experience in one domain, when they really don’t have anything of the sort.

What an Interviewer Should Not Do

Think Before You Leap. This proverb has deep significance when it comes to the process of recruitment. One of the most common flaws in the recruitment process is that at times, managers recruit the candidates, not based on whether they can fulfil the necessities of a job that comes with specific criteria, but based on whether they can get along.

This type of selection is emotionally-biased, rather than being a reasonable one. It may seem like a convenient way of making sure that you are surrounded by like-minded people at work, but it keeps more deserving and efficient candidates from being hired, or earning themselves a fair selection. Although this phenomenon is not as rampant now as it used to be once upon a time, still interviewers need to realize that interviews are conducted for the development of the company and not for an individual’s convenience.

Recruiting people who have questionable talent just for the sake of bonhomie is misuse of office, at the very least, and willful sabotage of a company’s working at the worst. It is the responsibility of the entire human resource department to work together and make sure such issues don’t crop up. Eventually, the Human Resource Manager should be involved in seeing that the recruitments are done based on skills, sincerity, and expertise as much as possible. The recruitments are supposed to be centered around the integrity of the candidate.

The HRs should try to go beyond the resume’, and understand where the actual talent of a candidate lies. Being an insider, they have the best idea on what the needs and requirements of a company are. When they conduct an interview, they look for those candidates who can fulfill those necessities.

External Sources of Recruitment

When a services-providing company gets new clients, projects or undergoes changes in its organizational model, plans to diversify into other businesses, or implements new steps as per its vision statement, then the HRs often get the instructions to recruit people who can work as a part of the organization and help them realize their dream.

In such cases, the HRs have the responsibility to acquire talent within a small duration of time. Some of the most efficient and widely-adopted methods that are taken into consideration for the recruitment process are −

Campus Recruitment

HRs keep a record of the academic institutes that their top performers are alumni of. When they find that a particular college or university features prominently in the resumes of the candidates whom they select, they keep a note of it, and contact such colleges so that they can recruit the best talent before their competitors can.

The main advantage in campus recruitment is that the pool of candidates is wide and a vast array of deserving candidates may apply for the job. There are great opportunities of hiring potential winners with entry level salaries. However, the flip side is that the HRs can’t expect them to have any idea on the functioning of their organization, so they have to recruit them on the basis of their generic knowledge about the industry. This means that they have to rely on the semester scores of this candidates, instead of technical expertise.

Sometimes, even the HRs make mistakes and a candidate who showed great potential in the interviews reveals himself not quite up to the mark, or is found unable to do the job expected of him. This results in a negative turnover as the company had invested money, effort and time on the candidate and the candidate becomes unable to return the investments.

Contingent Staff

Certain staffing consultancies specialize in contingent staff or employees who, on an off-role basis, work on temporary assignments. They are equivalent to more typical contractual or freelancing agencies, except the fact that the candidates’ job profile is often more oriented to a specific specialization.

The employees in such cases report to their staffing firm, and not to the client company. The staffing firm takes care of all their remunerations, policies, feedback, and other formalities. Teachers, Lawyers, accountants, and other specialized consultants are some of the few examples.

Contingent Staff

Companies incorporate this option mainly while adjusting with seasonal trends stiff, spikes in business, national launches of products, or trade shows. They might ask a consulting firm to allocate a complete team for special one-off projects.

This process comes in handy when the company undertakes a short term project which is out of the expertize of the skill set possessed by the employees of the company. The contract-duration hardly extends more than a year, however there have been cases where companies have entered bond-agreements with many of such consultancy houses extending decades.

Online Job-oriented Websites

An uncountable number of websites are available across the internet who intend to advertise job openings, however their real business model is providing genuine talent and experience to companies, that’s why these sites are where thousands of candidates’ resumes come from. Websites like,, and are some of the most significant ones.


Most of the recruiters are well aware of these websites, and as a matter of fact, many companies have tie ups with these websites. It is up to the managers to decide which online agency is best suited for their requirements.

There are some websites that specialize in recruitments of a specific job profile. (For example: marketing jobs, human resources, engineers, project managers, accountants, etc.) One such website, specializes in the recruitment of mid-managerial and higher management executives.

Recruitment Firms

The most significant advantage of incorporating a third party organization is that they have the ability to fill a position quickly from a pool of references that they have built and profiled over the years, which are otherwise inaccessible to companies, especially in a short time-period. They can also provide a services that are out of the extent of the company. Expenses may vary depending on agreements.

Generally, such firms work on three principles −

  • Retained Search
  • Contingency Search
  • Engaged Search

Retained Search

Retained-search firms ask for an upfront fee for the candidates they select. Normally, these firms charge 30-33% of the annual salary package of the candidate, and are contacted to recruit people who can fit top-level managerial positions.

In a retained search, the upfront fee is paid for the time, efforts, expertise and logistics of the firm. Most of the times, the firm is responsible for the entire process of recruitment of the candidate beginning with the interviews right till the time he starts working.

Contingency Search

Firms employing contingency search are paid a pre-negotiated commission amount per candidate which they had had discussed and finalized with their employers. The payment is done only once the right accepts the position. Such recruiters earn 20% to 35% of the candidate's annual base salary.

Most firms are paid that commission on the first year’s base salary, however some highly successful firms may get 20% to 35% of the entire annual package, including the first bonuses.

Contingency Search

Delimited or Engaged Search

Another form of high-management level candidate searching is known as Delimited Search or Engaged Search. It’s often confused with retained search because of the payment structure, however it differs from retained search in that while firms conducting retained searches practice a no-refund policy, in the case of engaged search, a firm has to refund the money back to its employer if it fails to hire someone worthy of employment into the desired designation.

Sources of Recruitment

While some companies opt for working entirely with third party firms, others may use a mixture of their own hiring function in which one or more of these resources are integrated. Such recruitment processes are known as Internal Recruitment Processes (IRPs).

Internal sources of recruitment refer to those sources that companies use to recruit ideal candidates from within their work-pool or through their own channels and resources. In recent years, this method of recruitment has seen a surge as HRs get good resources from mutual contacts, so the expenses of outsourcing the consultancy services to third-party organizations are minimized.

Also, because the references are all from within the company, the referred candidate’s integrity and sincerity gets a good rating. In addition to this, employees get to refer people in their own contacts and help them get a chance to work with top-class organizations. Some of these methods are −

Company’s Official Website

Companies that have their own ‘Careers’ section in their websites can directly recruit qualified and enthusiastic candidates from the profiles candidates share on their websites. The best advantage about posting jobs notifications on the Company’s website is that candidates that already are already interested in the company have direct access to apply for any open recruitment.

Company’s Official Website

They can also easily browse around the Company’s website in order to obtain more information like company background, work culture, products manufactured and/or services provided etc. It is likely that the human resource team can provide solid information and have ample amount of candidates to choose from.

It is a time-efficient, cost-effective way to build a profile of suitable candidates and maintain the information for future use (if an appropriate position becomes available). Some of the information these websites generally ask is about the candidates' educational background, current and former employers, salary history, special skills, references, and so on.

Job Fairs

One of the most actively used strategies used for the recruitment process is the participation of the company in job fairs. A big number of candidates can be interviewed in a small interval of time. There are numerous companies who also commission their own job fairs. Most companies participate in job fairs anchored by other companies. A company has to pay a participation fee to the host company. Numerous colleges and universities also sponsor for job fairs.

Newspaper Advertisements

Newspaper ads always have an upper-hand when it comes to advertising for a job recruitment, as the internet-surfing culture hasn’t still caught up with the pre-millennial generation. Because of this reason, a large number of potential candidates still refer to newspapers for job opportunities.

The advantage newspapers have over company websites is that newspapers provide all job opportunities that all companies are offering at a given time, as compared to website-browsing, where you can check only those jobs in that company. However, newspaper ads can be a tad bit costly and may yield varying results. They are more useful for certain positions. But, they are not usually the best resources for highly technical jobs.

Trade Associations and Magazines

A manager may be already familiar with the resources and associations related to her/his company. Companies deal in productions that might be very specialized in nature, or comprise of a very broad community consisting of sellers, vendors, buyers, dealers, and so on. An association may be able to provide managers with insights into the working process and can serve as a platform for finding talent. In fact, many associations have started having their own online job resource centers.

Many such trade publication associations either have a print or a web-based version of their magazine which contains a Career Section. The Hollywood Reporter, a long-time player in the entertainment industry, is an example of this.

Referrals by Company’s Employees

In many companies, prime employees are recruited through referrals by the company’s employees. This program has the added potential of boosting the employees morally and improving their loyalty, as employees feel that their suggestions are being valued by the organization.

In fact, many firms implement various rewards systems for their employees who refer successful candidates. The team itself may be one of the greatest sources to get referrals, but it includes the employees working in other departments as well.

The biggest challenge with employee referrals is that it may work in the reverse way if the referred person is not hired. The employee might feel discouraged if many of his referrals are rejected. He will feel low-esteem and generally withdraw from team-actions. So team referral systems need to be initiated only after properly instructing and educating employees.

Internal Candidates

An internal candidate, in other words, is a person already working with the company as an employee. Tapping into the potential of such people is definitely a good idea, before recruiting people from outside the organization. This step helps the HR in addressing the issue of nonavailability of qualified candidates in important, managerial roles.

It also applies to those people who are looking to make a switch to other departments or members of the other departments looking forward to try out. However, it is also a question of the corporate’s culture. If the company prefers recruiting newer employees from the outer world, a manager may wish to change this policy.

Understanding the Requirement

Before the commencement of the recruitment process, a manager needs to have a clear picture on the type of candidates who would be a perfect fit to the working model of his company, and for the job profile they are getting recruited for. A manager should begin by considering and analyzing the post for which the recruitment process is being conducted, and what kind of a person is needed in the team.

During this analysis, it’s important for the manager to look at both functional skills and other prerequisites for the job. For instance, the manager must take into consideration the overall temperament and attitude of the candidate, and his strengths and weaknesses.

By having clear goals and objectives, and sticking to the plan, a manager will be able to hire the most eligible personnel for the job and as a reward, the manager will also get to avoid turnover, which is just as important a factor due to all the investments made in terms of money and time associated with the recruitment process and training.

Core Questions

Here is a list of some of the core questions that a HR manager must ponder over −

  • Is this a new territory?
  • If so, does it have any similarities with other territory?
  • Has the territory opened due to turnover, promotion, or termination?
  • What issues did the previous person who represented the territory face?
  • Which kind of areas need improvement?
  • What personal traits would best fit this territory?
  • What variety of technical expertise, if any, is required?
  • Is this an isolated territory where the person needs to independently self-start?
  • Is this a territory where a person needs to work singlehandedly in this category?
  • What kind of training will be required (whether immediate or long-term)?

With adequate planning, these and other questions can be easily addressed before the recruitment process.

Making a List of Specific Criteria

Managers without any pre-planning tend to develop a certain bias and commit the mistake of hiring candidates whom they perceive to be their own reflection. A recruitment is successful when needs at both ends are met. However, in these cases, it’s the manager’s loss who is not recruiting the deserving and desirable candidate.

Making a list of specific criteria definitely helps in the recruitment process. Once the list has been made, it is essential for the manager to stick to the list (assuming no major changes in the recruitment environment are taking place). Of course, It is unlikely that the manager will find all the “perfect” candidates with all the necessary skills and perfect mindset. In such case, the managers rank the criteria and weigh the categories correctly.

A manager looks for candidates who have the following Skills Set model (technical knowledge, communication skills, market experience, business acumen). In fact, those companies that are excellent in hiring today are looking more and more to hire candidates with a certain experience. If a candidate does not possess an experience period of X years doing a job Y, then it’s being increasingly perceived that he might not be a strong candidate.

Worksheet:Finalising Job Description

A manager can boost his chances of getting the ideal candidates if he first makes sure what he wants from them. This necessitates a properly drawn-out job description. Asking himself these following questions will help the manager decide the job description.

Education and Experience

  • What are the formal skills, knowledge and attributes needed for the job?
  • What is the relevance of these skills and attributes?
  • Can a person who does not possess these skills still do the job?
  • Are there skills which can compensate or substitute for these skills?
  • Does the recruitment go hand in hand with the description?
  • Will the candidates feel the recruitment to be fair and justified?

Reporting Relationships

  • Where is the position on the Organizational Chart?
  • To whom will the candidate report?
  • Does the candidate need to supervise anybody?
  • To what extent the compatibility of the candidate matters?
  • Do informal or dotted lines also report relationships?

Work Environment

  • What will the working environment be?
  • Is the nature of the job permanent?
  • Will there soon be any change in the description?
  • Is travelling involved in the job?
  • What is the duration and frequency of these travels?
  • Are there specific working hours?
  • Are the working hours flexible?
  • Is regular overtime very common?


  • What is going to be the initial salary?
  • Is there any flexibility or room for negotiation in the salary structure?
  • What is the structure of the commission?
  • Do the company incorporate any rewards or bonuses?
  • When is the review period of the salary?
  • Are there opportunities for salary hikes before the standard review period?


  • Does the company provide facilities like health insurance, life insurance, etc.?
  • Is there a profit sharing, gratuity, retirement, or pension plan?
  • What are the vacation, holiday, sick day, and disability policies?
  • Does the company offer training, education programs or tuition reimbursements?

Growth Opportunities

  • What is the policy of the company with respect to promotions?
  • Are there inter-departmental promotions and/or lateral transfers?
  • Can an employee opt to turn down promotion?
  • What will be the impact on future offers?

Behavioral Analysis

  • What was the style of communication used by the previous position-holder?
  • What were the advantages and disadvantages of the previous job-holder?
  • What kind of communication style will best suit the needs of the opening?
  • What kind of strengths and weaknesses are associated with this pattern?
  • Will this pattern help diminish any weaknesses of the team?

Internal Motivators

  • What will ideally motivate a person in this job?
  • What can possibly be a secondary motivator?
  • What motivates others in the team internally?
  • Will they be compatible with and complementing to each other?

Special Requirements

  • What more is expected and/or provided—for example, company car, tools, uniforms, dress code?

To conclude, the job posting will not get all these questions answered. Only those most relevant to the job are needed to be answered. Think of them as the answers needed versus the answers that sound nice.

For example, if travel is the larger percentage of the time and requires a car (that the company is not liable to provide), then this should be specified in order to focus on the appropriate candidates. After all, not mentioning crucial facts or responsibilities on the job description is always considered to be misleading, and eventually result in a wastage of the candidates' time as well as the manager’s.

Recruitment:Constant Process

Managers should not develop the habit of commissioning recruitments in last-moment scenarios. Good managers tend to be acquainted with people long before they call them for a recruitment. These may be people they have had interactions with on a public transit, or through casual conversations, or mutual connections.

It’s quite possible for a manager to meet people whose background and experience well suited for specific jobs in his company, but there might be no job openings at that time. Sometimes, the candidates may not desire the position for themselves but they can recommend someone who is eligible for the position, desires the job and is available for recruitment.

A Constant Process

During industry events like conferences and trade shows, a manager can take a mental note of any candidate who he finds impressive. For an instance, a manager may hear a speaker in the industry who possesses great public-speaking abilities, something that is part of the manager’s criteria.

Sometimes, a manager could come across a candidate with raw talent that needs some polishing. In that case, a manager can advise the candidate to prepare himself and keep following up with him after a fixed duration.

Ensuring Unbiased Interview Process

Everyone benefits from a well-conducted interview— the candidates, the manager, the recruiting team, the organization, and in the long run, the clients. The number of highly qualified and talented people who join the company in a recruitment period depends on the reputation of the company among the potential candidates. Better the reputation of the company, more the number of potential candidates applying for the post will be.

Reviewing the Resume

A manager may not have a direct role in the recruitment process, depending on the efficiency of the Human Resource Team and the designation of the person being interviewed. In cases where interviews are being conducted for senior, managerial positions, the managers focus intensively on the candidates’ resumes.

A detailed review of the resume before the first screening as well as the actual interview is very important. The review might just be an insight on the candidate's background and academics to help in preparing a list of specific questions to ask the candidate at the time of the interview.

Review of the Resumes are taken seriously. A person who cannot impress through a resume may have a tough time convincing reviewers. That said, a manager should be careful not to judge a candidate on the basis of non-essential attributes written in the resume.

A manager needs to realize that when they start screening resumes, they will certainly come across a few red flags. They need not rule out a candidate just due to this, because these wrong decisions must have taught him valuable lessons.

Key Attributes to Look for in a CKey Attributes to Look for in a CV

Here is a list of the key attributes to look for while viewing a CV −

  • Overall appearance of the CV
  • Presence of Typos or unprofessional use of language in the CV
  • Omissions like missing important dates or educational information
  • Gaps or overlaps in time with reference to the academic career
  • Frequency of switches in jobs
  • Job titles and responsibilities (lack of progression)
  • Consistency or inconsistency between career experiences
  • Ambiguous job description

Initial Screening Test

It is a very common practice for the manager or the human resource department of the company to perform an initial screening test over the phone. Telephonic interviews are used to know the candidate better, verify the points mentioned in the resume’, and check the candidate’s availability. Typical process-related questions are generally avoided in the screen test over the phone.

The main purpose of initial screening test over the phone is to −

  • Find out whether the candidate's qualifications match the job description
  • Establish and enhance the interest level of the candidate
  • Set up a face-to-face interview platform

There are typically three parts constituting the interview process −

  • To know the person and how s/he may react to certain scenarios
  • To go through the candidates’ background (as related to the position)
  • Making an initial offer

All aforementioned steps parts could be carried out in the same interview session. however, this is pretty unusual. With positions that are visibly higher, several meetings are required in the interview process and the time could span over days, weeks, or even months. Also, depending on the position, the interview process also may require that numerous employees working in the company interact with the candidate and give their feedback.

Interviews are not just tools for recruitment; they are crucial instruments that managers wield in order to build an effective organization. Interviews establish corporate’s image. The first step on the above list- knowing the person- is probably the most crucial part in the interview process. It empowers the managers with the opportunity to learn about the candidates in terms of their behavioral style, judgment calls, and internal motivators.

Questions Avoid during Interviewing

Companies run on the written code of agreements and contracts. However, this tends to deviate many managers towards following the written word a bit too seriously to not see the big picture and what they are missing. Some common wrong practices in recruiting are as follows −

Considering the Resume and Nothing Else

Usually, an interviewer takes the resume and begins asking questions that are related to the information written in the resume. The interviewee then conveys the same data written on the resume’; the manager checks if the candidate actually has the skills as claimed in the resume. thus, making it more of a resume-based trivia rather than an interview. This does not offer a 360-degree interview of the candidate.

To give Away All of the Answers

Another style that managers very usually tend to incorporate is first describing the complications of the position, nature of the workplace, and the work culture of the company to the interviewee.

However, in this case, the interviewee may get the thought that the interviewer expects him/her to match up to the interviewer’s expectations, and will then try twist his skill-sets to fit the manager’s description of the job. This results in the manager later realizing that the interviewee is unable to match up to his/her expectations.

Boring and stereotypical Interview Questions

The following kind of questions are a bit too common and candidates may find them repetitive and regressive in most of the interviews they face −

  • Can you introduce yourself?
  • How would you benefit the organization?
  • What weaknesses do you have that you may try to eliminate?

While these questions help in obtaining some helpful information, they are not going to help with some of the potential and crucial attributes, nor will they necessarily help the managers to get to the behavioral aspects of the interviewee that they are looking for in the ideal candidate.

Behavioral Interviewing

This is where the significance of the term ''Behavioral Interviewing'' comes into play. The main idea behind behavioral style of interviewing is that the kind of performance in the past can easily predict the kind of performance in the future, provided that the circumstances remain same.

Behavioral interviewing digs inside the candidate's decision-making process. This style of interviewing process can result in a significantly greater amount of useful data as compared a traditional interview process.

Here is a set of some sample behavioral interviewing questions

  • Mention an instance when sold an idea internally among your coworkers.
  • What was the last time you didn’t agree with your boss, yet sorted the dilemma?
  • Convey an instance when you had become creative in order to get the job done.
  • Tell me about a situation when you organized a heavy workload efficiently.
  • Describe a situation when you failed while trying to achieve something.

Though the interviewees might have undergone some training in order to answer these kind of questions, the main advantage in this kind of process is that the questions are unpredictable, which makes it nearly impossible to practice the answers of all the questions, making the answers very difficult to prepare.

It is also usually noticed that some candidates tend to use a similar sounding answer while answering to different questions as it is within the range of their comfort level. A list of questions covering multiple categories will be very helpful in this type of a situation.

Motivational Questions

Another very important variety of questions are motivational questions. While this style of behavioral interviewing may be useful to identify the motivating factors of a candidate, there are some more specific questions the interviewer can ask as well.

Here is a couple of motivational questions that an interviewer can choose to ask −

  • Narrate a situation when your performance exceeded that of your peers.
  • Narrate a story, when you made a difference within your company.

Do’s and Don’ts of Interviewing

Managers are generally well-prepared for the interviewing process, however not even the most experienced ones are immune to gaffes. What’s interesting is that most of these embarrassments are the results of good-intentioned questions that somehow took a negative connotation in the wrong situation. Some of these dos’ and don’ts of the interview process are −

The interview environment must be of professional standards

A well-organized and non-distractible place is most suitable environment for the conduction of a job interview. It is the duty of the Human Resource Department of the recruiting company to develop a well-organized and professionally-aesthetic venue for the good conduct of the interview process. The Human Resource Team should also ensure that, no distraction and interruption is created by the environment of the scheduled venue of the job interview.

Quick reactions are a big NO

Many interviewers can get impatient during the interview process and give quick reactions as soon as they receive an answer from the interviewee. This usually happens when the managers have to interview a large number of candidates within a short window of time.

Quick Reactions

The interviewer should carefully listen, analyze, judge and react accordingly, after getting a reply from the candidate when the candidate is subjected to a question. The interviewer should emphasize on developing patience, even in time-crunch situations.

Stereotyping and prejudging candidates are violations of ethical norms

It is considered to be immature and naive of an interviewer if s/he tends to prejudge and/or stereotype the candidates into certain categories. This, being ethically incorrect, may result in biased and an unprofessional interview process. Every candidate has his/her own strengths and weaknesses. It is the prime duty of an interviewer to explore the personality of a candidate and discover his capabilities and weaknesses. A stereotyped and/or a prejudged interview process is no better than a random Lucky Draw selection.

The interviewer should seek as much useful information as possible

The most significant duty of an interviewer is to study all the qualities of the candidates. The interviewer, while in the interview process, must empathize with the candidate who is subjected to the interview in the respective position.

In order to do the selection successfully, the interviewer needs to know the entire profile of the candidate. More the information extracted about the candidate, better is the picture created in the interviewer’s mind and easier it is for the interviewer to make a decision.

Most of the talking should be done by the interviewee

The main objective of the interviewer is to observe and analyze the candidate. The interviewer should create situations where the interviewee does the most of the talking. After all, it is the candidates who need to express themselves, and not the interviewer.

There are certain limitations of a CV

An unjust and unprofessional approach to interviewing people is judging candidates on the basis of their CV. An interviewer should always keep in mind that a resume is only the brief reflection of the skills and academic milestones achieved by the candidate. In other words, a candidate makes a CV; a CV doesn’t make a candidate.

An academically-impressive looking candidate may not always do better at work than an academically-low scoring candidate. There may be vital soft skills considerations like good communication, patience, endurance, pressure handling, problem solving, etc. associated with the job profile.

A good interviewer never leads the candidates to reach conclusions

It has been the common tendency of many interviewers to make the candidates say what they want to hear. In order to do so, many interviewers tend to lead candidates into various quick conclusions. These conclusions may prove to be ambiguous and biased. So, the interviewers must avoid leading the candidates into various conclusions.

Jumping hastily to the final decision

Interviewers might have an urge to instantaneously dismiss a candidate if the candidate feels differently than the interviewers. Interviewers should be wary of this. For example, the candidate might have worked for a company that the interviewer dislikes and due to this reason, the interviewer might want to dismiss the candidate. However, from a higher perspective, this practice looks unreasonable and discriminating.

The opposite phenomenon is also true; an interviewer might come to the conclusion that the interviewee has something really appreciable in his/her background, or the interviewer may find the candidate sharing a similar mindset as the interviewer, and the interviewer finds a strong correlation of ideas with the candidate even before the full interview process.

This is a tendency that must be avoided. Contrary to the interviewer’s expectations, a candidate’s behavior may not be the same in real working scenarios. It is a basic property of human nature that we crave to find and like the people who are similar to us. Rather, the HRs must stick to the fact that an effective recruitment process should be beneficial to both the applicant and the company. The interviewer is just a mediator between the company and the candidate. In fact, both the candidate and the company lose in the case of an unfair selection process.

Handling Interviewee’s Questions

In addition to asking questions to the candidate, the interviewer should ensure that the candidate feels free to ask any question that may arise in his/her mind. It is at this moment that the interviewer would more formally acknowledge the questions from the interviewee.

The interviewer should keep in mind that the candidate’s list of questions might very well shed even more insight on him/her. For an instance, the following questions might be asked by an interviewee −

  • Is an employees' plan possessed and contributed by the company?
  • How many vacations are provided in the first year?
  • Does the organization provide opportunities and privileges to move to other departments within the organization?

These questions might express the additional concerns or motivations of the candidate. At the same time, they could either strengthen or weaken the manager’s interest in him/her as the right fit for the job, assuming his/her questions go counter to the objective criteria the manager has in place for the position.

After answering any questions and finding that there is still mutual interest in both the parties, the manager may move on to the next area of the interview. Here is where the candidate will likely want to know what the company really has to offer him/her and if this is a place s/he could see himself/herself working. Not at any point of time should the manager exaggerate or try to over-glorify the job.

If the manager has handled the interview process very well this far, he should be able to know the applicant's key desires and motivators. By using this knowledge, a manager would be able to explain the position and the opportunities associated to it in the terms that are most relevant to the applicant. In other words, the manager has by now reached that point of time where he can make a formal offer.

Offer Letters and Agreements

In many circumstances, the position to be filled by the candidate will need that the candidate signs a contract-bound agreement in exchange for a formally written offer. The procedure could also be governed by law or corporate policy. Furthermore, other parties such as contingencysearch firms might have a vested interest.

The offer typically covers the total package and not just salary, which also includes all of the other benefits, remunerations and incentives that are being offered by the company. In fact, it is important to reveal the whole package as opposed to showcasing just the salary, as it could further validate the benefits of the position versus another offer s/he may or may not be considering.

The Offer Letter

A complete and thorough review of the job should be reiterated in the offer letter in order to be sure there are no last-minute surprises. Again, the manager should be careful not to try to oversell the position during the course of the interview. A major complaint of those employees who have left the job within the first ninety days is that if they would have known about certain responsibilities of the job in advance, they would likely not have accepted the position.

The manager could end up losing what s/he felt was an ideal candidate at this point of time. When a manager hires a person who then choses to move out very quickly or never meets the expectations, then much of the effort put into the recruitment and hiring goes in vain. Accounting for the cost in time and money to hire and train an employee, such mistakes can be expensive. Even if an employee is less productive and cynical for whatsoever reason (lack of opportunities, financial security, etc.), these negative behaviors could build on and prove to be a major issue for not only the new employee but also for others in the employee’s team, and ultimately the manager.

Termination Policy

Terminating the entire team isn’t ethical and socially acceptable. Your recruitment history may include a combination of incorporation and termination that you might have come across within a short time window or in a longer, gradual way.

The good news is that, you might cross paths with difficult personalities or those who perform marginally low, still you will also likely be witnessing some very talented personnel. Whatever may be the case, what is the best suited for your team may vary from time to time and will be based on many factors, depending on the situation.

Some of these factors are listed below −

  • Efficiency of the existing team members

  • Changes in the dimension of the business (whether new products are to be introduced or whether an expansion of the business has been proposed)

  • Changes in regulations (When a new skill set is needed)

  • Mandate of the Corporation (Caused as a result of increment or decrement in the budget)

  • Culture of Corporation (how the team is signified within the corporation)

  • Economy of the market and the corporation (whether going through recession or growth)

  • Major industrial changes (For instance − mergers, expansion, contraction, acquisitions, etc.)