The typical corporate career posting brings in about 250 resumes. Of those seemingly endless virtual piles of applicants, the average company narrows the pool down to five or six who will be brought in for an in-person interview. And from there, may the best person win!

Hiring the ideal candidate is more of an art form than an exact science. In this article, you’ll learn how to conduct a good interview in hopes of finding a perfect match for your organization.

Success tips for interviewers

  • Start small: Begin your interview with light conversation. Before delving into questions, describe the team and talk a bit about the job. Offer a cold bottle of water or cup of joe to help relax potential hires and make them feel welcome. You may even consider gifting them a branded coffee mug. After all, they’re there because you think they could be a fit with your company. Even if they don’t get the job, they’ll have a reminder of your company and your hospitality should another opportunity arise.
  • Squash stress: Skilled interviewers understand candidates will perform at their best (making it easier to assess for a fit) when stress is lowered. Be flexible when planning your meeting time and date, send interviewees a list of items you’d like to discuss so they can come prepared, and fill in would-be employees on your company’s dress code so they can arrive donned in organization-appropriate attire. You may even consider mailing potential hires an interview survival kit. It should contain information to help interviewees prepare—and maybe include a logo’d stress reliever, jotter and stress-free pen.
  • Ask with purpose: The best line of questioning will help assess a candidate for cultural fit, adaptability, potential for growth, capacity for leadership and teamwork capabilities. Determine exactly what you’re looking for in a would-be employee, and prepare a line of questioning to unearth the candidate’s potential fit. Some good ones for the list include: “Tell me about a significant change you experienced at work and how you adapted to it.” “What is something you do at work that makes you feel energized?” “Tell me about the best leader you’ve had and what about their style appealed to you.” And “Tell me about the most difficult decision you’ve made on the job.”
  • Encourage inquiries: Remember, an interview isn’t a one-way street. It’s also a great time for would-be employees to assess your company and whether they’d like a role in it. Also, the questions candidates ask can help you further determine their qualifications and likeliness of a fit. Let candidates know ahead of time there will be time in the interview for some Q&A and to come prepared.

We hope these tips for interviewers have left you feeling prepared and knowing exactly how to conduct a good interview. Try one or all to help you find the perfect match for your company’s job openings. Good luck!

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