Conducting a job interview for the first time is not easy. The large pile of resumes you must read may daunt you. The idea that you have to sift through all of that information can be overwhelming. How long should an interview take? What are the limits when you are asking questions? Is there a way to find out how this person will react under pressure? Do not worry. With some preparation, planning, and good sense you will prevail!
First, Be Prepared
Make an appointment with the prospective worker. Study his resume ahead so you will be able to ask informed questions. Prepare a list of questions that will help you know the candidate. Choose a room that is light, airy, and comfortable. A less formal interview might be held in a café or tea room. Keep paper and pencil, or laptop handy for notes.
Meet and Greet
When your interviewee arrives, make eye contact, shake her hand, and smile. Make her feel relaxed by asking a general information question about current events, the weather, or about who she thinks will win the pennant this year.
Getting to Know the Job Candidate
Your goal is to find out all you can about the interviewee during the 45 minutes allotted for the job interview. Your questions, and the candidate’s answers should give you an overall picture of the person who is applying for a job. What are his gifts? His weaknesses? His enthusiasms? Curb the tendency to make three-minute decisions about whether or not this person is a good fit for the job. Fight the desire to hire someone who is like you. Diversity is a strength in the workplace. The information you accumulate now will help you make a decision later when you have had time to put all the pieces into the job puzzle.
Be aware that there are some questions you may not ask; they could land you with a lawsuit. These personal information inquiries are considered irrelevant to the job interview. To learn more about these questions, and how to get the information you need, here is a great article: Don’t Ask a Job Applicant These Questions.
Things to Remember
There is safety in numbers. Share the interview process with one or more other people. Talk to the receptionist, and anyone else with whom the job candidate may have interacted. You may find out important things about the person’s character.
Anthony, Joseph. “Don’t Ask a Job Applicant These Questions.” Microsoft Corporation. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2010. http://www.microsoft.com/smallbusiness/resources/management/recruiting-staffing/dont-ask-a-job-applicant-these-questions.aspx#Dontaskajobapplicantthesequestions.
Libby, Brian. “How to Conduct a Job Interview | BNET.” BNET Today | Management, Strategy, Work Life Skills & Advice for Professionals. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2010. http://www.bnet.com/2403-13056_23-52947.html.
“New York State Department of Civil Service.” New York State Department of Civil Service. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2010. www.cs.state.ny.us/pio/publications/interviewguide.pdf.