6 Tips on How to Interview a Potential Candidate

You’ve been working for your employer for a while now, you’ve proven your value, and you’ve earned a respected place on team. Even if you’re still toiling away at the lower end of the totem pole, you’ve made this position your own and your employers are happy to have you on board.At this point, a position has opened up and you’re being asked to participate in the interview process. So you’ll be meeting with a set of candidates and asking a few questions to assess their readiness for the job. Your opinion matters, and your assessment will influence a decision with a real impact on the future of the company.Consider this task an honor, a learning experience, and an opportunity to advance your career. Keep these thoughts in mind as you move forward.1. Be bold, not shy. You’re in the interviewer’s chair now, so don’t hesitate to make decisive judgments about the traits that impress you or raise your concerns. Use you insights, your own experience, and your personal opinions to determine what kind of candidate you’re looking for.2. Keep your questions concrete and direct. If the trait in question is leadership, for example, here are two ways to address the subject:
  • Weak and abstract: “Do you have strong leadership skills?”
  • Concrete and meaningful: “This position will require leadership. Can you tell me about a leadership challenge you’ve face in the past and how you overcame it?”
3. Notice body language. If the person feels respect for this company, respect for you as an interviewer, and respect for himself as a candidate, this will show in his expression and posture. He’ll lean forward to listen to your words, he’ll think for a second before he answers your questions, he’ll look you in the eye, and he’ll ask for follow-up and additional information as the conversation moves forward.4. Give the candidate some genuine insights into the culture of this workplace and some of the more daunting demands of his potential role. Watch carefully to see how he reacts.5. Keep a close eye on potential red flags. If the candidate checks his phone while you speak or acts bored, make a note of this. If he genuinely wants to join this team, he’ll be working hard to impress and get to know everyone who already works here, including you.6. Don’t just observe—articulate. Your opinions are valuable to your boss, obviously. But this value can only be realized if you share these opinions in a meaningful way. Here’s an example:
  • Not very meaningful: “I just got a vibe from him, you know? Like a…you know…bad vibe.”
  • Meaningful: “He seemed totally unfamiliar with our document management system and chuckled as if my question was irrelevant to the job.”

Ask for a Resume

As your interview begins, ask the candidate for a copy of his resume if you don’t have one in front of you already. Hopefully, he’s already used the tools on MyPerfectResume to create a beautiful document that you can use to steer the conversation.