Your Guide on How to Be a Good Interviewer

By Indeed Editorial Team

February 22, 2021

Interviewing is an integral part of the hiring process, and being a good interviewer ensures that you get the most out of each interview. Several factors go into effective interviewing, including preparation, good listening skills and consistency. In this article, we discuss why it's important to be a good interviewer and several tips you can implement into your interview process to be as effective as possible.

Why is it important to be a good interviewer?

Being a good interviewer is important because it allows you to attract and hire the best candidates for positions in your company. Since interviewing is so important to the overall hiring process, being as effective as possible during the interview process ensures that you not only find the right people for the job but that those people become eager to join your organization.

Here are additional reasons why being a successful interviewer is important:

  • It allows you to determine which candidates have the best experience and skills for the job.

  • You're able to decide if a candidate can fit into your company's culture.

  • It ensures that the best candidates are as interested in your organization as you are in their professional qualifications.

  • You can be confident that a candidate is worth the company's time and resources to train and develop.

  • It increases the likelihood that the candidate you offer the job to accepts the offer.

  • It helps you use your hiring resources in the most effective way possible, including time spent interviewing candidates.

Related: 21 Job Interview Tips: How to Make a Great Impression

How to be a good interviewer

The following are several tips you can implement to improve your interviewing skills:

  1. Take time to prepare.

  2. Put thought into your questions.

  3. Review the candidate's information before the interview.

  4. Decide on a structure to follow for each interview.

  5. Implement a standard rating system.

  6. Practice good listening skills.

  7. Consider practicing your interview techniques with friends or coworkers.

  8. End the interview professionally.

  9. allow the interviewee to ask questions.

  10. Review each interview, and assess where you can improve.

1. Take time to prepare

Preparing for the interview can be just as important as the interview itself, as preparing ensures you know exactly what you're going to cover in the interview. To best prepare, review the interviewee's information, the job requirements for the position you are interviewing for and the questions you plan on asking. The more prepared you are, the more confident you're likely to be and the more likely the interview will go well.

2. Put thought into your questions

Asking the right questions can ensure you learn the most important information from an interviewee. Research the best questions to ask for the particular job you are interviewing for, and tailor your questions around the skills and other qualifications needed for the position. Consider using situational or behavioral questions as well to get a well-rounded idea of the candidate, including their personality and approaches to workplace situations.

Related: 125 Common Interview Questions and Answers (With Tips)

3. Review the candidate's information before the interview

Reviewing the candidate's information, including their resume, qualifications and other documentation, before you go into the interview can help you decide what areas of their work history and expertise you want to discuss. As you review, make notes of anything you want to bring up during the interview to create an outline of questions and points to ensure you cover all the important information.

4. Decide on a structure to follow for each interview

You can outline the structure you want to follow before you go into the interview and refer to the outline during the meeting to ensure you cover all of the topics. Consider organizing the interview based on the time you want to dedicate to major topics, such as their professional background, their interest in the role and company and how they approach workplace conflicts.

5. Implement a standard rating system

Having a standard rating system that you use for all interviewees can ensure you and other team members objectively judge each candidate using the same criteria. When you have interviewed all candidates for a position, you can go back and compare their ratings to help you decide which one is the best fit for the job.

6. Practice active listening

Understanding and implementing active listening during your interviews can make you a more effective interviewer by allowing you to fully hear and comprehend what the interviewee is saying. Listen closely to what the candidate says, take notes, nod and make eye contact and ask follow-up questions to demonstrate your engagement in the interview.

Read more: How to Improve Your Listening Skills

7. Consider practicing your interview techniques with friends or coworkers

If you are new to interviewing or want to improve your interviewing abilities, practice with friends or coworkers to help you get more familiar with the process. This also gives the people you practice with the chance to provide feedback that can further help your development as a good interviewer.

8. Allow the interviewee to ask questions

Allow the interviewee to ask questions during or at the end of the interview to show respect for the candidate and address any topics that may not have already been covered. Additionally, the questions an interviewee asks can be telling of their personality and professionalism as well as if they are genuinely interested and a good fit for the position.

9. End the interview professionally

At the end of the interview, take the time to describe to the candidate what the next steps are in the hiring process. Let them know when they can anticipate hearing back from you and if you need them to send you any additional information. You can also walk the candidate around your office space for a tour and introduce them to employees who work with the position the candidate is interviewing for. This provides a brief idea of your company's culture and allows the interviewee to get a glimpse of what their work environment would be like were they to be hired.

10. Review each interview, and assess where you can improve

Consider taking time after each interview to assess how it went and any areas you'd like to improve. The more you fine-tune your interview process, the more successful it is likely to be.

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