6 Ways to Enhance Your Interviews and Find Engaged Employees

A Google search for ‘interview tips’ will bring up millions of hits on how to impress potential employers when searching for a job. But how often do those doing the interviewing consider how they can improve the process?

An interview is a two-way street, and it’s just as important for companies to make a good impression on those they are interviewing as it is for potential employees to impress.

This first interaction can tell potential employees a lot about what it might be like to work for your company, and certain things may be turning them off. The way the interviewer is dressed, the condition of the office, and the attitudes of other employees can all make an impact on how an interviewee evaluates your company.

The tips below are just a few simple ways to help remove the stress of the interview process and put more focus on connecting qualified employees with the right company.

  1. Do your research. While human resources professionals are used to interviewing people, hiring managers may be out of their element when searching for someone new for their team. Plan out questions you’d like to ask and review each person’s resume before they come in. Being prepared shows interviewees that you are organized and committed to finding the right fit for the position.
  1. Be strategic with your questions. Keep questions open-ended to get more thorough responses. Consider all aspects of a job and the skills and personality of prospective employees would fit into your organization. If the employee will be interacting with customers, are their interpersonal skills as strong as their technical abilities?
  1. Help the interviewee be prepared. Any interview is nerve-wracking, but walking in without a clue of what to expect can make things even worse. Take the time to inform interviewees about who they’ll be meeting with, how they should dress, how long the interview might take, and any other pertinent information.
  1. Make it a conversation, not an interrogation. Stick with your planned questions, but let the conversation wander a little. Ask follow-up questions if you hear something interesting or concerning, and let the interview flow more naturally that a cold back-and-forth questioning.
  1. Focus on listening. While it is a two-way conversation, the interview should focus mostly on the potential employee and what they can bring to the role. Actively listen to their responses and their tone, and pay attention to their body language. Be thoughtful in responding to their questions — and note the types of questions they’ve thought to ask.
  1. Follow up. It may be too time-consuming to respond to every person who applies for a job at your company, but if someone has taken the time to speak with someone over the phone or in person, they should be informed when a decision is made. It’s not an easy message to deliver to those who didn’t get the job, but a lack of follow-up altogether comes off as unprofessional.

Interviews can be stressful and often do not fully represent what a potential candidate has to offer because nerves and etiquette can interfere. By making an effort to be more mindful in your company’s interviews, your hiring decisions can be much more efficient.