The Art of Effective Interviewing

The Art of
Effective Interviewing
© 2010 Robert Half Management Resources. An Equal Opportunity Employer.
• Purpose of the interview
• Proper preparation
• Getting honest answers
• What to ask
• How to listen
• Multiple interviews
• Overcoming the “halo effect”
Objective of the Interview
• The interview allows you to:
– Clarify details of the resume
– Get a sense of applicant’s ability to do the job
– Gain insight into personality
– Evaluate enthusiasm
– Assess potential fit within your organization
Interview Preparation:
Not Just for Candidates
• Review the job description
• Examine the candidate’s materials – note
areas that require clarification
• Establish priorities for the interview
• Develop questions
© 2010 Robert Half Management Resources. An Equal Opportunity Employer.
Creating an
Interview-Friendly Environment
• Set up a time and place free
from distractions
• Hold the meeting in a quiet,
comfortable room
• Close blinds and doors, and forward
phone calls
• Schedule interview during a
stress-free time and day
Honesty Counts
Executives were asked, “Other than the ability and willingness to do
the job, what is the one quality that impresses you the most about
a candidate during a job interview?”
Verbal Skills
Sense of Humor
Getting Honest Answers
• Stand up and shake hands
• Try small talk
• Estimate the length of the interview
• Show genuine interest
Types of Questions
• Closed-ended
• Open-ended
• Hypothetical
• Leading
Tips for Questioning
• Begin with easy openers
• Use effective tandems
• Use hypothetical questions sparingly
• Avoid leading questions
• Probe for more information
Solid Interview Questions
• What were your most significant contributions or
accomplishment in your previous position?
• What would you have changed about your last job
and why?
• What type of work environment is least appealing?
• Tell me about your favorite/least favorite supervisor.
• Describe a situation in which you had to deal with a
professional disagreement or conflict.
Off-Limits Questioning
• Age
• Financial status
• Marital status
• Number of children
• National origin
• Religion
How Are Your
Questions Worded?
• Are you a U.S. citizen?
• Do you have young
children at home?
• We are often under very
tight deadlines. Can you
stay late on short notice?
• Do you intend to have
a family?
• If hired, can you prove you
have the right to remain
and work in the U.S.?
• This job involves a great
deal of travel. Will you be
able to meet this
Becoming a Better Listener
• Concentrate
– Maintain eye contact
– Be aware of body language and mannerisms
• Don’t formulate your response prematurely
• Keep note-taking to a minimum
• Practice, practice, practice
Multiple Interviews:
The More the Merrier
• Consider having the applicant interview
with your colleagues
• Three interviews are most common
• Multiple interviews allow others to weigh in
on the decision
The Halo Effect
• Results from placing too much
importance on one characteristic
• Happens often in a competitive
hiring market
• Causes over-estimation of a
candidate’s abilities
Separating Fact From Fiction
• Don’t prejudge
• Study past hiring decisions
• Divide your interview notes: fact vs. opinion
• Remove the candidate’s “halo” and
You Should Hire Me Because …
• “I have a great smile.”
• “There are no redheads in the company;
you should hire one.”
• “I’ve been rejected by all the good
• “I’ve always wanted to work in your
• “I can ride my bike to work.”
• “I can be an asset to your company
softball team.”
“A skillfully handled interview is frequently the
difference between a successful hiring decision and a
costly hiring mistake.”
– Max Messmer
© 2010 Robert Half Management Resources. An Equal Opportunity Employer.