6 Tips for Better Candidate Interviews

The better you are at conducting candidate interviews, the better you’ll be at successfully filling positions. Your candidates and clients will be more satisfied because you’ve taken the time to find great matches.

But, how good are you at interviewing? Do you wing interviews with candidates? Do you ask everyone the same questions? Odds are, there are areas you can improve on.

By using some recruiter interview tips, you can improve and select better candidates.

Top recruiter interview tips

Below are different recruiter interview techniques and tips that will improve your interviewing process.

1. Prepare for the interview

You should always prepare for an interview with a candidate. It doesn’t matter if you’ve done thousands of interviews, you should still prepare. Every candidate and position is different, so preparation is necessary.

During your preparation time, review the job order again. If you’re working multiple job orders at one time, you don’t want to mix them up. And, you should review the candidate’s resume and any additional materials.

Create a list of interview questions to ask. Make sure you tailor the list to the specific position, industry, and candidate’s background. While you might ask candidates similar questions, you should make adjustments based on areas where you need to pull back the curtain.

Having a list of questions will help you track answers during the interview. You might try using an interview scorecard to record and rate responses. The scorecard will help you judge a candidate’s responses and reduce the risk of you being charmed by personality alone. You can also keep the scores and responses in the candidate’s profile in your recruiting ATS so you can easily reference it later.

2. Write your interview questions

When you create your list of interview questions, make sure you include a diverse set of questions. Types of questions you might include are:

  • Icebreakers: Icebreakers are initial questions you can ask to make everyone more relaxed and comfortable. These questions are meant to ease everyone into the interview. You might ask something simple and unrelated, such as, “Was it difficult to get here?” or, “How did you learn about this position?”
  • Technical: Technical questions give you a chance to test a candidate’s skills and ability to do the job. The candidate should be able to answer questions about their field accurately.
  • Behavioral: Behavioral interview questions look at how candidates actually acted in past situations. Based on how the candidate acted, you can predict what their future performance might be like.
  • Hypothetical: Hypothetical questions ask candidates to imagine themselves in made up, yet realistic, situations. The candidate should respond with how they think they would act in that position.

3. Determine the client’s culture

Before you bring candidates in for interviews, you need to understand your client’s company culture.

Find out what the work environment is like. And, learn what type of employee the client is looking for. Ask about things like personality and habits.

When you interview candidates, ask them about what type of workplace they want to work in. If their ideal workplace doesn’t match what your client is offering, then the candidate might not be a good fit.

4. Examine nonverbal communication

A candidate’s nonverbal communication can tell you a lot about them. During the interview, monitor their body movements and tone of voice. Consider facial expressions, posture, hand movements, and vocal patterns.

When you monitor nonverbal communication, you can judge how confident the candidate is in their responses. You might also be able to spot dishonest candidates.

5. Look for red flags

Keep your ears pricked for anything questionable that comes out of a candidate’s mouth. Red flags when interviewing a candidate might include the candidate not keeping their story straight or talking badly about previous employers.

Don’t let red flags go unaddressed. Bring them up to the candidate. Be sure to ask follow-up questions to unpack the questionable item. You might ask for details or examples. Your goal is to suss out if the comment is a true red flag or a misunderstanding.

6. Pre-close throughout the process

During the whole interview process, you should pre-close the candidate. This means you need to continually sell the candidate on the position. This helps eliminate surprises and ensures that the candidate will accept the offer when it comes.

Ask pre-closing questions during the interview to gauge candidate interest. You might ask something like, “After learning more about the position, how interested are you?” or, “If I told you that this position doesn’t exactly match the hours you’re looking for, how would that affect your possible acceptance?”