Conducting an interview is an acquired skill. The more you do it, the better you get at it and develop your own style of interviewing. That said, there are some basic guidelines that will help the new interviewer to get the most out of the person they are interviewing:
1) You want to make the interviewee as comfortable as possible as they will likely be nervous, and you want their BEST interview. Start out by asking where they grew up. That’s an easy question that they SHOULD know the answer to.
2) Ask them, “Tell me a little about yourself.” This provides them an opportunity to give you information, but it also gives you a chance to see how they speak (look for “like”, “you know”, “um”), and ascertain if they are logical in talking about themselves and if they come across professionally.
3) Go over their resume with them. Ask them to give you details when you get to points that you’d like them to elaborate on, or you don’t understand.
4) You are looking for a track record of success throughout their WHOLE life…not just from college to present. I always wanted to see if someone was a captain of a sport, or student class president (leadership), or was great at something (championship Irish dancer or great grades). Most successful people have been successful their whole lives; and the converse is true — why is someone likely to be great at something if they have never been great at anything in life?? Ask them to review their life story from birth and see if you can find any track record of success.
5) Make sure the resume makes sense to you. For example, make sure you look for gaps in years; if there is an explanation for 2012 and then they skip to 2014, what happened in 2013?
6) I was never a fan of “gotcha” questions or stupid things like, “If you had to pick one person to have dinner with, who would it be and why?”
7) See if they tell you, “I want this job.” It is such a simple thing to say, but so few say it.
8) Make sure they are dressed appropriately—whatever that is.
9) Save room for questions. Ask them if they have any questions about the job.
10) See how they follow up after the interview…very important.
Finally, write notes on their resume after they leave. It will help you remember them. File resumes.
Interviewing is part science (get the facts) and part art, (how did they make you feel about their ability to do the job well). You need both the science and art to make an informed decision.
Hiring is a reflection on YOU.
Remember: “Hire people better than you and it will show you have a great eye for talent and they will make you look good!.”