Conducting the Interview

  • Set the interview climate. Choose a location free from interruptions and hold all calls. Arrange a casual seating arrangement that doesn't put the candidate in the "hot seat." If it is a panel interview, arrange the panel in a U-shape or circle.
  • Establish rapport. Put the candidate at ease; refer to something you noted on the candidate's application to show you have carefully studied it.
  • Set the agenda. Describe the interview structure; this will help you (the panel) and the candidate achieve a concise, focused interview.
  • Take notes. This will help you ask follow-up questions and recall specifics about each candidate. Tell the candidate that you (and the panel) will be taking notes. Note key words/phrases - your notes need not be verbatim.
  • Listen carefully. Don't anticipate the candidate's answers. Reserve judgment until the person has finished.
  • Maintain control. If the candidate gets off track, ask a specific question that will bring the interview back on the subject.
  • Allow silence and be patient. The candidate may need some time to put his thoughts together to provide specific answers to your questions.