Posted By:

Trish Barnes on October 29, 2015

Best Practices for Interviewing Employees

Interviewing job applicants is something that doesn’t always come naturally to hiring managers but is nonetheless a vital component of operations. While being adept at conducting interviews doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you’ll always find A+ employees who mesh perfectly with your company, it does increase your chances of making the right hires and putting together a team of qualified professionals. Let’s now go over the importance of conducting a good interview and some best practices involved with this process.


Why You Need Effective Interviewing Techniques

Your employees are the lifeblood of your company — and being able to assemble the right team is critical for the long-term success and sustainability of your business. You can liken staff to the foundation of a building. When there’s a solid foundation, the rest of the building will be strong and vice versa. When you understand the principles of effective interviewing, you’re better equipped to filter out applicants to find the ones who are best suited for your company.

Not only will they have the right hard qualities such as industry knowledge, pre-existing skills and meet educational requirements, but they’ll also possess the right soft skills like adaptability, work ethic and communication so they’ll fit in seamlessly with your culture.


Adequate Preparation

Like many areas of business, proper preparation is essential for success — and you’ll want to take the time to get yourself ready for the interview process. This typically starts with reviewing resumes and pre-screening candidates based on a predetermined set of criteria such as previous experience, skill set, educational background, etc.

Because interviewing can be inherently time-consuming, this will ensure that you only interview highly qualified candidates who meet the requirements listed on your job description. You’ll also want to have a general idea in mind of what soft skills you’re looking for in an employee. For example, maybe it’s important that a candidate is a team player and able to handle high-stress situations.


Ask the Right Questions

The questions you ask a candidate will often make or break an interview, so asking the right ones is of the utmost importance. While there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for choosing which questions to ask, you’ll want to learn about certain aspects of each candidate:

  • Reliability
  • Level of professionalism
  • Self-awareness
  • Compatibility with your company
  • Desire to work for you
  • Work ethic


To truly get a sense of what a person is all about, you’ll want to ask many open-ended questions where they have to elaborate and go into detail about themselves and their background. If you need some ideas, you can check out Monster’s list of 100 potential interview questions. Also, be sure to take notes along the way so you can remember details.


Avoid Asking the Wrong Questions

It’s equally important to steer away from questions that are considered illegal in the interview process. These are questions that could be deemed discriminatory and could get you in some hot water where you may end up with a lawsuit on your hands. Here are some topics you’ll want to avoid:

  • Ethnicity
  • Age
  • Disabilities
  • Religious affiliation
  • Pregnancy
  • Family situation


 Assess Candidates

Finally, you’ll want to objectively examine each candidate and analyze their strengths and weaknesses. Using a candidate evaluation form can simplify the process and should give you the best odds of choosing the right employees.

By utilizing best practices for interviewing employees, you can systematize your approach and make the process more efficient. In turn, you can optimize this area of HR and build a strong and capable team.