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6 tips for conducting a successful interview

We often read about tips and tricks on acing an interview but what about actually conducting an interview? There’s always two sides to every coin and it feels like the interviewer is often left out of the pack. It can be just as challenging to conduct an interview as you want to ensure you portray the right image of the company, ask the right questions and really understand the interviewee in the short one or two hours you have with them. On top of that, there’s additional pressure on selecting the right candidate for the role. Conducting an interview is not an easy task by any means so here are a few tips to make sure you make the most out of your time with the candidates:

Prepare your questions

Having a set of questions prepared beforehand is a great way to cover all bases. There’s no chance of forgetting anything and you can write down the answer to each question as you go. Come up with a good mix of both behavioral and practical questions. Lately, interviews have been focusing too much on the behavioral questions. Although it’s great to know how the candidate will react in certain situations, keep in mind that what he or she may actually do in real life could be totally different. It’s best to make sure they candidates knows the practical side of things so you know they can work the job smoothly. In case you don’t prepare a set of questions beforehand, fear not! Some of the best interviews happen where you allow the conversation flow on its own.

Stop trying to fit a circle into a square

Don’t try to look for the perfect candidate who has every single quality you are looking for. You likely won’t find him or her! Hiring managers too often look for the absolute perfect candidate and end up letting go of some amazing people that can do the job just as well. Jobs are left vacant for months as hiring managers try to squeeze a circle into a square. It’s not going to happen! Find someone who has the skills, especially transferable skills, and a rocking personality to get the job done.

Be open

You will likely get asked a bunch of questions are the role and the company by the interviewee. Be honest and open about the company. This doesn’t mean to talk bad about it even if that’s how you feel. There are some things better left unsaid. But be transparent about the role and responsibilities and the company culture. If you hire the person and they find out you lied, chances are this person will have a hard time trusting you.

Read the candidate’s CV before the interview

I have been a victim of this before – I went into interviews only to realize that the interviewer had not read my CV beforehand, and was actually reading it in front of me during the interview. This is embarrassing, a complete waste of time and just disrespectful. Could you honestly not have spared five minutes to glance at the CV? Skimming it beforehand is a great way to identify the candidates experience, personality and also a chance to highlight anything you need more clarification on.

Don’t try to control the conversation

Too often, interviewers have a set of questions they try to rummage through in the short time they have with the candidates. But be prepared for the conversation to digress a bit. When you let go just a bit and give the interviewee some freedom to speak, you will often uncover a lot more than what you had hoped for. It’s a great way to see a bit more of his or her personality!


Pay attention and listen to everything the interviewee has to say. Hear him or her out and understand if this role is really suited for them or are they just here for the sake of it? Listen closely to what the candidate says his or her interests, long term goals and vision are and see if they really align with the role. If the role will not give the candidate what they are interested in, then it’s best to just be open and honest with them.

Next time you conduct an interview, keep these tips in mind! They will help you conductive an effective and efficient interview that will be appreciated by the candidate. Remember, you probably weren’t in that same spot too long before so be fair and give them an honest shot!