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A Guide to Interviews- Techniques

A Guide to Interviews: Techniques & Types

Table of Contents

This article is part of the Interviewing Techniques Guide. Read our related articles on improving your interviewing skills, creating unique questions for your candidates, and interviewing tips for hiring managers.

Interviews are a crucial part of the hiring process and one of the most complex recruitment tools. As a recruiter, you are probably constantly searching for ways to make interviews more efficient to recruit the best talent for your company.

In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about interviews, from skills you need to have to interview techniques and ways to make the interview questions more creative.

Interviewing Basics

Let’s start with the basics and cover some important aspects related to skills and how to prep for the interview.

Skills every recruiter needs

Recruiters are a crucial part of the team since they are the ones in charge of building the talent pool that will deliver on the company’s vision and mission. Investing in developing your skill set yearly should be a priority for you.

Here you have the top 3 skills every recruiter needs:

  1. Art of listening

You are the person asking the questions, but you should also be the person that can listen to the answers. Active listening is an art form; many recruiters oversee this vital skill. You need to be present, aware of your biases, and carefully focus on your candidate’s answers.

  1. Self-awareness

We mentioned biases previously. Another essential skill for recruiters is self-awareness. We recommend investing in being aware of your preferences, triggers, and things that make you feel uncomfortable. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, all these things will impact your decision-making and the interview process.

  1. Making notes

One practical skill is learning to make notes. When you need to ask questions and listen to the answers, you must add another to the table: making notes. This skill will develop your ability to summarize the info that you get and reduce it to the minimum.

How to prepare for job interviews

Suppose we were to add a 4th skill to the list; that would be: preparation. Most recruiters consider what happens during the interview as the essential part. Still, we see it as a complete circle. To deliver the best interview experience, you need to set the stage.

There are a few steps that you should take to prepare for job interviews:

  1. Be clear about what you are looking for in the candidate you are going to interview
  2. Read their resume and adapt the questions to their profile
  3. Decide what type of interview you want to run
  4. Set your time limit
  5. Prepare the room

Key Elements of a successful interview

We know you want to make sure your candidates have the best possible experience, so here there are some key elements of a successful interview.

  1. Preparation

As we previously mentioned is crucial to prep the stage and context for the interview.

  1. Asking different types of questions

Asking creative questions might help boost the interview and infuse your candidate with energy and curiosity.

  1. Adapt

Adapt your questions and interview flow to the candidate in front of you. Don’t just come with standard questions.

  1. Comfort

Make your candidates comfortable and help them navigate their emotions

  1. Create a ritual

Create something for yourself to help you boost your energy and focus power, especially during the days you have ongoing interviews.

Types of Interviews

You probably noticed that we repeatedly mentioned how important it is to personalize the interview structure. Here we want to share with you 4 types of interviews that you can use.

One-to-one interviews

The most used form of interview is one-to-one. They allow the conversation to flow and help the candidate relax. Moreover, it is easier to plan and synchronize between the recruiter’s and candidate’s schedules. The main downside of this type of interview is that one interviewer might not be enough to reduce the biases and make a snap decision about a candidate.

Panel interviews

Panel interviews are the ones where more people are asking questions. They are usually used in the latter stages of recruitment. Its main advantage is that you get more perspective about a candidate and can also test how he reacts when multiple people are in the room. However, the drawback is that this panel might be intimidating for the candidate. Some back-and-forth situations might arise if the panelists are not on the same page.

Competency-based interviews

These are the more practical situational interviews, where you can see if a candidate can demonstrate what he wrote in the resume. It is best suited if you want to see real-time reactions and skills, but it might not be enough to have a global picture of the culture-fit aspect.

Group interviews

Group interviews are perfect if you are hiring for multiple roles. It is an effective way to gain time and show how your candidates deal with difficult situations and who takes the initiative. The downside is that the more confident candidates will probably dominate the room, which won’t allow you to discover the others.

Types of questions

Interviews are a dance between asking and listening to questions. That’s why asking good questions is one of the keys to a successful interview.

We split this section between common and creative questions.

Common questions:

Most recruiters use common questions to get insight into how the candidate operates.

Some of the most common ones are:

  • How did you hear about us?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • What are your strengths and your weaknesses?
  • Tell us something about yourself

Creative questions

Creative questions are what will differentiate you from other recruiters and what will allow you to test, in real time, how your candidate reacts.

You can use creative questions such as:

  • Icebreaker: What’s the best gift you gave someone?
  • To test creative thinking: What animal would you be?
  • To check the company culture fit: What qualities do you admire most about yourself?

Interviewing techniques

There are some aspects that you consider before, during, and after holding the interview. Let’s deep dive into some techniques you can use:

Before the interview

We mentioned that one skill that you should have is preparation. Before the interview, you should:

  1. Choose where to have the interview

The place will set the whole mood of the interview and will reflect aspects of your company and its professionalism

  1. Be clear on the role you are hiring for

Review again the JD of the role you are hiring for. Make sure you understand the requirements and adjust the flow based on them.

  1. Prepare the questions

Create a list of questions you want to ask your candidate, and don’t forget to insert some of these creative questions.

During the interview

Here are some principles we recommend during this stage:

  1. Use an icebreaker question to make your candidate feel comfortable
  2. Be positive and maintain a professional attitude
  3. Introduce yourself and explain what’s going to happen during the interview
  4. Make sure your candidate has water
  5. At the end of the interview, explain what the next steps are

After the interview

Once the interview is over, you need to take action in 2 directions: for the candidate and the company.

For the candidate:

  1. Make sure you save the notes and resume in a place that is GDPR compliant
  2. Come back with detailed and personalized feedback
  3. Ask for feedback about the interview experience

For the company:

  1. Discuss the notes with the hiring manager
  2. Input the data in your recruitment tracking system
  3. Review other candidates and make the decision

We hope this guide was useful for you, and don’t forget to check our blog articles for more information about the hiring process.

Interviewing Techniques FAQ

The most popular interviewing technique is the structured interview. They are used by the majority of HR professionals. Behavioral interviews come in second.

What are some tips for interviewing?

  1. Write everything down
  2. Ask different types of questions
  3. Avoid commenting on appearance, gender, political or religious aspects
  4. Customize the interview process for each candidate

Why is interviewing an important skill?

Interviewing is an important skill because it helps you connect with the candidates and better understand who is right and who is not for your company.


Written by

LinkMatch Team