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4 Tips for Conducting Effective Interviews to Recruit Top Talent

Recruiting the ideal candidate is no easy feat. There’s the stack of resumes to sift through, multiple interviews to schedule and all sorts of paperwork to complete. There’s no magic potion that nets you the perfect candidate, but conducting effective interviews is one way to guide you to the right fit. Start by asking the right questions to decide whether prospective employees can both handle the job and fit in with the team.

1. Be Conversational and Ask Open-Ended Questions

Instead of starting off the interview with a list of questions, begin with a conversation. Not only will this help you learn more about the candidate, it will put the candidate at ease. Try doing some of the initial talking yourself, and maybe focus on a shared interest or something unique you may have noticed on the person’s resume.

Once you get beyond the introductory phase, you want to learn more about the person’s personality, specifically traits like integrity, humility and self-awareness. Strive to ask open-ended interview questions and be sure to listen to the answers. Some of the most common conversation starters include questioning like: 

  • “Tell me about yourself.”
  • “What is your greatest strength?”
  • “What motivates you?”
  • “What are your goals for the future?”
  • “Why are you the best person for the job?” 

One common type of open-ended questioning is behavioral based interviewing. Employers use certain questions to find out how interviewees acted or reacted to a specific employment-relation situation in their prior work experience. In job interviews, hiring managers use the logic that an employee’s behavior in his or her past role will often predict how he or she behaves in future positions. Here are some examples of behavioral based interviewing: 

  • “Tell me about a time when you struggled to meet a deadline.”
  • “Describe your greatest accomplishment at work.” 

Other types of open-ended questions include:

  • Situational: Helps you understand how candidates would handle a hypothetical work situation. An example is, “What would you do if you knew your boss was wrong about something related to your work?”
  • Anecdotal: Focuses on previous work experiences, like “Tell me about your last job.”
  • Competency: Gives you some insight into the person’s skills and allows them to explain their experience. Competency questions typically begin with, “Describe a time when…” or “Give an example of a situation where…” 

2. Keep Culture in Mind

As you conduct the interview, keep in mind the cultural norms at your company. Don’t make any assumptions about what the candidate might know about your company’s culture. For example, if your business doesn’t allow flexible work schedules or work from home opportunities, be sure to share that information with the candidate during the interview process. Do help the candidate understand the reasoning behind the cultural decisions and work together to determine if the he or she is a cultural fit.

Asking candidates questions about previous work environments and supervisors will help give you a better idea of whether the candidate is a good fit. Here are some suggestions:

  • “Describe the work environment in which you are the most productive and happy.”
  • “What are the characteristics exhibited by the best boss you ever had?”
  • “Describe the management style that makes you most productive.”
  • “What are the positive aspects of your most recent job?”
  • “What is the single most important factor that must be present in your workplace for you to be successful?"


3. Solicit Feedback

After an interview, ask other team members and anyone the candidate may have interacted with, like a receptionist, how they felt about the candidate’s personality. Even if other team members didn't spend much time with the candidate, most people have a gut reaction. If the candidate was kind to strangers, it may indicate they act with compassion and openness, which are traits that fit into almost any team.

4. Stay Compliant with the Law

As an interviewer, you should become familiar with the types of questions and statements that must be avoided in any interview.

  • Do not make statements that could be construed as creating a contract of employment.
  • Don not use terms such as “permanent” or “long term.”
  • Do not make excessive assurances about job security.
  • Do not ask interview questions that could be viewed as discriminatory (avoid questions regarding protected classes including race, birthplace, age, religion, marital status, children and disability).

A successful and effective interview is one in which both the interviewer and the interviewee receive accurate information and can make informed decisions about the applicant’s suitability for the job. A good interview will leave you with an understanding about a potential employee’s ability to: 

  • Adapt
  • Communicate
  • Make Decisions
  • Lead a Team
  • Manage Conflict
  • Perform the Job 

When you partner with FrankCrum Staffing, we handle the initial interviews for you! The Staffing Professionals at FrankCrum Staffing customize the recruitment process to meet the needs of each individual business. Here are just some of the ways we help you find top talent: 

  • Utilize electronic search and connected talent network to identify candidates
  • Review resumes and applications
  • Screen candidates by asking behavioral and motivational questions
  • Perform skill assessments to identify familiarity and proficiency
  • Provide tutorials to help develop candidate skills
  • Conduct one-on-one interviews either virtually or in person
  • Conduct criminal background check
  • Verify references with previous employers
  • Prepare hiring paperwork 

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