When conducting a job interview you want to remember that the interviewee is a human being first and foremost and that the right person for the job may not match what you imagined. You should also factor in the job description, and make sure that it’s clear and thorough. And have your questions prepared ahead of time. With that, here are four do’s and don’ts of conducting a job interview.
Do be Kind
Being kind, courteous, and welcoming is not just the right thing to do, but it sets the image of your business to your potential employee. They are interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them, and they are deciding if this is the kind of business they want to work in. Even the responsibility is more on them than it is on you, you still need to put in the effort to properly represent your business.
Don’t Stray Off Topic
While small talk is fine in an interview, you still want to be courteous of the interviewee’s time, and be sure that you are not taking up any room from questions they might have or any follow-up questions on your end.
You are representing your business and if your office culture is laid back, that should be represented, but there’s a difference between being laid back, and not focused. Your employees will usually model your behavior. How can you expect them to stay focused on the job if you can’t?
Do Leave Room to Answer Questions
Potential candidates will usually have a few questions for you prepared ahead of time. That is a good thing, that means that they are invested in the company and want to learn more. Candidates are much more likely to join a business where they feel open to ask any questions and learn about aspects of the business that may or may not apply to their job. And that’s better for you too. You want an employee who will work with you to grow your business, not someone who will blindly follow your orders.
Don’t Probe into their Personal Life
Everyone has different boundaries when it comes into their personal vs. professional life. Allow them to set those boundaries and respect that they will only share details that are pertinent to the job. Questions like where they were born, their political affiliation, whether English is their first language, if they’re married, etc. are not only inappropriate but can also be seen as discriminatory.
Under no circumstances should you ask about their ethnicity, culture, religion, race, family, politics, age, economic class, or name origin. Enough minorities are entering a job interview asking if their status as a woman, member of the LGBT+ community, or ethnic/racial minority will hinder their chances at getting this job. Asking questions about one’s identity will only reinforce those fears and could be a major red flag to the candidate.
And finally, probing into their social media definitely counts as probing into their personal life. While many are adjusting their pages to look more friendly to employers, it is also very likely that the information on their personal page has nothing to do with the job and is more likely to be an invasion of privacy. Every single candidate has something you don’t like about them, if you can’t find it on their social media, that means they are hiding it. Your job is to evaluate whether this candidate has the qualifications to do your job, nothing more.
Of course, there are a lot more dos and don’ts. Since conducting a job interview is one of the most important parts of the hiring process, you want to be sure that you’re doing it right. Remember to evaluate the individual based on their skills and experience. Be open to transferable skills, they don’t need many years experience in one specific niche to perform the job properly if they can transfer skills from past experience. Always be open to new possibilities, be kind, and remember that they are interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them.