Business Interviewing Techniques

For Interview Candidates

When aspiring towards promotion up the chain of command, closer to the power centers of a business or organization, interviews differ from previous professional experiences. The more senior the interviewer, the more definite their ideas have probably fossilized, as their own continued success depends upon hiring winners: their stubbornness is based on wisdom.

How does one prove his or her readiness for moving up the food chain? By thinking like a predator. Although this interview will be different from others, here lies the optimal opportunity to impress decision-makers.

Seven Interviewing Techniques Towards Success

Holistic Awareness

Interview candidates may be subject matter experts valuable to a business. But the candidate who goes beyond mere information and displays an ability to use it well is more likely to get the job. Senior executives and managers select candidates who pay attention to detail and understand the big picture. Demonstrate the ability to recognize patterns and understand their importance: show the human resource manager that you know how to utilize and synthesize information.

Exhibit Motivation by Research

If you really desire to relate that you want the position, learn more than just the job title by understanding the reasons behind the position's prerequisites and corresponding responsibilities. Moreover, comprehend not only the job position or promotion for which you are applying, but also the job of the immediate senior executive. Knowing how the chain of command works allows you to take up the reins in the event of a company emergency or another unforeseen absence: know what keeps your immediate supervisor up at night and integrate that knowledge into your interview conversation. Show an interest not only in the specifics of the job, but in the product and markets for that company. Ask broad questions: "What do you think the potential growth in the Siberian market is?"

See Solutions Rather Than Excuses

Senior managers search for creative thinkers focused on finding answers. Knowing problem details that an organization faces is frivolous compared to the ability to demonstrate readiness to look for options and find solutions. Let the interviewer see that you are a walking think tank, willing to reflect on pertinent issues outside of normal working hours and the next issue at hand will be your signing bonus.

Show Initiative

Company heads want confident folk around them who are not afraid to speak up and assert ideas. Reveal that when the proverbial shit hits the fan, you will not freeze up and do just nothing: be ready with an example of a time when you were bold enough to go out on a limb and how your individual actions helped bring about real positive change.

Carry The Ball

Once a decision has been made, even if you do not agree with it, avoid procrastination: collaborate with peers in a dynamic environment to accomplish tasks in the shortest time possible. Demonstrating that you are a team player is the most direct path to making yourself a team member.

Listening Means More Than Just Hearing

Avoid portraying that you are over-confident or intent on world domination. Ask constructive questions that reflect the concerns of the questioner. Demonstrate you are humble enough to listen without being too eager to cut off dialog during an impromptu brainstorming meeting: the first matter at hand is to sit down and shut up. For instance, if you are asked what you would do in a certain situation, resist the temptation to answer before you have asked breviloquent questions of your own that exemplify your other outstanding traits.

Be Optimistic

Senior managers have a universal distaste for pessimism. Every hiring manager wants to hire a team player who will bring positive energy and real initiative to the local work force. Be ready with examples of positive suggestions about problems or issues that you have taken initiative on in order to demonstrate your people skills. Avoid falling into the favorite trap of interviewers: when asked to express negative criticism about prior managers, steer clear of the temptation and emphasize that you were a member of a team, focused on finding the quickest solution to a problem. Turn the tables on human resource managers by realizing that negative events are actually positive learning experiences.

For Human Resource Managers

Knowing how to conduct a safe, legal interview, which is a crucial factor in the hiring process, enables the deft human resources manger to select the best candidate for an open position. Whether traditional or modern interviewing methods are utilized, learning more about interviewing tips and techniques make your interviews a powerful tool and efficient process to evaluate candidates equally.

Interviewing a person requires adroit communication skills, presence of mind, and a general sense of logic. Interviews include business interviews, research interviews, media interviews and formal dinner interviews among others. Research interviews require interviewing with the primary aim to gain information from the interviewees, and hence require deep study of the research subject, as well as a lucid idea of what information is required from the subjects. Media interviews require a great presence of mind, and study of the person you want to interview. Business interviews are a tough job no matter which side of the table you are sitting on. Although appearing for a job interview might seem daunting, being in charge of one is no laughing matter. Multiple factors are to be kept in mind while interviewing a candidate. All basic interviewing techniques need to be followed: before the interview, during the interview, and after the interview.

Before The Interview

Before actually interviewing a candidate, keep in mind the following statements.

  • Make sure you inform the candidate about the venue and timing of the interview well in advance. Be polite and convey the approximate duration of the interview to the candidate.
  • Before the interview, make sure to have a clear idea of the qualities and technical skills that you are on the lookout for.
  • Plan the overall structure of the interview, determining if you want to keep a rigorous question and answer session, or want the candidate to speak his or her mind about general issues. In the event you opt for a question and answer session, make sure you annotate probable questions and general points to address during the interview.
  • In case you already have the candidate’s resume or curriculum vitae, reference letters or any other documents submitted beforehand, make a conscious decision to show the respect to scan the files, allowing time to formulate an idea regarding the candidate’s educational qualifications, work experience, and moreover, to better assist you in asking and answering relevant questions.

During The Interview

The actual interview requires a combination of confident communication skills and knowledge about company requirements in addition to the job profile.

  • Greet the person with a smile and a firm professional handshake. Ensure that the candidate is comfortable without intimidation.
  • Make sure to mention data obtained from the candidate’s resume or other submitted material that you find impressive, interesting or problematic.
  • Absolutely refrain from asking personal questions during a job interview.
  • Listen carefully while your candidate speaks and ask questions about what the candidate mentions during the interview.
  • In case the candidate seems reluctant or stuck at a particular point, take note then lead the conversation further by introducing another issue.
  • Nurture the interview conversation rather than administering a question and answer session.
  • Keep an eye on the time to prevent the interview from extending beyond the set time frame.
  • At the end of the interview, make sure to tell the candidate the time frame within which you will inform him or her of your decision, or schedule the next interview session.

After The Interview

After the interview, make sure you call up the candidate within the promised time frame to inform him or her of your decision, without beating around the bush. In case you have decided not to hire a given candidate, be polite while conveying the message, and also assure that if the company needs their services in the future, you will contact them in a timely manner.

Declining an Applicant

Hi Mr. Smith, this is Jane Doe calling from XYZ corporation. I'm just calling to let you know that we have decided to hire someone whose qualifications were better suited to the position. Thanks for your time and participation in the process, and we'll be keeping your resume on file for 6 months in case any future openings come up. Best of luck in your job search.

Accepting an Applicant

This will confirm our conversation of (date) offering you a position as a salary grade (#), (title) within our organization. Your salary will be $00,000.00 annually, payable every second Friday.

As we previously discussed, this offer is contingent upon acceptance of the non-compete agreement attached. Please sign and return it in the enclosed envelope before your employment date.

Your first day of employment will be Monday, (date), beginning at 8:00 a.m. You can park in any spot adjacent to the building. Come to see me upon arrival and I will (re)introduce you to your new colleagues, orient you to your new surroundings, and help you to get your workstation set up.

I have enclosed some tax forms which need to be filled out. You can bring those along with you.

To explain our working hours, policies and procedures, and employee benefits, I have also enclosed our Employee Handbook.

I'm excited about having you join our (award-winning) team, and look forward to welcoming you personally on the (date).

If you have any questions in the meantime, please call me at the office, or at my home, (number), if that is more suitable.