How to Conduct an Interview

Much thought and preparation go into conducting a successful job interview. Interviewers generally use at least one of the following four types of interview strategies [source: Types of Interviews]:

  • Informal or conversational This is a free-flowing style.
  • General interview guide This ensures that similar information is gathered from each applicant.
  • Standardized or open-ended This allows applicants to answer in their own words.
  • Closed or fixed-response This has applicants choose from a fixed set of responses.

Here are some guidelines for conducting a successful interview [source: Effective Interviewing]:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the job description.
  2. Review the applicant's resume and any submitted samples.
  3. Prepare questions in advance. Be sure the questions will determine the applicant's experience, attitude, and personality. Exclude any questions that violate applicable law.
  4. Prepare a quiet spot to conduct the interview and ensure that the applicant is comfortable.
  5. Explain any confidentiality issues before beginning the interview.
  6. Change the focus of the questions, if necessary.
  7. Take notes so you can review the session later. Don't rely on your memory to keep track of everything said during the interview.
  8. Pace yourself and don't lose track of the time -- an hour interview shouldn't run longer than that.
  9. Leave enough time for the applicant to ask questions regarding the job, work conditions, etc., and be prepared to answer questions about the company.
  10. Offer the applicant a way to contact you later.

Keep in mind that, in a sense, you're being interviewed by the applicant. The way you come across makes an important impression about your company.