Interview Like a Professional and Avoid Legal Mishaps
The stacks of resumes on your desk have been thoroughly examined. There is one tidy pile narrowed with your top five candidates. The only thing left to do is conduct interviews. If you dread this part of the hiring process, don’t worry. You aren’t alone. Conducting expert interviews and hiring the right candidates can be a difficult task, but it’s also one of the most important. Avoid common mishaps and legal disasters by following our advice and conducting an interview like a professional. We are offering up some of our most sought-after guidance to help you step up your hiring game.
No Joking Matter
Do you ever tell jokes that aren’t funny when you’re nervous Or have you ever laughed at an inappropriate comment made by a candidate When you conduct an interview like a professional, you realize it isn’t the time or place to joke around; in fact it usually makes you look like an amateur. Nervousness is a huge culprit for ruined interviews. So how can you look and act like a true expert even if you don’t feel like one
-Preparation is Key
Nobody feels comfortable conducting an interview like a professional when they are ill-prepared. Take some time to research each candidate prior to meeting them. Study their resumes, read through their cover letters and any correspondence you’ve had. Spend about twice as long doing your homework as you will in the actual interview. Create a list of questions you want to ask, and try to make the tone conversational. If you create a discussion, you are much more likely to feel comfortable.
-Explain the Process
Usually the interviewee is just as nervous, if not more so, than the hiring manager. Allow both of you to breathe easy by describing the process at the beginning of the interview. Explain what you are hoping to get out of this interview, who they will meet with next, how you will contact references, and any other pertinent information.
Avoid Illegal Interview Questions Like the Plague
The biggest way to ruin an interview, and perhaps even your reputation as a professional, is to ask illegal questions. This is a rookie mistake for inexperienced interviewers and you should avoid it at all costs, seeing that legal action could be the recourse. Make sure to avoid asking potential candidates any questions related to the following items:
-Their marital or dating status
-Any plans for current or future children
-What they plan to do for childcare
Even if you don’t intend to discriminate based on the answers to illegal questions, it’s still a big mistake to ask about age, gender, race or children during an interview, even if the tone is conversational. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 will protect your applicant from any form of employment discrimination; leaving you to jump through legal hurdles.
Look and Act Like the Professional You Are
We can’t stress enough the importance of a job candidate dressing and acting professionally during an interview process. For that matter, we don’t want to forget the interviewer either. Ask anyone who has gone through several hiring rounds and they can probably tell you some horror stories about the people asking the questions. Just to make sure you always interview like a professional, here are some tips:
-Don’t answer your phone.
-Don’t whisper to other interviewers.
-Don’t look bored.
-Don’t check your email.
-Don’t send text messages.
In fact, it’s best if you leave that distracting cell phone in your office. Give your undivided attention to the job-seeker in front of you. Establish consistent eye contact, and ask follow up questions that let them know you are really listening. Building rapport with interviewees will help set you apart as an authoritative expert.
Failing to follow up with an interviewee when you say you will is extremely rude. Keep your word and your business integrity intact by providing closure to everyone you interview. Call on references, speak to prior managers, do whatever you can to make an informed decision, but always let the applicant know where they stand. It will pay off in strong, positive word of mouth affirmations from potential candidates. Nobody likes being left in the dark.
For more useful tips and tricks on conducting an interview like a professional, and hiring an all-star team of winners check out more from Mighty Recruiter. We have gathered crucial advice from the most sought-after experts in the recruiting field. All to make you and your company look good. It’s what we do best.