Types of Interview Questions
When conducting the interview, closely follow the questions laid out in the interview tool. This ensures that all candidates have a consistent interview experience and are evaluated on job-relevant criteria. You may encounter three standard question types:
Opening Questions: These questions set the stage for the interview and capture general information about the candidate, such as work history or interest in the role.
Competency Questions: These questions, which are based on the hiring profile for a particular role, will be asked of all candidates who complete an interview. Their purpose is to gather information to evaluate each candidate’s standing on competencies that are required to perform the job successfully.
Follow-Up Questions: These questions are tailored to each candidate based on their assessment results, and target personality traits for which candidates scored outside of the ideal range for the role. This gives candidates the opportunity to demonstrate how they may navigate or overcome potential behavioral weaknesses in a work environment.
Use active listening to engage with the candidate and truly understand their responses to the interview questions. This includes a few key components:
- Be attentive – when the candidate is talking, focus on their words instead of what you are going to say next; be sure to silence cell phones and remove other sources of distraction.
- Acknowledge the candidate with small cues such as maintaining eye contact and occasionally nodding your head; this signals to the candidate that you are listening and encourages them to continue speaking.
- Request clarification if anything the candidate said was unclear – avoid making assumptions.
- Rephrase or summarize the candidate’s statements to ensure you understand what they meant.
While conducting the interview, it is important to remain attentive to the candidate’s responses and document key insights. Notes can help you distinguish among multiple candidates and ensure you are evaluating candidates consistently and lawfully.
- Be open with the candidate about taking notes.
- Document enough to recall your thoughts, but do not spend your time writing rather than listening – consider using shorthand during the interview, then filling out your notes afterward.
- Focus on recording your thoughts about the quality of the candidate’s responses, keeping in mind the competencies or other areas that the interview questions are targeting.
- Do not document assumptions, personal judgments, or non-relevant comments.
- Synthesize your thoughts and make a recommendation immediately after the interview.
Closing the Interview
Make sure to let the candidate know about the next steps and a timeline for when they can expect to hear back. Be courteous and thank them for their time. If there are delays or changes to the status of the open positions, ensure candidates receive a follow-up and are notified if they are not selected for a role. It is better to provide less detail about the reason for a rejection - but if a candidate asks, you may provide feedback that is job-relevant and related to the competencies being assessed in the interview.