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Tips on successfully interviewing job candidates

  • Consider the skills and traits of your most successful current and former employees, and look for similar qualities in candidates

  • Make sure to ask all candidates the same questions—the varying responses will help you to differentiate the candidates

  • In order to find out what kind of manager the candidate would work best under, ask questions about how he or she would supervise others, given the opportunity

  • Don't be too anxious to make the candidate feel comfortable—you may get a better sense of how the person responds to stress if you don't go out of your way to put them at ease

  • Take notes so you can review them later, and compare them with notes on other candidates

  • After you ask a question, pay attention to not just what the candidate's response is, but whether or not the person answers clearly and succinctly, or rambles on and on; whether the person's answer sounds original or 'canned'; whether or not the person maintains eye contact; and the person's general mood and demeanor. Does the person seem serious or too jovial; does the person seem clear and focused on the objective (getting you to hire them)?

  • Always keep in mind that you're hiring a person and not just a set of skills, and people bring many traits, both positive and negative, into the workplace with them. Try to get a sense of the person's character—if this person takes responsibility for their actions or has a tendency to blame others for failures; if the person can admit to weaknesses and learn from them; if the person has the ability to resolve or minimize conflicts.

©2006 TPSI. All rights reserved.