8 Tips to Improve Your Interviewing Skills

3 min read
Mar 29, 2017

interview process

How good at interviewing are you? Even if you’re a pro, you could always sharpen your skills at least a bit.

When you stop and think about it, if the goal of the interview process is to hire the best candidates so as to make your company stronger, it’s always worth revisiting your skills to see whether you can become a more effective interviewer. With that in mind, here are eight tips that could increase the chances you extend offers to the right people every time:


01. Do your homework

It’s possible that your strong interview skills mean you can give a fair interview without having to prepare much ahead of time. But in the interest of hiring the best candidates every time, you’d be much better off doing your due diligence by researching each candidate prior to sitting down for a conversation. It shows prospective employees that you care about the folks you hire, and it makes the entire experience more personal.



02. Make the candidate comfortable

According to one study, 92% of professionals worry at least a little bit about being interviewed for a job. When you’re nervous or anxious, it can be harder to sell yourself and convey the points you want to convey. Do what you can to make sure interviewees are comfortable before getting to the meat of the interview. Greet them. Choose a welcoming room. Offer them a drink. Explain the role. Be friendly.


03. Don’t ask every candidate the same questions

You’re hiring different people for different positions. So don’t take a cookie-cutter approach to every interview. While its good to have a common set of questions to ask candidates for a specific position, make sure to change your approach to fit the jobs they’re applying for.


04. Sell the job and the company

At least some of the candidates you interview will have applied to a number of competing companies. It is, therefore, critical that you do your best to sell the job and sell your company throughout the entire interview process. After discussing the scope of the job and its challenges, be sure to talk about the tools and technologies your company uses, the professional development opportunities it offers, and the perks that are available to employees.


05. Listen more and talk less

If you want to hire the best candidates, you need to let them speak and listen to what they have to say. While you may be tempted to do a lot of talking in an interview, try your hardest to say less so that prospective employees have the chance to speak more.



06. Don’t be afraid to go off-script

Interviews don’t have to explicitly follow an outline. It’s perfectly fine to go off-script every now and again. Remember, you want to make interviewees comfortable and you also want them to leave the room knowing them as a person. When appropriate, let the interview morph into a conversation before cycling back to the next question.


07. Know when to pause

Awkward silences can be brutal for both parties in an interview. But when interviewers pause deliberately at key moments, candidates often say things they otherwise wouldn’t to fill the void. These impromptu statements can provide useful insights into how interviewees think on their feet and navigate uncomfortable conversations.


08. Explain the next steps thoroughly

“We’ll be in touch.” While most interviewers end a session with an empty statement that like, to take your interview game to the next level, make it a habit to thoroughly explain what candidates can expect next. It’s the professional thing to do, and it should eliminate some confusion and follow-up questions.



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