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As a future employer or recruiter, you do want to be as ready for the interview as your candidate will be.  The way the interview is handled is a direct reflection on your firm’s reputation, and as you already know, you don’t have a second chance to make a first impression.

  1. So, how exactly can you practice and sharpen your skills as an interviewer?  Be prepared.  Set up some practice interviews with colleagues of yours or employees and adjust your questions or demeanor according to their important feedback.  This exercise will benefit both yourself, the interviewer and will also demonstrate how much your value your staff’s opinion and collaboration. Everyone wins from being prepared.
  2. Most job seekers do take the interview process very seriously, and they will spend a significant amount of time “warming up” for their next interview.  As a future employer, you want to try to be as motivated, excited and well prepared than your potential recruits.  So, not only you want to come up with interesting and valuable questions, but you want to personalize the upcoming interview as much as possible.  After reviewing your candidate’s resume, and possibly conducting a phone interview, you will have a good idea of their personality, needs and wants.  As the interviewer, you should write your questionnaire taking into consideration some of their personality traits, family situation, salary expectations, instead of going down a list of very generic questions.  The more specific to their profile your questions are, the better chances you will have to conduct a beneficial interview and find the right candidate to fulfill the open position.
  3. However, it has been reported that the most efficient interviews should actually be based mainly on the candidate’s cultural fit vs your firm.  Do not judge the candidate only based on their previous experience, performance and education completed.  Observe your candidate.  That’s right, 80% of your interview should be focused on trying to determine if the job-seeker can be a great addition to your existing team and firm’s culture.  The other 20% or so, of your decision should be based on their skill set.  That’s why it could be smart to conduct the interview with someone who knows well the department or team this particular interviewee would be working with.
  4. Finally, keeping the stress level during the interview to a minimum can be a hard task, but definitely worth a try.  As an interviewer, your demeanor and approach will influence greatly how the entire interview will unfold.  Try to make the candidate feel as comfortable as possible, without being too personal and remaining professional.  The overall thought process should be, can you picture working this particular individual on a daily basis?

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David Klein is a leading Executive IT Recruiter & Headhunter with over 15 years industry experience.  As Manager of Recruitment Strategy for KDS Staffing, Inc., he has achieved industry-leading success. David has successfully led, trained and introduced many in the art of Executive Recruitment and Headhunting. If you or your organization would like to discuss hiring needs, contact David at 646-650-2833 or david@kdsstaffing.com.