Interviewing candidates can be an intimidating task, even for seasoned hiring managers. You have to evaluate talent and pinpoint those who have the same values as the company while also presenting the company in the best possible light. Your words and actions have the potential to win a candidate over or to discourage them completely. The interview tips below can make the difference between a successful or failed interview.

Consider First Impressions

Most interviewees stress over first impressions. They want to demonstrate to an employer that they have poise and confidence when they step foot into the office. But there is arguably even more pressure on the interviewer to make a great first impression. A lot of times, interviewees are already employed and are on the fence about whether they want a different job. The most important thing you can do is make the candidate feel comfortable. You want the candidate to feel like they can be candid right away. This will facilitate open conversation, which is essential for a successful interview. You want to come across as professional yet approachable. If a candidate seems nervous, a genuine smile and a non-job-related question might help ease their nerves.

Focus on the Candidate

Most interviews are now expected to be a conversation, rather than a Q & A session. It is about having an open dialogue between two equally important participants. Allowing the candidate to freely ask questions can show them that you care about their concerns. Instead of following a script, you want the interview to flow naturally. This means asking follow-up questions when appropriate and allowing the candidate to talk at their own pace.

Focusing on the candidate also means researching them. You should review their resume before the interview. If they list a skill or employer on the resume you are not familiar with, do some research beforehand. Most importantly, talk to the construction recruiter before the interview. The recruiter has already vetted the candidate and can help you understand the values of the candidate ahead of the interview. The more prepared and informed you are, the better.

Ask Questions Carefully

Your recruiter should be able to work with you to develop a list of good questions to ask in an interview. You do not have to limit the questions to the ones they supply. It’s important to ask open-ended questions so the candidate becomes more comfortable and shares thoughtful answers. However, you do have to be careful what you ask. You want to avoid questions about religion, gender, marital status, etc. These can suggest to the candidate a discriminatory bias. Given the current labor shortage in the field, the worst thing you can do as a hiring manager is to offend a candidate who wants a construction career.

Final Thoughts

Make sure you keep an open mind. While it is important to research the candidate before the interview, you do not want to develop strong predispositions. You can learn a lot more about a person by listening to them speak than by reading a resume. Let the candidates communicate their skills and their values to you before you form an opinion of them.

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