Do you really know how to interview candidates?

How stressful are interviews?

If you are thinking "really stressful" then you are the norm and if you are the one conducting the interview then you should remember this during your interview.

I have heard too many people write off amazing candidates in the first 5 minutes of the interview for things that should not be deal breakers. Interviews are stressful, let the candidate warm up to you before getting into the drilling questions.

To see someone's true colors, I suggest that the person conducting the interviews talk about their company and open position before the candidate has to open up about themselves. This allows the interviewee time to get comfortable and relax.

Instead of asking questions to drill the candidate, you will get a better sense of what they do and how they present themselves if you ask them "tell me about your career history from when you started until now." You will get a lot of information and get a good sense of the individual.

Some things to look for when you go over their career history:

-If they say "we" did... and not "I" did, that is not a good sign. You want people who can talk about the contributions they made to the company.

-Listen for accomplishments, review past goals/metrics, and a clear overview of what they have been doing with reasons for leaving a company. If they go over all of this without you asking for each detail at each position, that is a good sign.

-Remember not all people are sales people, if you are filling a more technical role with little people interaction then don't judge so harshly on social skills as it might not be as important in their role.

Some other things to look for during an interview:

-Sometimes it's the things people do not say that speaks louder than words. Be aware during your interview. Did the candidate shake your hand, are they chewing gum, flicking a pen, how are they dressed?

-Allow time for the candidate to ask you questions. Do not get thrown off by this, it means they did their research and are interested in the position and company.

- Did the candidate ask you if there were any concerns with them doing the job? If so great! They do this so they can address those concerns and this means they really want the position.

-See if they close for the next steps. If you are interviewing sales people, this is key, they should close you and this means they are also not afraid to ask for business.

Lastly, remember your opinion can change from the first time you meet someone to the second. Think about a friend who you might have not hit it off with at first but are now close with. If you are on the fence about someone it might be worth it to give them a second shot after reviewing more candidates. You don't want to write off a potential great person for your company!