How to Conduct a Job Interview

Written by on December 19, 2012 in Career - No comments | Print this page


interview-questions-you-should-ask-300One of the things you need to do when hiring is to conduct a job interview.  And there are things you need to do – and need to avoid – when doing the interview. Here are some dos and don’ts to making the job interview process informative, not tortuous:

Do have a list of questions that you have everyone answer

If you are asking specific questions about how people will handle the job, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to do so unless you ask many of the same questions to everyone. For example, if you name a hypothetical problem at the workplace, and ask only some of the jobseekers about it, and how they would solve it, you will get a very incomplete picture of the people looking for the job.

In addition, you want to show that you treated everyone fairly. So you don’t want to give only some people the opportunity to explain themselves.  Besides, isn’t the point of doing the interview process to see how different people may answer the same questions?

But do ask some questions based on their answers – and their resumes

If you hear or read something weird, or interesting, from the jobseeker, then it is okay to ask that person individual questions, since it is relating to what he or she said. In fact, you must ask specific questions here based on that person’s individual information, to better understand him or her.

Avoid illegal questions

There are certain questions you are banned by law from asking. Among other things, you cannot ask about a jobseeker’s marital status, their age, their marital status, whether they have children, their ethnicity, their religion, the country of their birthplace and whether or not they have a disability. If you ask any of these questions, you could be facing a lawsuit, among other things. Not good.

Be a professional

Some employers act rudely in order to somehow “test” jobseekers during interviews. The only test this will show is that the employer is a jerk.  You’re not going to prove that a jobseeker is a quality employee by berating the person, or acting like a clown. Think about what you would want to be asked during a job interview, and act accordingly.

Don’t overdo it

How long does the interview really need to be? Anything longer than an hour may be counterproductive, and even an hour may be too long. And how many people really need to be involved? You may think that having 15 or even 20 people in your company involved in the interview process may be productive, but it’s really overkill. The time to introduce a jobseeker to all of your staff is when you hire them.

Don’t talk too much

This is a time for the jobseeker to talk, but some career coach experts say that too many job interviewers do most of the talking. You should let the jobskeer have a chance to talk, so you get to know more about the person. It is a much better way than having multiple interviewers where you do all of the talking.

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This is a guest post.  Lisa Swan writes for career coaching sites like


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