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Making job interviews more engaging

9/27/2018

Making job interviews more engaging

One of the biggest issues for hiring managers today is that even when they have in-person interviews, they might not feel as though they're getting the best possible outcomes from those conversations. Often, this is because interview atmospheres aren't always comfortable, and more can certainly be done to make the process more accommodating.

Think about it from the interviewees' perspective: They're going to have a conversation, say, an hour long that could determine the course of the next few years of their lives, at the least. With that in mind, it's understandable for anyone, especially those who don't have a lot of experience in the interview process, to be nervous, according to Jazz HR Notes. Moreover, plenty of candidates who have difficulties with the whole process of interviewing may be turned off from joining the company even if they're a perfect fit.

Often, that means hiring managers need to get better at handling scheduling and accommodations, Jazz HR said. For instance, it might be a good idea not to schedule interviews first thing in the morning or during the lunch hour, and if that can't be avoided, it's courteous for companies to make sure those interviewees at least get a snack and a drink. Getting people to relax before the interview even starts can be a company-wide effort (that is, making sure employees are aware there's a potential new hire coming in and presenting the best possible work environment as a result), and it's an important one.

The interview itself
Once a person actually comes in for that sit-down meeting, it's critical for hiring managers to be acutely aware of how their behavior and lines of questioning will impact the potential hire's mood, according to The Muse. For instance, body language plays a big part on both sides of the table, and if a person appears nervous or defensive, finding ways to help them relax can go a long way.

Along similar lines, hiring managers should always strive to encourage a dialog between themselves and the people they're interviewing, according to Forbes. With that in mind, it's important to ask open-ended questions that can lead to more questions coming back across the table in the opposite direction, rather than asking a rapid-fire series of questions that make interviewers seem like they're just going down a checklist as they would with any other interviewee. Perhaps most important, it's wise not to throw interviewees into the deep end, but rather ease them into the conversation with some personal banter before getting down to the nitty gritty.

Doing the homework
A big part of getting an interview right is going in as prepared as possible, so hiring managers should avoid asking questions about things like what's on the candidate's resume or cover letter, or what can be easily found online, Forbes noted. Instead, taking a deeper dive and getting a better idea of more in-depth details - so that the interview can be about those specifics instead of the basic stuff - will help companies learn more about potential hires in short order.