Candidate Interviewing Ideal Questions

Candidate Interviewing Tactics

You know how to find the right employees for the enterprise. Now, it’s time to finally arrange a meeting of some sort with them. Yes, it’s time for candidate interviewing. If you have hired a headhunter or recruitment consultants then sometimes HR Managers will find that the consultant has sent them far more interesting applications than the positions you have available in your enterprise! This is a dilemma that will drive you nuts! It is going to be a tough choice for you to make. At the same time, it’s important to give all the eligible applicants an equal shot at the job. This is a benefit for you because it will give you a variety to choose from. Avoid any sort of discrimination while interviewing candidates.

Ideally, the candidates who are shortlisted are then invited by the recruitment consultants for the interview. When you set up the interview with the desirable applicants, that is the time when the difficult scenarios begin to emerge. These calls can be made in a day, but the candidates come to interview in a haphazard manner. Your recruitment agency will tell you that the best candidates always are the last ones to respond to interviews. This has been observed on more than one occasion. That’s because they love to do their work accordingly. In more than 99% of the cases, they might not have left the previous company. They carefully choose an appropriate time, so as to not affect their work at the previous company.

Anyway, keeping that aside, these candidates are the ones whom you should look out for. So, when you have to inform them for the interview, make sure the empanelled recruitment consultancy has indeed confirmed that they are looking for a job change. Then give them the correct details of the interview venue. If you can, inform the candidate beforehand what is expected out of them. After that only should you confirm whether they would be visiting your organization for the interview, or not.

What To Do If The Candidates Do Not Show Up On The Appointed Time And Day

If you are in the HR department, then you must have noticed this a lot of times than usual. A headhunter knows this very well. The headhunter who is coordinating the interviews calls up a candidate and they respond that they have taken up a job somewhere else. When the recruiter informs you about this at the last minute don’t get pissed off. Instruct the consultant to wish them all the best for the future. After that, you can segregate their applications in the not available for work category.

Then there will be candidates that will be absent on the day of the interview, despite not having joined anywhere. Follow up with the consultant arranging the interview and inquire why were they absent from the interview. If they come up with a genuine reason, give them another chance by postponing the interview for a further date down the line. But if you see that the candidate is not serious, then you need to let them go. They are not good workers who will spoil their own time as well as yours.

Making The Candidates Comfortable During The Interview

Now that the candidate has made it to the interview, its time to get down to work. The more you are able to know about the candidate, the better for you and your organization. It is a nervous time for both the interviewer and the applicant, as both of them are strangers. So, you as a part of your organization’s HR team should ensure that you are able to break the ice. Many candidates have nervous pangs before the interview. They will not be able to perform well under pressure. It is your responsibility to bring them at ease.

There are certain tactics to achieve the desired comfort level. Do not keep them waiting for long. The longer they wait, the more apprehensions they have. Make sure that you have asked them for water, tea, coffee or a preferable choice of beverage that you can offer. Switch off your smartphones, put your PCs or laptop on sleep mode and turn off any other distractions during the course of the interview.

Questions And Answers Round – Questions That You Need To Ask

To know more about the applicant, you need to dig into them. You can do that with the help of a questionnaire. These questions should help you in extracting more and more information about the candidate. If the questions make them uncomfortable, then it won’t be a pleasant conversation.
Here is a list of safe-to-ask questions –
  • What are the things that your last supervisor appreciated about your work?
  • Describe a situation when you addressed a customer’s grievances and you turned the situation around.
  • Please tell us if you have encountered a conflicting issue with two similar priorities. How did you handle the situation?
  • Why are you the best person for this job?
  • What are your weaknesses and how do you plan to work on overcoming it?
  • Please tell us about your strengths.  
  • Why did you prefer this job?
  • Are you open to constructive feedback?

Don’t Put Forward These Questions To The Applicant

You have a right to know about some particular information about the candidate. Likewise, the candidate also has a right to withhold certain information about themselves. These bits of information about the candidate are taboo for discussion. As an HR professional, you have to be extremely careful not to cross the line.

Here is a list of questions you should ideally refrain from asking a candidate –

  • What is your marital status?
  • Will you have any children in the near future?
  • Have you taken any leave when you were employed in the past?
  • What is your spouse’s profession?
  • What is your religious orientation?
  • Will you leave your child in childcare when you join this job?
  • Could you tell your age?
  • What is your ethnicity?
  • What is your year of graduation?
  • How will you commute to work?

How To Handle Challenging Candidates?

We know that’s not easy, but you should be up for the challenges. This happens all the time. There can be all sorts of people who are challenging – manipulative, emotionally suppressed, unfocused. If you need to take charge of the situation, then so be it. If you are doing most of the talking, then try to egg on the interviewee to speak. This way you can understand why they are here in the first place itself.

After fairly assessing a candidate, make your decision. Then deliver your choice to the administrative department. Don’t be emotionally swayed by the plight of a candidate who you think is distraught or going through a hard time in life. It will polarize your decision. Always act in the best interests of your company. If you follow the above pointers you will soon have the right person for the right job in your company 🙂

Content Specialist at Perfman HR
Aellina has an impressive amount of experience in the field of education, teaching, and human resources. At Perfman HR, Aellina works closely with the management to highlight our views, our work processes and company news through our widely read blog.
Aellina Chandwani
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