How Managers Conduct Effective Job Interviews

Conducting effective job interviews is an art that takes time and effort to master. Although a job interview can seem simple, there is a lot behind selecting the ideal candidate.

Moreover, when managers just wing it, they make mistakes and leave off important questions. As a result, they end up not having enough information to make an informed decision.

Making a bad hire is very costly to the business. For example, these can include wasted time, salary of the bad higher, severance payments, training, recruitment resources, and the potential negative impact on customers. In addition, the potential legal nightmare that may accompany a bad hire can cripple the company financially.

Therefore, it is important for companies to have a strong internal hiring process. By doing so, businesses protect themselves and hire the best talent available in the market.

Here is a list on how managers conduct effective job interviews.

Interview Preparation

Effective Job Interviews Interview Preperation
HR team developing processes effective job interviews

Review the Job Description

It is important to briefly review the job description. Initially, hiring managers prepare for job interviews by revisiting the requirements of the vacant position. By doing so, the conditions of the vacant position are fresh on their mind and they are more prepared to interview the candidate.

In addition, the hiring manager should highlight some of the key responsibilities the candidate will be accountable for. As a result, the hiring manager fully understands what is required from the candidate and will be prepared for the interview.

Go Over Candidate Resume

Just before the interview, make sure to conduct a final review of the candidate resume. Highlight some of the key areas you would like the candidate to elaborate on.

Be ready to take notes regarding their background and skills they bring to the organization.

Setting for The Interview

Most importantly, hiring managers must make sure the interview setting has no distractions and the conference room is reserved specifically for them.  Silencing phones would also be a good idea to avoid distractions.

Prepare the Interview Process

Create a schedule for the interview process. For example, if multiple leaders will be interviewing the candidate, create the agenda. In addition, plot out what will occur during each timetable.

Afterwards, share the schedule with the candidate so they know what to expect and they will understand that you respect their time.

Highlight Your Essential Questions

Most importantly, make sure to memorize the most essential questions for this vacant position. By doing so, you ensure you covered those questions and understand how well each candidate responds.

In addition, you can maintain eye contact with the candidate and your questions will seem natural.

Practice the Interview

Experienced hiring managers take time to practice the interview process with some of their colleagues.  By doing so, it shows the professionalism of the business.

The candidates take the time to rehearse and practice for the interview. Businesses should also be prepared during the interview process.

Simply ask a colleague to rehearse a mock interview that covers the complete interview process.  In addition, ask your colleague for feedback and constructive criticism for improvement.

Conducting the Interview

Conducting the Interview
Manager conducting effective job interviews


The initial introduction is a time to set the stage for a positive experience for the candidate. Make sure to greet the candidate and make them feel at ease. A genuine smile goes a long way.

Explain the Process

After introductions, explain to the candidate what the process will entail. Provide details of the schedule and what they can expect throughout the interview process. If they will meet with multiple leaders, explain it to them and provide a brief background of each leader.

Finally, ask them if they have any questions regarding the interview process and accurately answer them.

Discuss the Position

Provide more background regarding some of the responsibilities in the job description. Most importantly, discuss the key requirements for the position and what your expectations are from the ideal candidate.

In addition, briefly discuss the duties and responsibilities.  Afterwards, ask them if they have any questions or concerns about any of the responsibilities.

Ask the Interview Questions

Initially, start by asking questions related to the candidate’s background. Then ask about what interests the candidate to the position and what research they have conducted about your business. 

Afterwards, continue with more detailed questions to confirm their background and skills for the vacant position.

Keep Interview Questions Consistent

By asking the same questions for every candidate, businesses can compare answers from everyone. In addition, it ensures fairness and uniformity. When making the final decision, hiring managers can go back and review each candidate based on the consistent questions.

Consider the STAR Method

STAR: Situation, Task, Action, Results. The star method breaks down a question into four parts. It asks candidates to describe the situation and then list the key tasks. Afterwards, it goes in depth about the actions they took and what the results were.

Situation: Describe a situation where you needed to accomplish a task.

Tasks: What were your goals?

Action: Describe the actions you to address the situation.

Results: What were the outcomes? 

Write Notes for Each Answer

It is important to write down notes for each question.  As a result, hiring managers can preview the answers of each candidate when making the hiring decision.

Evaluate Their Experience and Skills

During the interview process, evaluate their background and how it can be ideal for the vacant position.  Most importantly, see if they have completed tasks similar to what the position calls for.

Evaluate Communication Skills

This is the time to evaluate how well the candidate can effectively communicate. Do they stay on topic and keep it concise, or they go on tangents and get off topic?

Observe Body Language

As we all know, body language is also a form of communication. Their body language will reflect how effectively they communicate their point. 

In addition, observe if their body language is welcoming and friendly. Furthermore, a genuine smile says a lot about a candidate’s body language.

Always Be Courteous

Regardless of the candidate’s response to a question, always be respectful and courteous to them. Keep in mind, interviews are very stressing for candidates. They will remember everything about the interview, the good and the bad.

Professional hiring managers conduct interviews with respect and reserve their opinions during the interview process. The opinions should be shared only with colleagues when making the hiring decision. Being courteous is part of establishing effective job Interviews.

Ask Follow-Up Questions

When candidates answer questions, consider asking follow-up questions to the responses. As a result, this may provide helpful insight into some of their responses.

Sample Interview Questions to Ask

For a complete list of questions to ask candidates, check our article on 28 winning interview questions to ask candidates.

Allow Candidate to Ask Questions

At the end of the interview, allow candidates to ask questions. Candidates who are truly interested in the position will ask more questions about the position. In addition, they may also ask questions about the company and the culture of the team.

Be prepared to answer questions they have and respectfully decline to answer questions that may be confidential.

Provide Timeline of What Happens Next

At the end of the interview, provide a brief timeline of what will happen next. By doing so, you provide more insight to the candidate on what to expect. Avoid telling them you have more candidates to interview as it devalues them. Keep the interview only about them and let them know what to expect next.

Closing the Interview

Finally, close the interview by thanking them for their time and that it was a pleasure to meet them.  Effective hiring managers leave a positive impression on every candidate they hire. Candidates leave the organization thinking very highly of the company.

Interviewing candidates can be a tricky task. Many successful businesses outsource their hiring process to staffing agencies. If you need help identifying the best talent available in the market, contact us and let us know more about your business. Our specialty is finding the best candidates and connecting them to your business. Let us help you with establishing effective job interviews.