So you need to hire a team, but you’ve never conducted an interview. Don’t fret – we’ve got you covered on how to woo the talent that walks through your door and have them crossing their fingers they get an offer from you.
The key to making yourself comfortable with the scenario is preparation. When you’re prepared, you’ll be confident, and that will help you attract, impress and land your ideal team. Here are a few tips on how to do exactly that.
- Research the candidates
You may have a pile of CVs on your desk, but you should read through each one so that you’re familiar with each and every person that comes for an interview, and, if you have time, check out their social media profiles to get a sense of what they’re like off paper. Come up with a few standard questions for each position, but also have questions tailored specifically to each interviewee’s experience. This will hopefully give way to a dynamic conversation and signal to the candidate that you are actively invested in your team.
- Location location location
Though a startup office isn’t always the brightest and shiniest – especially when just starting out – you should still do your best to conduct the interview somewhere quiet and mellow. If you don’t have access to a conference room or private office space, consider a chill coffee shop or perhaps a room in a co-working space for the day to conduct interviews.
- Soothe nerves
Not all job-seekers exude charm and confidence, so take care of the ones with sweaty foreheads and clammy palms. Little acts of kindness such as flashing a reassuring smile or offering a glass of water go a long way in putting a nervous person at ease. If the interview is going to involve a group of people or a test, give them a head’s up beforehand so that they’re prepared for more than just a one-on-one chat. If you notice they are struggling to find words, warm them up by opening up about yourself or talking about the company.
- Keep it simple
You are not the Sphinx, so it’s best to steer clear of questions that will leave the interviewee scratching their head. Feel free to ditch the standard interview format in exchange for something more immersive or challenging but try to keep the question or scenario as straight-forward yet thought-provoking as possible instead of unnecessarily convoluted. After all, you want the person to give you an interesting, well-rounded answer, not stare blankly in confusion. Also, do keep in mind that you should avoid asking uncomfortable questions regarding religion, politics, sexuality or marital status.
- Respect timelines
If you’ve promised to get back to the candidate within a week, then make sure you get back to them on time. Failing to keep to your word could tarnish your – and your company’s – reputation in their eyes, so even if you don’t have any updates by the end of the week, write in to inform that you would need more time to make the decision. Nobody likes to be left hanging for weeks without updates, and the candidate may discourage their friends from applying to your company if you ghost them.