There will likely come a time in your life when you need to conduct an interview. Maybe you are interviewing a potential employee for a business, or maybe you’re interviewing someone for something personal, such as a babysitter, dog walker or cleaning person. Maybe you’re interviewing someone for information for a newsletter.
The reason for the interview is irrelevant, but it is important that you do know how to conduct a great interview. If you lack interviewing skills, it could have a negative impact on the overall experience for both you and the interviewee. Instead of conducting a poor interview, use the following seven tips to conduct a successful interview.
1. Prepare questions in advance.
It’s always a good idea to prepare your questions in advance. This way, you will allow the interview to run smoothly without any awkward pauses. Keep in mind, though, that you don’t have to stick to your questions. If the interviewee answers a question a certain way and you want more information, don’t hesitate to ask questions on the fly. This will allow you to receive all the important information you need for the purpose of your interview.
2. Don’t send questions in advance.
If you are conducting an interview for an article, never send the questions in advance. You want to receive truthful, honest answers in the moment, not thought-out, planned and static answers. Instead, always save your questions for the actual interview. This will give you the best—and most real—information.
3. Do your homework.
Before you conduct an interview, it’s important that you do your homework. For example, if you are conducting an employee interview, be sure to review the applicant’s resume before they arrive. This will allow you to tailor questions specifically for that individual and allow the interview to run more smoothly. If you are conducting a reporting interview, it’s important to do your research on the topic at hand. Research the person you will be interviewing, the company they work for and the general issue behind the interview. This will give you more credibility during your interview and ensure you get the best possible responses.
4. Give yourself enough time.
The worst thing you could do is to not give yourself enough time to conduct the interview. Interviews that are rushed will make the situation stressful for the interviewee and will likely result in poor answers. Plus, you never know if an interview will go well enough that you continue talking for a great deal of time. Make sure you give yourself ample time for every interview so that you’re on schedule and stress free.
It’s a very smart idea to practice interviewing. You could use a friend or family member to play the role of the interviewee, and you can use all the tips you learned to perform a role play of the interview. Role playing will help you to build confidence in your interviewing skills and it will better prepare you for what to expect when you perform a real interview.
6. Be prepared for follow-up questions.
When you’re conducting employee interviews, it’s possible that the applicant will have some follow-up questions for you. They may want to know more about your business, the position they’re applying for, or your thoughts on the future of the company. It’s very important that you’re prepared for any and all questions they may ask to keep them interested in the position.
7. Record it.
When you conduct an interview, it’s likely that you will conduct more than one in order to fill the open position or gain the information you want. In most cases, the interviewer will write down notes about the interviewee to help them make a better decision. These notes allow the interviewer to remember more about the interviewees without only referring to their resume.
But sometimes taking notes can create problems. You may use shorthand in order to save time, but you may forget what the shorthand stood for when it comes time to review the interview notes. This is why it’s a better idea to record your interviews. You will then have accurate notes for each interview that you can use to make a better decision. It’s also a good idea to have your recordings transcribed by a professional transcription company. Having a hard copy of the notes will make it easier for you to review and ensure you make the most out of your interview.
Guest Author: Lizzie Lau is a freelance writer who combines personal opinions and research to create appealing and informative articles on various topics.