We often hear about how to do well in an interview, but what about conducting one? Yes, you are hiring someone who needs a job, but when you are down an employee you need someone just as much. With that thought in mind, you want to appeal to your interviewee just as much as they want to appeal to you. Here are a few tips to being a good interviewer. 

Be Welcoming 

Believe it or not, you actually want to be welcoming and nice to your candidates. Can you imagine walking into a room with panel interviewers who are stonefaced and scary?! Why would someone want to work with that? Interviews are intimidating enough. Give them a warm smile, shake their hand, and welcome them. Maybe give them a chance to use the bathroom or grab a drink of water before you begin. 

Another part of interviewing is your demeanor as well. I really shouldn’t have to say this, but there have been some terrible interviews where people felt more like it was an interrogation rather than an interview. Your candidate is anxious enough as it is. If you feel that maybe they aren’t telling you something pertinent, go with your gut and move on, they are not on trial and you shouldn’t have to dig it out of them. If it came down to two places that offered your applicant a job, the one who is more welcoming will probably be who they choose. 


Being prepared falls into a few categories. Questions, reviewing their information, and setting up your interview space. Questions should be the same or similar for every interview so you can get an idea about how they differ from one another with their answers. They also keep the interview on track so you know what you haven’t covered yet or where you might want more elaboration. 

Reviewing their information in advance is important so that you don’t have to go over it in the interview. You should know a little bit about them before they walk in. There is nothing more annoying than going to an interview where the employer didn’t look at your resume and asks you what you did when clearly it was written out for them (aka resume). Don’t be that guy. 

Setting up an interview space doesn’t have to be elaborate but it does have to be somewhere where you won’t be interrupted and other people aren’t constantly loud. Some people have done interviews in the middle of restaurants and that’s their only choice, but if you can, try to avoid loud spaces that have distractions. That candidate should have your undivided attention. 

Make It A Conversation 

Interviewees are nervous, but the whole question and answer ordeal can be very dry and rehearsed. You may be working with this person on a regular basis and you should be getting a feel for not just their work background but their personality. Conversations open up the dynamic. 

Take the time to find out how they interact with the questions you give and actively listen to what they are saying. Yes, you have questions outlined but there should be more back and forth. 

Know What You’re Hiring For 

Save you and your applicant the trouble. Be very clear about what the position entails, the realities, and the worst of it so they can make a knowledgable decision should you offer them the job. Obviously, you are trying to get them to join your team and you want to sell it to the right person, but they should be coming in with a full understanding of what they will be doing. It would be a shame to bring someone on and pay for their training only for them to find out that it wasn’t what they signed up for. 

There are many ways of interviewing, but if you truly want to be good at it, make sure you are prepared, welcoming, know what you’re hiring for and make it conversational. Win your candidates over with your charm and do your company proud.

Photo by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash.