Keys to a successful interview: tips for HRs.

Olha Onofriichuk
Olha Onofriichuk February 19, 2021

IT Recruiting, Recruiting, Recruitment

Our motto is #Sharingiscaring. We are happy to share interesting and useful information and this time we have a guest – Kateryna Zhuravel, HR at Wix.com. Kateryna told how to conduct interviews, and also about her experience & HR life hacks.

So, let's talk about the interview. What is the main purpose of the interview? Why are they held?

First of all, the interview is a constructive dialogue with a candidate and its main purpose is to give him/her an opportunity to tell important information about himself/herself. And a recruiter has an opportunity to tell more about the company and tell what the candidate needs to hear.

During the interview we need to find out:

  • what tasks and projects the person would be interested in;

  • about the candidate's potential for conflict, emotional compatibility, cultural features;

  • compare the candidate's profile with the customer's requirements.

It is important to remember that during the interview we need to create an atmosphere of the open dialogue, where we accept any position of the candidate as the norm. Therefore, it really should be a dialogue, not a conversation from the checklist.

Do we need to prepare for an interview with a candidate?

Yes, of course) Maybe someone just prints a candidate's resume 5 minutes before the interview, but that's not enough. Preparation is a very important stage. This is a high time to look at the profile of the candidate on social networks to understand whether he/she likes public speaking (perhaps he/she often participates in conferences), what is important for him/her, whether he/she needs a relocate, to identify questions you would like to ask this candidate.

How to start the interview?

At the beginning, you need to give the candidate an understanding of how the interview will take place, the next steps, how the feedback will look like.

A good method is to introduce yourself, talk about who you are, what role you play, what your conversation will look like now. Ask if he/she has questions for you. That is, to make it clear as much as possible what awaits him/her now.

What questions can we ask?

And now we can move on to questions.

The questions we ask the candidate can be divided into 3 categories:

  1. Open questions where we give the candidate a chance to think. Questions like "what, how, why, how could you do differently", etc.

  2. Behavioral questions. The main focus is the candidate's previous experience. Questions like: “How did you behave ...? How did you resolve the conflict…? ”How the candidate has behaved in the past determines how he/she can behave in the future. That’s why when the candidate recalls how he behaved in the past, we can analyze his skills.

  3. Research questions. We ask questions where the candidate has to give examples: “Why did you do so and not so ...? How did that affect your team? ”.

What would be better not to ask?

In fact, there are some questions that should not be asked.

These are:

  • Closed questions. Such questions will not give a lot of information about the candidate, it is better to use open questions from the very beginning.

  • Hypothetical questions. They should be replaced with behavioral, where we can analyze real situations.

  • Leading questions. They dictate the answer the interviewer wants to hear. It is better to replace such questions with neutral ones, which will give the candidate the opportunity to express himself/herself as he/she really thinks.

  • Bilateral questions (two questions in one). Such questions defocus the candidate.

  • Questions where multiple answers can be chosen. They should be replaced with open questions.

  • Questions which lead to ageism, sexism, racism, etc. are forbidden!

What should we do after the interview?

At the end of the interview we ask ourselves such questions:

  • Do I want to see this candidate again?

  • How comfortable would it be for me to work with this candidate in one office during the whole day?

  • How educated is this person? Is it interesting to talk to him/her?

  • Is this person really passionate about the chosen field?

  • Does the candidate have the potential to be the best in his/her field in the future?

  • Does the candidate pay more attention to positive or negative things?

  • Does this person meet all the values of the company? Can he/she become the company's cultural ambassador?

What should we do if the candidate is very nervous?

If we see that the candidate is very nervous, then our task is to help him relax. We can try to talk about each other, find out the important things for him/her at work. If the person is too nervous, we can offer to call later (Important! We don’t have to say that we postpone the meeting because of his/her nervous state! We can offer to discuss some issues today, and the next time – others).

Kateryna also shared with us her favourite question, which she always asks candidates:

"How does the team of your dreams look like?"

Here the candidate talks about his/her expectations (about the professional and personal qualities of his/her colleagues), shares how he/she sees team relationships, what he/she can bring to the team.

And another life hack from Kateryna: what distinguishes a good teammate from the one with whom it isn’t even pleasant to be in the same room? The answer is very simple: they do not share their knowledge, sometimes they can publicly humiliate their colleagues and have no mutual respect.

The interview is a very interesting process, where the task of the recruiter is to help the candidate feel comfortable, give him/her the opportunity to tell about himself/herself and learn more about the company. Because not only the company chooses the candidate during the interview, but also the candidate chooses the company.

We hope that these tips will be useful to you and will help to conduct interviews as effectively as possible.