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Interview Tips for the Employer

The hiring process can be a difficult road to navigate. Finding the right applicant for a position can be difficult when you aren’t sure what to look for or say. Having the perfect arsenal of questions up your sleeve can both boost your own confidence as an interviewer and help you better get to know your potential new hire.

What do I ask?

When thinking about conducting an interview, the foremost important aspect of the situation is the question lineup that you have prepared. Kris Howard, our Subscriber Services Manager and hiring expert, says this: “Regardless of the position or industry, the first step is to identify your needs. What job functions will they perform? What kind of personality works best with your company’s culture?” Getting to the root of your problem right off the bat can save energy and gauge potential hiring value!


Form your initial questions to determine your interviewee’s personality. These relationships are the glue that holds your company together! No one wants to work with someone they don’t get along with, and having strong bonds amongst your team promotes a healthy, happy work environment. Some commonly asked personal questions are:

  1. Tell me about yourself!

    1. What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

    2. What do you like to do for fun?

    3. Where are you from?

    4. Where do you see yourself five years from now?

    5. Do you prefer to work alone or in a group setting?

    6. Tell me about your personal hero.

  2. Work-related

    1. What is your work history like? What experience do you have in this field?

    2. What did you like and dislike about your current/last position?

    3. What do you look for in management?

    4. What do you look for in a good coworker?

    5. Why should we choose you over anyone else for this position?

    6. What is something you look for in a good work environment?

    7. How do you prefer to communicate with others?

    8. What is your favorite thing about your field?

The more questions you ask, the better information you’ll have about the potential hire in front of you. However, be careful not to dig too much or spend too much time on unrelated questions to the job itself; you want to keep their attention without coming across as unprofessional or prying. Instead of bringing them all up from the beginning, try mixing some of your personal questions throughout the interview in order to keep the mood fun and engaging. Hearing personal questions like these at an interview can be a green flag to an interviewee, as this shows you have pride and care for those on your team. Psychologically, people also tend to feel comfortable more quickly when you show interest in who they are as a person. Demonstrating in real time to your interviewee that you want to cultivate a good workplace environment will give them positive feelings toward the company!

Be Analytical!

Make sure to ask problem-solving questions to get a feel for how productive or useful your interviewee may be to your team. Knowing the capabilities of your new hire can be useful; you never want to hire someone who can’t carry their responsibilities. To measure this, try targeted questions related to the position. For example, here are some asking options:

  1. Describe a situation in which you had to solve a problem outside of the box at work.

    1. For the interviewer: Provide a relevant example situation and ask your guest how they would personally go about finding a solution.

  2. Tell me about a time when you were proactive about an issue before it came up, and how that affected its solution.

  3. How would you sort priorities when it comes to your position?

    1. What is the first thing you would do once hired?

  4. How do you feel about training others in your field?

    1. What about training clients on our product?

  5. What programs do you have experience with?

    1. For interviewer: Bring up the programs and companies that your interviewee would be working with on the job. Find out their personal opinions about what they like and don’t like.

  6. How do you like trying new things?

  7. How would you deal with a situation where you couldn’t find a solution?

  8. Tell me about your best and worst customer experience.

  9. How would you solve an issue with an unruly customer?

    1. For the interviewer: Provide a relevant example situation and ask your guest how they would personally go about finding a solution.

  10. Provide a relevant example of a time you improved a customer relationship.

Kris Howard also says on the topic,

“If you know that your candidate needs to be analytical, asking them thoughtful (not tricky) questions designed to give you insight will be necessary. The goal is to understand how quickly they process your question, how out-of-the-box their response is, whether their answer shows critical thinking skills, etc.

Asking questions based on real scenarios they may encounter is beneficial to you and them. [For] any non-general questions you ask, you should have an "acceptable response" in your head. By that, I mean, you need to have an idea of what qualifies as a good reply before you just ask the question.”

Describe the Position

Coming into an interview, the most significant questions on the interviewee’s mind revolve around the benefits, job functions, and company culture. It is vital to answer these questions before making an offer. Give your potential hire peace of mind in knowing exactly what they may be coming into. Try adding some of these items to your interview docket:

  1. List job responsibilities

  2. List any benefits, salary, and any rules/company guidelines they would need to know about once hired. End with any major offers that may be included upon hiring.

  3. Discuss company culture.

    1. Describe company events and get-togethers, any office perks, and talk about how you personally feel working at your company.

  4. Talk about the tools they would be using and who they would be working with.

  5. Bring up any possibilities to move up the company ladder, if applicable. Having an achievable goal in mind can spark interest in the interviewee.

How should I act? What should I do?

One of the most important parts of holding a conversation is body language. If you are uncomfortable, I can almost guarantee that the person across from you can read those feelings in how you act. Interviewing can be nerve-wracking; you have to make sure that you are in a comfortable, relaxed mindset to ensure that both you and the interviewee come out of the situation with all of the knowledge you need. Try some breathing exercises beforehand or during if you’re the type to get anxious in one-on-one settings. Have water or another (work safe, of course) drink sitting nearby as a casual way to break long eye contact or refresh if needed.

Try your best to make eye contact and sit up straight while speaking to your interviewee. This will let them know that you are paying attention and care about what they have to say. Keep your arms uncrossed and above the table; this body language portrays comfort, confidence, and power. Engaging your hands while you speak, i.e. speaking with your hands or giving a presentation, is another way to show comfort in speaking. We also recommend switching who leads the conversation every now and then. Again, asking someone about themselves is one of the best ways to get them to speak freely and comfortably. This tactic enables you to see how your potential hire might converse with clients and coworkers, as well as how comfortable they may be in a leadership role.

Am I ready to Interview?

Having the questions ready may seem like the most important part, but it’s also good to bring a positive attitude and confident conversational plans into the mix. Having all three of these qualities as an employer is integral to properly get to know the person that you’re interviewing. It’s also good to, if possible, have another or more people from your team interview any possible new hires as well. A screening process like this can mean the difference between hiring an adequate employee versus a great candidate. Take the time to answer all of your questions. The hiring process can be frustrating, but putting thought and effort into how you conduct your interviews can make or break your business’s productivity. Take these tips into mind when walking into an interview for the best results in hiring!



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