The Art and Science of Interviewing

The Art and Science of Interviewing


There’s a deep well of advice for would-be employees when it comes to interviewing. But there’s much less information available when it comes to advice for the person conducting the interview. It’s extremely important for HR professionals to understand how to interview effectively. For many positions, the HR professional will conduct 10-20 interviews and will need to make an effective hiring decision. In some cases, the interviewer will also have to ‘sell’ the company and the position to the person being interviewed. Here are some guidelines for interviewing.

  • Start preparations by speaking with the head of the department that’s hiring. Make a list of the most important attributes and qualifications.
  • Be consistent. Ask each candidate some ‘standard’ questions.
  • Ask for specifics about achievements. Many resumes fail to include specific information.
  • Ask open-ended questions to encourage the person being interviewed to open up. Avoid questions that require a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer.’
  • Be fully aware of what you legally can, and can’t, ask during an interview.
  • Take a close look at the candidate’s cover letter and resume. If there’s anything that stands out on the resume, discuss it…positive or negative.
  • If you’re not familiar with a specific area, like graphic design or engineering, find out what’s important so you can ask specific questions.
  • When making a list of key attributes, make sure to rank these attributes.
  • Assess attributes like cultural fit, teamwork, leadership, motivation, self-discipline, communication, project management, and reliability.
  • Include some questions to get the conversation going—remember that many people interviewing for jobs are nervous.
  • Encourage the candidate to ‘boast’ a little so they describe what they achieved in their last position.
  • Try to assess the candidate’s interest in the position.

With the need for strong employees greater than ever in the Australian workplace, it’s more important to get the interviewing process correct. One key to improving interviewing skills—and improving all HR skills is to get a Diploma in Human Resources Management. This course provides HR professionals with the tools that companies need to use in their HR departments.

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