Interviewing Basics: Things You Must Do During the Interview

Steven Cesare, Ph.D.

A landscaper from South Carolina called me the other day to talk about sundry human resources issues, one of which was staffing.  While we naturally discussed the role of various staffing components including recruitment strategies, new employee orientation programs, and on-boarding plans, I made it a point to not gloss over the employment interview.  

While most of us have done hundreds if not thousands of job interviews, I still find it useful to be reminded of the basics that must be done to ensure a successful interview process.  Accordingly, I shared the following basic list of essential actions that an interviewer must do when interviewing a job applicant.  Parenthetically, due to space limitations, the complementary list of actions an interviewer must NOT do during a job interview will be shared in next week’s posting. 

  • Always have two interviewers present.
  • Turn off your cell phone before entering the interview room.
  • Start the interview on time.
  • Welcome the candidate to the company.
  • Establish a basic comfort level for the candidate.
  • Smile.
  • Make good eye contact with the candidate.
  • Remember the interview is a public relations tool to make the company look good to the candidate.
  • Give an overview of the interview process and selection sequence.
  • Provide background on the company, position, and performance expectations.
  • Identify positive qualities of the company and job.
  • Identify negative qualities of the company and job.
  • Have a copy of the position’s job description with you.
  • Have a copy of the position’s performance appraisal with you.
  • Have the applicant’s job application or resume with you.
  • Have the interview questions typed on piece of paper.
  • Only ask job-related questions.
  • Ask the same questions in the same order to all candidates.
  • Write down the applicant’s response to each question and take notes, before asking the next question.
  • Treat every candidate consistently, fairly, and respectfully.

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Steve Cesare Ph.D.

has more than 25 years of Human Resources experience. Prior to joining The Harvest Group, Steve worked with Bemus Landscape, Jack in the Box, the County of San Diego, Citicorp, and NASA. Steve earned his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Old Dominion University, and has authored 68 human resources journal articles. As a member of The Harvest Group, Steve’s areas of expertise include: staffing, legal compliance, wage and hour issues, training, and employee safety.  Read Steve's full bio.