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Many hiring managers and business owners find conducting in-person interviews intimidating. This post will help you prepare for, understand the legal aspects of, and actually conduct better in-person interviews.

Examine the candidate’s resume - Before the actual in-person interview, carefully examine the candidate’s resume. We suggest that you make sure that a candidate has the minimum qualifications required for the position and in addition, check to make sure that their desired pay rate matches what the position is offering. For information on what to look for on a resume, you can read our blog post “What Does a Recruiter Look for on a Resume?” to get more detailed insight.

Conduct prescreening - We recommend letting your Recruiter or HR Manager conduct a short prescreening call to cover basic questions such as, what the candidate is looking for in a job, why they are looking for a new position, and when they can start. At this stage, you can also ask questions to confirm that they have the relevant experience. The candidate’s tone over the phone can tell you a lot during the phone screen, so be sure to not skip this step!

Assess the candidate - Assessing the applicant is a crucial step that can save you time and money! There are no bad personalities, but different personalities match different positions. We offer assessments which tell you if the candidate is a good fit for the position that you are considering them for. On average it takes about 6 months to see if an applicant is a good fit in a role, but a good assessment would let you know right away! Our assessments generate targeted questions for you to ask during the interview based on the candidate’s results. These assessments are very valuable tools!

Send out interview invitation - When setting up an interview with the candidate, remember to send them a confirmation email with your company’s address, the date and time, information on parking if necessary, and who they will be interviewing with. Let them know how long the interview will take as well. Also, inform them of who to contact in case they need to make any changes to their scheduled appointment.

Prepare interview questions - Be sure to prepare questions ahead of time for the interview. We recommend that you print out the job description and the candidate's resume. Be ready to provide the candidate information about the company and the benefits offered for this position. Do not forget about the legal aspects when preparing interview questions. Two basic rules apply to asking questions. First, you need to make sure that all questions are job-related, and second, that all questions can reasonably be asked of all candidates. You should not ask about a candidate’s marital status, age, religion, national origin, arrests, or convictions. For example, you can ask “Are you able to work from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM?” This is stating the required schedule for the position. On the contrary, asking “Do you have childcare?” is an illegal question and could be viewed as discriminatory. Your interview process should be structured and every candidate should be asked the same set of questions. A good idea is to create a library of interview questions and have your HR attorney review them.

The candidate should feel comfortable during your interview and be able to open up to you. This depends on your interviewing style and willingness to make it safe for them to share information about themselves. Making a good first impression is very important. Keep your office clean and make it inviting. Ask a candidate if they would like a beverage. You may be surprised how offering coffee or water can relax a candidate and break the ice. You can also start with small talk, for example asking how was the traffic, then introduce everybody in the room, including their names and job titles. Tell the candidate what will be covered and how long it will take. Also, let them know that they can ask questions as well. If you allow questions to be asked throughout the interview, it will feel more like a conversation. If you have two people conduct an interview, we suggest that one talks to the candidate and the other observes and takes notes. Make sure you listen to the full answer before asking another question.

We hope that these tips were helpful! Happy interviewing!