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7 Interviewer Interview Questions for First-Timers

By Lyndsay Swinton, (http://www.mftrou.com)

Do you find interviews intimidating? (As an interviewer, I mean). Most managers find their first few interviews scarier than being interviewed themselves. Here are seven interviewer interview questions to beat first time interviewer nerves and help find the right person for the job.

Interview Question 1 – “Tell me about your current role…”
Your opening question must be easy to ask and easy to answer. This helps both you and the candidate relax and build rapport before getting into more meaty questions.

Interview Question 2 – “What interests you about the position you’ve applied for?”
By now, you should be more relaxed with the balancing act of demonstrating listening, taking notes and watching the clock. This is another easy question, but will flush out how much research the interviewee has done about the job, your department or company, and their motivation for wanting the job. Keen candidates will have done their homework!

Interview Question 3 – “Managing your own workload is critical in this job. Can you give me an example of when you had to manage your workload to meet conflicting deadlines?”
Managing workloads might not be the number one competency you’re looking for, but you get the idea. Ask the candidate to give a specific example when they’ve demonstrated the competency you’re looking for. A real life example is much more useful to you than asking how they would deal with a hypothetical situation.

Aim to ask about two to four different competencies, as the role requires and time allows.

Interview Question 4 – “Take your time to think through your answer, and please ask me to repeat or explain more fully anything you don’t understand.”
Yes I know this is not a question, but it’s a great phrase to use to get the best out of your candidate. Making the interview less of an ordeal for the candidate makes it less of an ordeal for you, and gives you a get-out if interview madness has set in – the common condition of forgetting what you’ve said to whom!

Interview Question 5 – “That’s a great example – to help me understand more fully, could you clarify what your role was in this example?”
Some candidates might forget to talk about what they did specifically, and say “we did this” or “the team did that”. This is no use to you as an interviewer, as you can’t figure out how big or small the person’s role was in achieving the result. Asking a clarifying question can clear up this confusion and sort out shy, team players from bragging, inflated egoists.

Interview Question 6 – “What are your career plans, and how does this job fit in?”
If you’re going to the trouble and expense of hiring someone, you want them to stick around for a reasonable amount of time before they move on to pastures new. Beware of snap decisions based solely on the answer to this question as you may be unwittingly discriminating against, for example, women planning to have a family. Use this question more as a test of how much thought the candidate has put into their future, and attitude to lifelong learning.

Interview Question 7 – “Do you have any questions for me?”
As an interview is a two way process, it’s only fair to allow the interviewee a chance to turn the tables and ask a question or two of their own. Although the temptation at this point is to relax into your usual chatty style, stay on your best behaviour. Good candidates may have the pick of jobs, so it’s up to you to sell the job and make it their first choice.
Beat interviewer nerves and use these 7 top interviewer interview questions to find the right person for the job. First time.

By Lyndsay Swinton
Owner, Management for the Rest of Us
www.mftrou.com


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