A key component of the recruitment process is the formal interview. While this stage is usually handled by human resources or hiring managers in large operations, if your limousine or livery service is a small, family-run business, then the responsibility of interviewing new candidates will likely fall on your shoulders.
While it may seem like a straightforward process, conducting a truly effective interview is actually somewhat difficult. Some managers will enter an interview and then leave it without having gained any valuable insights into the candidate in front of them. It’s vital, therefore, to have a game plan in mind before you conduct the interview. There are a number of ways to brush up on and improve your interviewing skills.
Below is a quick guide of three tips for conducting a successful interview:
- Preparation is important
Review the candidate’s resume in depth prior to the interview and also do some additional research online if possible. Check out his LinkedIn page and any business-related news stories you can find about him. Be careful not to explore too much on social media sites such as Facebook, however, as this kind of screening is still something of a legal gray area. From your research develop a set of questions that you think will be useful and relevant. For example, ask him what he enjoyed most about his prior job, and the kinds of destinations he drove to, or if he has any experience with limo software. The Wall Street Journal also advised that it’s a good idea to set up a time-frame or agenda. Have a rough idea of when the interview should be concluded. After all, both you and the candidate will likely have work or other commitments to get back to.
“Review the candidate’s resume in depth prior to the interview.”
- Create a friendly atmosphere
You’ll likely learn more about your candidate if he feels comfortable and relaxed. It’s important, therefore, to hold the interview in a setting that is more conducive to relaxation, Robert Half explained. Perhaps choose a room with comfortable chairs, or an off-site location such as a coffee shop or local restaurant. According to Forbes, it’s also a good idea to start the interview with friendly questions that can help build a rapport. For example, ask the candidate how his journey over was, or where he grew up or went to school. It’s important to exercise caution here though. Certain lines of questioning could later prove to be legally problematic due to laws that protect characteristics such as age, race, gender and sexuality. So, for example, do not ask a candidate about his age or marital status.
- Make notes and listen
This should be a no-brainer, but some interviewers spend much of the interview planning their next question in their head, or looking for potential faults with the candidate in front of them. As Forbes noted, it’s important to truly listen to a candidate’s response and ideally make notes. That way you’ll have a much clearer picture of the individual in front of you. It’s also okay to let the conversation flow in an organic way. If the discussion veers off course, don’t try to bring it back on topic abruptly. To do so would be rude and counterproductive. Guide the conversation in a way that feels natural, but also try your hardest to ensure that you cover all the necessary points.