7 Tips for Writing a Productive Interview Plan

The more prepared to conducting an interview you are, the smoother it’ll go. However, if you don’t have much experience in the interviewing process, it might be hard to come up with a proper interview plan right away. Even if you are experienced, these tips can help you make the interview more productive.

  1. First few moments matter

The first few moments of meeting with a candidate can actually tell you a lot about their confidence (or insecurity), enthusiasm (or lack of it), etc. Shake the candidate’s hand firmly, minding their posture, overall look, and the way they hold themselves.

  1. Break the ice

The beginning of the interview is usually one of the toughest parts: you both don’t really know what to expect yet and the candidate is probably feeling a bit nervous. It’s up to you to break the ice and to prepare the candidate for the main part of an interview. You can do so by talking a bit about your company, it’s goals, the position the candidate is applying for, and the skills required for this position.

  1. Ask standard questions

It’s important to have a list of standard questions you’re going to ask all the candidates. This will allow you to compare the answers later, getting a better understanding of their skills, past work experience, and so on. Moreover, later this could also help you choose between two candidates who seem almost the same.

  1. Ask individual questions

While standard questions are without a doubt important, they are not the only ones you could ask to get a clearer picture of a candidate. Try asking each candidate special questions based on their resume: they can help you find out more about a certain candidate as well as clarify some aspects of their previous work experience. You may find out things that they did not mention in their resume, for example, that they actually know a great deal about business writing or product management.

It’s important not to make the questions too straightforward, otherwise, it will be easy for the candidates to give you the answers you expect instead of the honest ones. Make them open-ended instead. Also, avoid questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”. Always encourage the candidates to give more detailed answers. 

  1. Pay attention to nonverbal cues

The nonverbal cues can tell you a lot about the candidate. If the candidate doesn’t look too interested or looks tired, this usually isn’t a good sign. A candidate that is really interested in the job seems alerted and is willing to ask detailed questions. Their choice of clothing, as well as their state, matters too. If a candidate appears to have put things together in a hurry, then they probably didn’t make much effort to look presentable and impress you.

  1. Encourage the candidate to ask their own questions

As I’ve already mentioned above, the candidate that is actually interested in getting this job and working for your company will ask their own questions. This stage of the process also shows whether the candidate was prepared for the interview well or not. If they did their research, they’ll be able to ask in-depth questions.

  1. Let the candidate know what to expect next

Of course, you might not yet know whether the candidate is fit to get the job. However, it’s professional to let them know what they can expect. There’s information you can freely give, such as letting them know how long you are planning to interview other candidates and when they can expect to hear final results. This way you’ll be able to calm them down a bit, also ensuring that they won’t call you until all the interviews are complete to find out about their status.

I hope that these tips will help you to write a proper plan for your interview process. However, don’t forget that writing a plan is only a part of the job. You have to do your best to look and act collected and professional during the interview. Make sure that you treat all the candidates equally and respectfully, be polite, and always inform them about the results of an interviewing process.


Author: Alisiana Peters

Alisiana is a senior marketing coordinator at HiringThing, an award-winning online recruiting software provider dedicated to changing the way businesses hire talent. Questions? Contact HiringThing Marketing.