Best Practices for Conducting Interviews


Have you defined the position and identified what a good fit looks like? Have you determined the interview schedule? Are all parties involved aware and up to speed with the hiring initiative? When you answer yes to those questions, then you’re ready to accept and administer interviews.


Set expectations with all parties in advance regarding date, time, estimated duration, and the interview format to prepare all for success. Consider the interviewing styles below based on the circumstances and your company’s standard work.

  • Informal, Conversational Interview
    • Approach: No predetermined questions; the interviewer remains open and adaptable to the interviewee’s nature and priorities.
    • Style: “Going with the flow” during the interview.
  • General Interview Guide Approach
    • Approach: Ensures collection of the same general areas of information from each interviewee.
    • Balance: Offers more focus than the conversational approach while allowing freedom and adaptability.
  • Standardized, Open-Ended Interview
    • Approach: Asks the same open-ended questions to all interviewees.
    • Style: Respondents freely choose how to answer, allowing for diverse responses.
    • Advantage: Facilitates faster interviews and enables easier analysis and comparison.
  • Closed, Fixed-Response Interview
    • Approach: All interviewees are asked identical questions with set response alternatives.
    • Utility: Particularly useful for those less experienced in interviewing.
    • Structure: Provides a standardized format for consistency across interviews.

Best Practices During the Interview

  1. Prepare Well: Familiarize yourself with the candidate’s resume and the job requirements. This will allow you to ask relevant questions and assess their suitability for the role.
  2. Create a Comfortable Environment: Minimize distractions and make the candidate feel at ease by creating a welcoming and comfortable interview environment. A relaxed candidate is more likely to showcase their true capabilities and personality.
  3. Start with Icebreakers: Begin the interview with casual conversation or icebreaker questions to build rapport. This helps in establishing a positive connection with the candidate.
  4. Prepare Interview Questions: Have a set of standardized questions to ensure consistency across all candidates. This makes it easier to compare responses and evaluate candidates objectively. Tip: It’s okay to let some questions go. Don’t lose track of the conversation by being stuck on a question.
  5. Ask with Curiosity and Listen Actively: Interview from a place of curiosity about the person and what they can bring to the organization. Pay close attention to the candidate’s responses. Actively listen to what they are saying and ask follow-up questions to gain deeper insights into their experiences and skills.
  6. Evaluate Cultural Fit: Assess not only the candidate’s skills but also their alignment with the company culture. Consider how well they would fit into the team and contribute to the overall work environment.
  7. Be Transparent: Clearly communicate the expectations of the role, the company’s values, and any challenges associated with the position. This transparency helps candidates make informed decisions.
  8. Allow Time for Candidate Questions: Give the candidate an opportunity to ask questions. This shows that you value their input and helps them assess if the company is the right fit for them.
  9. Take Detailed Notes: Document key points during the interview to aid in the evaluation process. These notes will be valuable when comparing candidates and making hiring decisions.
  10. Provide Feedback: After the interview, offer constructive feedback to the candidate. This can help them understand areas for improvement and ensures a positive experience, regardless of the outcome.

Remember, the goal is to gather relevant information to make informed hiring decisions while treating candidates respectfully throughout the process. Good interview practices contribute to building a strong and effective team.

TYGES can help prepare you for candidate interviews. Rather than “wing it,” let your TYGES industry expert walk you through the dos and don’ts of interviewing and help you identify ways to get your target candidate to a “yes.”

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