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The In-Person Interview Guide: From Welcome to Goodbye

  • By Kamlesh Ranjan
  • June 1, 2024
  • 5 mins read
in-person interview
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    You have to conduct an in-person interview in just under a few hours to determine if the applicant is a long-term fit for you and your company. Making the right decision now takes work. To simplify this, and above all, to be able to compare multiple job interviews, you need structure. So, you can use our guide to orient yourself and design your in-person interview individually. You can also compile the exact questions you need from your survey. Here’s how to conduct an in-person interview correctly as an employer.

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    Preparing for the in-person interview

    As a hiring manager, preparing for in-person interviews is essential, as it will add to the candidate’s experience. This will help you feel more confident in the artificial situation of an interview and help you maintain the control you need during the interview process. This is especially recommended if this is your first time interviewing or if you need more interview experience. This creates optimal conditions for making the right decisions. However, there are some things you should check and prepare for even just before the candidate arrives. Therefore, it’s best to plan 15 to 30 minutes before the appointment to ensure you’re on time, even if the candidate arrives early. 

    Here is something you should look at before the interview: Is the room free for the interview? Open the window and let in some air. Air out the room well for five minutes. Is the room clean? Are there enough chairs? What is the seating arrangement? Are documents available for everyone involved (notepad, pen)? Prepare water and glasses, and check for coffee, milk, and sugar. Are your colleagues ready? Are you ready? Then, let’s get started now. 

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    In-Person Interviews: An Ultimate Guide

    The guide to conducting an in-person interview has five stages. It includes everything from welcoming the candidate to the main parts of the interview,  company presentation, essential questions, and interview follow-up. It’s best to consider this an interview checklist to help you appear professional as an employer. I explain each phase separately and provide tips to help you prepare for practice. The times listed in the headings are approximate times for each phase.

    Welcoming the candidates (5–10 minutes)

    The guide to conducting an interview has five stages—these range from welcoming candidates to the first meeting. The first meeting is a very important moment because first impressions matter. As an employer, you want potential employees to feel comfortable. Now it’s time to smile and relax. The goal is to relieve the candidate’s nerves, create a cozy atmosphere for both parties, and allow for a genuine interview. Being calm and relaxed will affect the person you are talking to and make the candidate more comfortable. But how can you achieve this?

    Don’t keep him waiting; start the conversation at the appointed time. First, introduce yourself and, if necessary, teach your colleagues. Include their respective positions and areas of responsibility, as this will tell you exactly why that colleague is there.

    First, familiarise the applicant with the situation instead of starting the interview with technical questions. Small talk is an excellent place to start because it only covers superficial topics. This will give you an idea of ​​the applicant’s first impression. Before we begin the interview, we’ll briefly explain how the rest of the interview will be structured. This allows candidates to be better prepared. It’s best to consider this an interview checklist to help you appear professional as an employer. So, I will explain each phase separately and provide tips to help you prepare for practice. The times listed in the headings are approximate times for each phase you should spend. 

    Main Body Of The In-Person Interview (30–45 minutes)

    Once you have explained what you want to do next, you can get started right away. It is important to remember that in this part of the conversation, the aim is to get to know each other. Nevertheless, this introduction should be as detailed as possible. You should not be left with any questions after the interview and should know precisely whether the applicant is a good fit for you. Ask any questions you think are necessary to test the applicant’s hard and soft skills. Don’t leave any room for uncertainty, but the candidate should not feel that he is being interrogated, as this may make the situation tense and negatively impact the entire process.

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    Prepare the Questions before the in-person interview

    Before your interview, you should create a list of suggested interview questions that will give you an idea of ​​what questions to ask as an employer. Although job interviews are structured at best, they are usually highly individualized because each candidate has a different personality. Therefore, it makes sense to prepare a set of questions that you can adapt to the interview.

    As an employer, you can ask various questions during this phase, from general to detailed. Incorporating the candid te into your train of thought will make the conversation seem more logical. Candidates quickly become overwhelmed and restless when questions suddenly appear out of nowhere. The quests aim to get as comprehensive a picture of the applicant as possible. Not only will you want to know the candidate’s qualifications, but you’ll also want to know their personality. 

    Introduction of the company (5 minutes)

    After extensive testing and interviewing candidates, your notepad should be complete, and all outstanding questions answered. Now it’s your turn to present yourself and your company as an employer in the best way possible. Employer branding is also part of conducting an in-person interview, so be as authentic as possible in short presentations and pay attention to consistency and order of content. If you are going to present with a colleague, decide in advance who will discuss what and how the discussion will be divided. At the same time, it is essential to stick to the truth. Even small lies will be revealed sooner or later.

    Give The time to candidates if they have Any Questions

    After the company presentation, it is the applicant’s turn again. Give applicants room to ask questions. Based on previous presentations, some questions have already been answered, and candidates may need a little time to ask a good opening question. Give them the time they need and answer all questions honestly and openly. Startups are not perfect, but even established companies have many problem areas, large and small. If a candidate asks you about this and you hit on a “weak spot” with the question, take that as a compliment rather than a reason for a rude answer.

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    Conclusion of the interview (2 minutes)

    After the candidate has asked any questions, the interview is over. At this point, it’s common to give the applicant an overview of what’s to come. This includes ideas about the timing of feedback, the following steps, and clarifying the formal terms and conditions of the position. This is where you’ll cover when the work will start, the number of hours per week, the total duration of the employment relationship, and salary, if applicable.

    Again, make sure you leave no room for uncertainty and clarify everything that needs to be explained. Finally,  thank the candidate for their time and accompany them to the exit to say goodbye. The interview may have gone well, but it’s not over yet. You should reflect on your thoughts and notes as soon as possible and record your conclusions for the following process.

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