Interviewers: What to Look for from a Prospective Employee


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If you have ever owned or held any sort of supervisory position within a company, chances are you’ve had to interview somebody for a position underneath you.

Doing so may, or may not, be a favorite part of your job. But the whole purpose of an interview is to determine which candidate will be the best fit for an open position. There are a lot of things to consider when meeting a prospective employee in a face-to-face interview for the first time.

There’s no one right way to conduct an interview, but stay within the legal guidelines. Some interviews are formal, consisting of one or more interviewers asking a series of standardized questions in a business-like setting. Others are more relaxed, often giving off more of a “just getting to know you” feel.  

Regardless of what kind of interview style you use, there are certain traits you’ll want to see from anyone interviewing with you. 

You want to know a prospective employee is respecting your time and taking the interview seriously. Did they show up on time? Are they engaging with you and not their cell phone? How an interviewee presents him/herself during an interview is a key factor to consider.

Not all interviews necessarily require business-professional attire. If the opening is a high-paying, competitive position, you’d better expect the interviewee to be dressed appropriately. If the job is more blue-collar, a nice pressed set of slacks and a collared shirt would do well.

Communication goes much further than just our words. Not only should you be verbally engaging with them, you should also pay attention to the person’s posture, demeanor, and eye contact.

Those are just as important as verbal answers to your questions. An ideal interviewee would come across as confident, but not cocky. He or she wouldn’t be afraid to look at me in the eye and answer questions with a calm, collected demeanor.

Keep in mind, interviews can be stressful. Don’t rush to judgment here if a prospective employee is coming across as a little nervous. All of us tend to have some sort of bad habit when we’re in uncomfortable situations.

If you notice this, wait and see if it goes away as the interview moves along. Chances are the interviewee will get a little more comfortable with you in a short amount of time.