Top Interviewer Skills for an Efficient Interview Process

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated October 16, 2022 | Published June 21, 2021

Updated October 16, 2022

Published June 21, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Related: Top Interview Tips: Common Questions, Nonverbal Communication & More

Having the right interviewer skills necessary for getting the best talents is crucial to a company's success. Excellent skills while interviewing means that the company can hire the right people to move the organization forward. For your career, whether you decide to operate a recruitment agency or help your organization recruit the best personnel, excellent interview skills contribute immensely to your success.

In this article, we look at the definition of interviewer skills, cover the most important skills for interviewers, and provide tips on how to improve on your interviewer skills.

What are interviewer skills?

Interviewer skills are the required expertise a recruiter needs to conduct an efficient interview process and ultimately hire the best candidates to fill a role. Effective interviewing is worth perfecting. It makes the hiring process easier and narrows down the list of suitable candidates more quickly.

For an interviewer to be graded as good, they need to possess certain strategies and techniques to be employed before, during, and after the interview. This way, interviews serve their function of accessing and choosing the best possible person for a job vacancy. A good interviewer is always greatly valued by their company. Therefore, mastering and effectively employing these interviewer skills increases your value in your organization. This also gives you better job stability and increases your chances of being promoted.

Related: How To Be a Good Interviewer With Tips and Examples

Top interviewer skills for an efficient interview process

Below are the top interviewer skills every recruiter should possess:

1. Active listening

Active listening is a skill that requires you to engage positively with another individual who's speaking, while withholding commentary, judgement, or advice. We can categorize listening, a crucial aspect of communication, into active or passive. You listen passively when you simply hear the words being spoken, but don't focus on the speaker's message. Active listening means you're listening closely to the speaker to understand their point. As an active listener, you never interrupt the speaker. Instead, you paraphrase and repeat back their points to keep track of the discussion and ensure you understand.

You must make sure you're hearing and understanding as much information from the candidate as possible. Candidates will do most of the talking in an interview, so you must learn to listen actively while the candidate discusses their skills and experience. Active listening helps you understand the candidate's personality and skills, and determines whether they're a good fit for the company. Being aware of the speaker's body language is also an important part of active listening. This requires you to monitor physical behaviours like facial expressions, gestures, and their posture. These small movements can be great indications of your candidate's confidence and attitude.

Related: 9 Ways to Improve Your Active Listening Skills

2. Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is an essential interviewer skill because it helps you make the best judgement about a candidate. It allows you to respond to any situation in an interview. This skill helps you determine the candidate's emotional capacity as well. This will help you determine the candidate's self-awareness and regard for the emotions of the surrounding people. Emotional intelligence is a crucial skill for effective collaboration in the workplace.

When you have a high level of emotional intelligence, you can make decisions with any candidate based on their merit. You also have the ability to put your emotions in check so that you can handle every situation calmly and professionally. Emotions are dynamic and dependent on multiple factors. You must display professionalism while making the candidate feel comfortable and welcome in the meeting. This gives them a better opportunity to relax and explain their skills and expertise without stress.

Related: How to Improve Emotional Intelligence (With 10 Steps)

3. Friendliness

Addressing candidates politely and with friendliness goes a long way in setting them at ease for the smooth sailing of the interview. Most candidates are nervous before an interview. Therefore, being friendly and nice to them will ease some tension and give them a good impression of your company. So, having a friendly demeanour towards candidates is essential for all interviewers.

4. Talent recognition

The ability to screen different individuals and recognize their talents and skills helps you make a correct hiring decision. Having an in-depth ability to recognize skilled individuals helps an interviewer to recognize potential employees and focus on them. This helps especially in situations where there are lots of candidates to be interviewed. That way, hiring resources, especially time, can be well managed.

A good interviewer understands what the organization desires in a prospective employee and the requirements of the job vacancy. Therefore, they look for these qualities and skills in the candidates.

Related: What Is Talent Acquisition? (With Steps and Tips)

5. Conversational skills

Possessing conversational skills makes it possible for you to get your candidates to loosen up so that you can have an idea of what kind of human beings they are. Also, one of the qualities of an efficient interview is the presence of a memorable moment between the interviewer and the candidate because the interview process marks the beginning of a working relationship.

The ability of the interviewer to engage the candidate in an entertaining conversation increases the likelihood of obtaining needed information from them. Generally, when people are relaxed, they tend to open up more and communicate more effectively. If you seek to make the most of an interview, you should make a conscious effort to master conversational skills. This will undoubtedly increase the success rate of your interviews.

6. Knowledge of the job

Understanding the requirements of the available job, the qualities, and technical skills being sought is important for every interviewer. Having a general knowledge of the role you are interviewing candidates for at the least is important for knowing what to look for in a candidate. It is important, so you can relate to the answers the candidate will be giving.

Therefore, you must take some time to research the job and its requirements, so you can identify the ideal candidate being sought when you come across them. It makes you know what you are looking for and prevents waste of time on candidates who do not fit into that ideal.

7. Objectiveness

You must be able to make your judgement based on facts and observable phenomena alone, leaving behind any form of bias or personal prejudice. A good interviewer deals with all candidates equally and fairly without letting preferences impede their decision-making process. Possessing the capability to be aware of any potential biases and put them aside is principal in all aspects of your life. This is especially true when conducting an interview, so you can find the most suitable candidate for the role based on their skills and experience.

Tips to improve your interviewer skills

Follow these helpful tips to improve your skills as an interviewer and advance your career:

1. Organize practice sessions

Organize a practice session, also known as a mock interview, with your colleagues. This helps you conduct a better interview process because you get other people's opinions to help you make changes. You'll have an idea of your choice of words, conversational skills, and other skills earlier discussed. Furthermore, you'll have an idea of possible responses you may hear from candidates. Consider how a candidate should prepare for an interview, and prepare for your side accordingly.

2. Research the candidate

Researching about the candidates gives you knowledge of their personality and work history. This knowledge improves the efficiency of the interview process by helping you know what questions to ask.

It will also make you understand better how to communicate appropriately with each one of them. Finally, it shows the individuals that you care about the people you hire, thus helping you attract the top talents.

3. Write out questions ahead

If you have identified what the ideal candidate should be, you must write out the questions that'll test those required skills ahead of the interview.

4. Be flexible

Being flexible means that you must be capable of making changes to your interview plans based on circumstances. You must be ready to accommodate a few deviations from your initial plan as long as they are helpful to the interview. Although having an outlined step-wise guide helps keep the interview organized, you must also be flexible during the course of the interview.

5. Talk less and listen more

Ask appropriate questions, and talk when necessary, but be sure to give the individual an opportunity to express themselves. Also, listen actively and look out for non-verbal communication techniques. Don't forget that you should make your candidate comfortable. This can be achieved by letting them talk, get their message across and efficiently communicate with you.

Related: How to Improve Listening Skills and Why It's Important

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