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How To Be An Interviewer For The First Time

As you progress through your twenties, and especially as you enter and progress through your thirties, your role and superiority at your job is likely to change.

When you go from an entry level role to more of a manager role, you may start to manage people.

As part of being a manager, you will typically be pulled into the hiring process for newbies, and if you will be the direct manager, you most likely will doing the interviewing yourself.

How To Be An Interviewer For The First Time

We always talk about how stressful being the interviewee is — and we are not knocking that here — but being an interviewer for the first time can be stress inducing too!

There are all of these tips and tricks for how to rock an interview when you’re the one being interviewed, but how can you rock the interview when you’re the interviewer – especially in the virtual world?

Here are some tips and tricks on how to prepare to be an interviewer for the first time, both in person and in the digital world:

Do Your Research 

Just like we encourage people preparing for an interview to do their research on the company, a good interviewer should do their research on the potential employee, too.

Read their resume. If any other hiring managers or recruiters spoke to this person before you did, ask to read their notes or to hop on a five minute call to get their feedback (if you want to get an entirely unbiased perspective yourself, recruiters typically jot down general notes).

Check out their LinkedIn pages and see what that has to offer. Just like you would do your research before deciding where to go on vacation or before a big purchase, do your research on the person you are about to potentially hire. You should not be going into an interview blind, no matter if you are the interviewer or interviewee.

Have Notes In Front of You 

Not only should you be jotting down notes while the interviewee is speaking, but you should have notes in front of you during the interview. This will help you ask the interviewee relevant questions, that will not only allow you to get to know him or her better, but also will help you identify whether they are a good fit for the role.

If you are having the interview in person, you can have a print out or a notebook in front of you with the notes, as well as a print out of his or her resume. If you are virtual, notes are even more beneficial, as you can have a page of notes in front of you, his or her LinkedIn page pulled up, and any other relevant documents such as emails.

Have Questions Ready To Go 

Spend time thinking of questions you want to ask the interviewee.

The questions should not only be about their personal and professional backgrounds, but also questions that are pertinent to the role. For example, your might prepare interview questions for product owner if this is the position you are hiring for.

Remember, this person is not only going to be part of your company, but is likely going to be on your team.

You want to make sure they are qualified for the role, and the way to do that, is by asking questions that are specific to the roles and responsibilities associated with the role. Not having questions ready to go in advance, and trying to think of things on the spot, will likely result in things falling through the cracks.

The whole point of an interview is to make sure that the person you choose is the most qualified person for the job. Asking specific questions will help you get to this.

Be Presentable

No matter if you are in the virtual world or in person, you should be presentable as an interviewer. Interviews help set the tone for the company and the expectation of the future employee. In the interview, you should reflect that.

If your company is one where you can wear jeans and a tee, go for it! But if it’s not, even if you are currently working from home, try and reflect what is expected of your company.

How you want this future employee to present him or herself is how you should present yourself on the interview. In the virtual world, it only has to be from the waist up!

Check Your Settings If Virtual 

This applies more in the virtual world, but be sure to check all of your virtual settings before signing on to the interview. Make sure your audio is working, your microphone is working, your email/messaging service is set to do not disturb (you do not want the interviewee hearing pings while talking with you!), and that your lighting is okay. You should do a test video with a work colleague beforehand to make sure things look good.

You also should arrive to the interview a bit early — whether in person or virtual. Especially in terms of virtual, signing on early will allow you to check your camera settings to make sure all is working well. It will also let you see how you look in your video… and see what is in your background.

It happens to the best of us, we tend to forget what is behind us in this virtual world. I know I was on a call once and forgot my background was not blurred and everyone could see my wine rack behind me!

Ask Someone Who Has Been An Interviewer Before 

The best way to figure out how to prepare for an interview is to ask someone who has been an interviewer before! Likely, at least one of your colleagues has interviewed someone before. Ask them if they would be willing to chat with you for 20-30 minutes about how they have prepared for interviews in the past and what advice they have for you.

Especially if they are in the same company as you, they know what talking points you should hit on and have a good idea as to what type of candidate you are looking to hire.

Have you given an interview before? Share your experiences and more tips with us in the comments!

About the Author

Michelle Ioannou

Michelle graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelors of Arts '13 and a Master of Arts '14. She's currently working in corporate America with a side of freelance writing. She wants you to learn from her experiences and mistakes so your 20s can be your best decade. When she's not working, she's likely planning her escape to a tropical island.