Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Conducting a Job Interview ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Conducting a Job Interview
Category: Business and Money > Employment
Asked by: lovepyaar-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 05 Jun 2005 12:17 PDT
Expires: 05 Jul 2005 12:17 PDT
Question ID: 529612
I need to know how to conduct a job interview.  I want to know how to
physically set up the room, how to set the psychological climate, the
proper etiquette, the proxemics, comfort measures and all the proper
procedures and techniques involved.  I DO NOT need to know what kind
of questions to prepare such as behavioural, situational or
preparation issues, simply the atmosphere the DAY of the interview. 
Seating, climate, how I should act.
Subject: Re: Conducting a Job Interview
Answered By: tlspiegel-ga on 05 Jun 2005 16:19 PDT
Hi lovepyaar,

Thank you for an interesting question.

Candidates coming for an interview might be nervous so you want to get
the environment right for a successful interview.  Make them  feel
welcome and relaxed from the moment they step in the door because they
will perform better if put at ease, and they will leave with a
positive attitude towards your company if they are treated well.

If the interview room has a clock, set up the room so you are the one
viewing the clock.

Keep the temperature at a comfortable range for you.


The Space Within Management Erudition - Interviewing Staff

(Near the end of this page you'll see 2 diagrams.)

"The diagram on the left is the traditional office set-up, whereas the
one on the right not only allows for a more informal approach, but
also makes better use of the available space. When studying for my
librarianship qulaification, I came across an article, whose source
escapes me now, about Street Level Bureaucrats - those people in a
large organisation who confront the public on a daily basis - banks,
post offices, libraries, government agencies, insurance companies
..... Because they do not know how the public will react when they
enter the building, they always have a large barrier between them. Do
managers have the same fear when their staff or new applicants enter
their offices, are they so insecure?"

(see #4 next source)


Interviewing in English

"Where should the interview be? This could be your office or a meeting room. 

How long should the interview last? Allow for over-running, and for
candidates arriving late.

Opening Phase During the opening phase you should try to establish a
rapport with the candidate. This helps the candidate to relax. You
could chat about the weather, their journey to the interview, the
interests they list on their CV (especially if you have an interest in

4. Think about how you should arrange the chairs in the interview room
- sitting face-to-face across a desk is an aggressive layout. A more
friendly approach is to place the chairs at right angles to each

5. Arrange for coffee and water to be available in the interview room.
When the candidate arrives, offer them a cup of coffee and chat to
them for a few minutes to help them relax before the interview starts.

6. Explain the interview process to the candidate, and tell them when
they can expect to hear from you after the interview."


Top tips on conducting the perfect Financial Services recruitment interview


When conducting an interview you should also consider where to hold
it.  To obtain the most from an interview the candidate should feel as
relaxed as possible.  Therefore, staging an interview in an open plan
office with people listening in and then being interrupted by phone
calls is not conducive to a flowing interview.  If private office
facilities are not available, consider using a meeting room at a
hotel, you can always introduce them to the workplace at a later

Have a plan! 

Setting an agenda is a terrific way to manage the time spent in
interview and ensure you cover all the areas you need to.  Opening the
interview by explaining to the applicant how long the interview will
last and what it will cover will also help them to relax and feel more
comfortable.  Items to include on your agenda could be:

-  Introduction of you and your company
-  Summary of position being recruited 
-  Reviewing candidates CV and suitability
-  Questions at the end

Remember - while you are assessing the candidate, they are also
assessing you, the company and the job.  Don't be complacent and just
expect the candidate to want the job on the basis of attending an
interview, you still need to sell the role and prospects to them if
you want to ensure a successful outcome."


Conduction an Interview,,186_156911-1,00.html


I have just been promoted to a management position. I feel confident
in my new job but I?m conducting my first interview soon and don't
have a clue about how to behave. How do I avoid looking as if I don't
know what I'm doing? -- Nervous


"On a practical level, remember that we judge others more on how they
look than anything else and others judge us in the same way. Make sure
your grooming is impeccable: squeaky-clean hair, hands, nails, ears,
and teeth. Your shoes and clothes must be in good condition. Even if
your company encourages casual clothing all the time, remember that
managers are supposed to be leaders, so dress smartly to look
Go out to wherever the candidate is waiting and greet him or her.
Smile, make eye contact and shake hands. Extend your hand first and
shake firmly - a weak handshake commands no respect. Thank the person
for taking the time to apply for the job. This will reduce tension and
make your job easier. Tell the applicants where to sit and ask to take
their coats for them. Ask questions and really listen to the answers.
Most people ask a question and plan what to say next while it's being
answered. Not a good move for anyone. Don't be afraid of pauses and
take time to phrase your questions well.

When the interview is over, stand, shake hands again and thank the
applicant again. See them to the door. Then go to a private corner,
pat yourself on the back for a job well done, and breathe deeply."


An excellent article can be found at: Take the Guesswork Out of
Conducting Interviews

"Conducting interviews of job candidates is one of the most important
tasks that supervisors perform. Poorly managed interviews can lead to
a less than optimal choice among candidates; they can even land an
organization in legal trouble. To avoid these outcomes, supervisors
must understand the multiple goals of the interview process and how to
meet them."

Five Goals

(read article)



"Now you are ready for the big day-Face to Face interviews.


Hopefully, you have filled the interview schedule sheet with
prospective candidates for the opening that you have. It is time to
run down a pre-interview checklist of things that you will need or
should all ready have set up. The following list will make it easier
for you to conduct the interview, without having to constantly search
for material or information.

PHYSICAL ARRANGEMENT-Is the room set up for the interview: chairs
arranged, lighting correct, phone messages being taken, desk cleaned,
office cleaned, temperature set, etc.

HANDOUTS AND MATERIAL-What material do you have for the candidate to
read before the interview, that you will be giving to them during the
interview, and what
material can they take with them. Enough copies for each interview
scheduled Copies of Position Statements and Performance Appraisals
should be available.

RECEPTIONIST-Does this person have a schedule of who is coming in for
an interview? Is this the time that the applicant is going to fill out
an application?

INTERVIEW GUIDE-Do you have a copy ready for each applicant? (this is
discussed in the following material)

SCHEDULE SHEET-Do you have a schedule sheet set up to schedule second interviews?

DELEGATION-Who is going to handle the crisis that always seem to
happen during interviews, meetings, etc.

Some of these items may seem unimportant, be assured that all of these
items are very important and necessary. The setting that you create
for the interview, sets the tone for all future communications with
the applicant whether they become an employee or not. Individuals that
do not go to work for the company will remember a positive interview
and quite often will tell other people about the positive experience
that they had. The end result, is that you will have people inquiring
about your firm on a regular basis. This will provide you with a
potential list of candidates for the future, provided that you take
the time to get some of the basic information for your files. Your
applicant may even surface as an end user of your product or service.
The interview is a form of advertising, and should be open and honest.
Let's review our original list of the most common mistakes made in the
interview process."

(see list)

"It is time to meet your first candidate now breathlessly waiting in
your lobby to meet you. How do they get to your office? Are you going
out to get them, or is your receptionist bringing them to you? This
depends upon how personal you want to be."


The Essential Interviewing and Hiring Guide For NYU Directors,
Managers and Supervisors

The following source explains human resource guidelines for (NYU New
York University)however, the points made are general information that
can be applied to any face to face interview.

Conduct Face-To-Face Interviews

"The purpose of the face-to-face interview is to further narrow your
initial group of applicants by learning as much about them as you can
in a relatively limited time. This is a fact-finding mission for both
parties. Both parties need information to ensure a successful


Setting up for the Interview
"It helps to give some thought ahead of time to the physical
environment in which you'll conduct the interview. You'll want to find
a private area where you can spend enough time without interruptions.
Applicants will be more at ease and you will learn more about them in
an environment that is not threatening to them."


Conducting the Interview
"There is no specific recipe for conducting a good interview that will
work for all applicants, and you'll have to adapt your style somewhat
to each applicant you meet. There are shy people who appreciate it if
the interviewer makes them comfortable with a little small talk in the
beginning of the interview, for example. You may want to start by
commenting on a neutral subject to "break the ice" a bit (e.g., the
weather). Then, you can let applicants know who you are relative to
the position. Are you the immediate supervisor? Will you be making the
hiring decision? Will you discuss the pay and benefits with them, or
will they be talking to someone else about these issues?

Take Notes
Even though you may think that you will remember everything about an
applicant you have interviewed, most of us do not. Notes are helpful
when several top applicants emerge and a close comparison becomes
necessary. Mention to the applicant that you will be taking notes.
Telling them this up front makes them feel more comfortable. Limit
note taking to short entries, because it is more important to listen.
Allow time to go over the notes immediately after the interview.
Refine the notes by writing a summary for each interviewed applicant
for later comparison. Do not write your notes on the resume. Take
notes on separate paper.

Establish a friendly tone, but stay in charge 
Make certain that you control the interview; don't let forceful
applicants talk incessantly or lead the interview. Use the interview
time efficiently to get your most important questions answered.

Make the interview accessible to people with disabilities 
But, don't question the nature, severity, cause or expected outcome of
disabilities. Focus on the essential functions and attendance
standards of the job. Do not make assumptions based on actual or
perceived disabilities. Ask all applicants the same questions
regardless of whether they have actual or perceived disabilities.

Have the applicant do most of the talking 
Apply the 70/30 rule: applicant talks 70% of time; you talk 30% of the
time. You'll want to provide some general information about your
department, philosophy and culture, but keep your comments brief. The
main purpose of the interview is to gather as much information as
possible from the applicant.

Allow silence
During the interview, the applicant needs time to think. And, if an
applicant seems reluctant to answer a difficult question, don't rush
on to the next question to make the applicant feel more comfortable.
An awkward silence can indicate that you have reached an area which
you may want to probe further, or it could simply mean the applicant
cannot think of an immediate answer.

If applicants have falsely represented their qualifications
End the interview early, though try to do so in a neutral rather than
accusatory way. If, on the other hand, it becomes clear that you
simply misunderstood the applicants' qualifications, and they are not
a fit with the job's qualifications, show them the courtesy of
completing the interview, although you'll probably want to shorten it

Handling awkward responses
Applicants sometimes volunteer information that employers may not
lawfully consider in evaluating an applicant for a position. For
example, they may tell you: "I have two children." We are expecting a
baby." "My spouse is disabled." Do not follow-up on this information
even though the applicant brought it to your attention. The best way
to handle this situation is to acknowledge what was said simply by
nodding and saying "Oh," "I see" or another similarly neutral comment.
Then continue with your next prepared question related to the

Hasty judgments
Many interviewers find themselves making up their minds about
applicants very early on in the interview - sometimes, the minute the
person walks in the door! This rush to judgment can be very
detrimental to a well thought-out hiring process. Once you sense that
you're forming an opinion about the applicant, either positive or
negative, ask questions specifically to find out if your impression is
correct. You may confirm that what you have already sensed or you may
find yourself surprised to discover that the applicant has
characteristics or traits that you completely missed in your initial

Tell applicant about the job and about working at (NYU) 
Be sure to allow enough time to talk in more detail about the job
opening, provide an overview of your department's structure, how it
fits into the University as a whole, etc. You should also allow some
time for applicants to ask you more questions based on what you say,
and pay attention to the kinds of questions they ask. This can tell
you a lot about their interest level in the job.

Allow some time for applicants to ask you more questions
They'll have questions about the organization, benefits, why you came
to work for NYU, or your style of management. You should be prepared
to answer, although briefly, questions about yourself, the department,
NYU, in general, and other questions particular to the job opening.
You should also be prepared to sell the job to a good applicant and
show how attractive it would be to work in at NYU if the offer were
ultimately made.

At the end of the interview, invite viable applicants to call you if
they think of additional information or want to ask you a few more
questions. Give all applicants a general idea of your timetable; i.e.,
when you expect to conclude the interviewing process and make a hiring
decision (e.g., "We are still interviewing some other applicants for
the job, but expect to wrap up the process in the next two weeks.") Of
course, depending on your interest in the applicant, you may be
sharing more or fewer details on next steps in the process. For
example, if there is a strong interest on your part, you may say
something like, "I am very impressed with your credentials and would
like to schedule you to come back and meet with our Department Head. I
will have a member of my staff contact you to set that up." If there
is less of an interest in the applicant, you will be less likely to
share any details other than he/she will hear back on the final

Show them out. 
Escort all applicants to the entrance. Thank them for their time.

Be careful not to make promises of any kind, such as promising future
promotions or benefits and perks NYU normally doesn't offer. Promises
of this nature can lead to serious problems if they are ultimately not


Ryerson University - Working@Ryerson

"Conducting an interview

This step examines how interview content is covered and how an
interview flows. The goal is to help you create an interview climate
that makes it easy for you to gather information from the candidate.

Before you begin, you may enjoy reading the following ten profiles of
interviewing styles. You may recognize some of them from your own
experience as an interviewee. When you move into the role of
interviewer, however, it is important to be self-aware. As you read
these examples, reflect upon your own interviewing style and check the
description that best applies to you.

Consider the pros and cons of each style. Which one best communicates
the tone you want to set in your interview? Which will serve you best
in eliciting the kind of information you're looking for? It is up to
you to create an interview climate that will allow you to achieve your

(see the 10 profiles of interviewing styles)


Interviews have three distinct phases: beginning, middle, and end. The
following pages provide a quick guide to the preparatory and set-up
work that helps facilitate a successful process, and tips on how to
deliver content during each phase. A semi-structured interview is used
as the model for discussion.

Day of preparation
Begin interviews on time. The candidate should be seated in a reception area 

Beginning phase


-  Put the candidate at ease.


- Begin building rapport by introducing yourself with a firm
handshake. Continue with small talk to put the candidate at ease -
perhaps referencing any special interests that are noted in his/her
resume or CV.
-  As you enter the interview room, indicate the seat in which you
would like the candidate to sit and remember to close the door behind
-  Continue with some small talk to give the candidate time to get
settled and to help him/her ease into the conversational flow of the

(read the Beginning Phase for more information)

Middle phase

Active Listening

"Listen carefully to each response - the answer may determine your
next question. You may not have understood what the candidate said.
You may want the candidate to expand on the response or correct a
contradiction. You may want to add another question to address your
concerns. (Be sure to record the question.)

A question that you had planned to ask later on may flow naturally
from the candidate's answer. Maintaining flexibility in how you
sequence your questions will create a conversational tone while
bringing you the information you want.

Demonstrate active listening through your posture, facial expressions,
and acknowledgements such as leaning forward, nodding, maintaining eye
contact, smiling, and words or sounds of assent. This shows your
interest in the candidate and encourages open communication."

(read the Middle Phase for more information)

End phase

"During this phase, you are shifting the emphasis to the candidate's
need for information so that s/he is able to reflect upon the position
and decide if it is personally suitable. Both you and the candidate
are evaluating one another in the interview. This is your opportunity
to present a positive, attractive image of the position..."




The Timing

"It is inhuman to expect candidates to wait for long periods before
they are interviewed and therefore some thought should be put into
deciding how long each interview is to take and setting up a timetable
accordingly.  The length of the interview will depend on the level of
the vacancy and whether there is to be an interview panel or board or
only one interviewer.

The Venue

As far as possible the place chosen for the interview must be quiet
and where the interviewer will not be disturbed.  The furniture in the
room should not serve to distract the job applicant.  It is wise to
examine the room setting from the viewpoint of the interviewee.  Where
is he to be seated? If he is too far away from the interviewer, he
will have to speak unnaturally loudly to be heard; if he is too close,
he may feel embarrassed (non-verbal language plays a major role in the
interview process); if the sun is shining directly into his eyes, he
will not be able to see the interviewer which will make the candidate
feel uncomfortable; if the air-conditioning is on ?High?, the
applicant may be shivering.  The purpose of planning the interview
room?s layout and requirements is to ensure the applicant is able to
give his best during the interview."


HR Guide to the Internet:  Job Analysis: Tips and FAQs: Interview

"Conducting the Interview

Often an employee may feel uncomfortable being interviewed for a Job
Analysis. The employee may feel that the results of the job analysis
will adversely affect them in terms of salary or working conditions.

Help the employee feel welcome and at ease. Break the ice by being
warm and welcoming. Offer coffee or water, offer to take their coat,
ask if they had any trouble finding your office. A few minutes of
pleasant general talk will set a positive tone for the interview.

Arrange a private place for the interview, and make arrangements so
that you are not interrupted and so the employee may speak candidly
about their job.

Give the employee an overview of the interview procedure. Take a few
minutes to recap the essential functions of the job, and to explain
why this analysis is important.

Let the employee know that you may need a few minutes every now and
then to jot down their comments or your thoughts -- explain that your
notes will be helpful later as you prepare the description of the



"When conducting an interview you should also consider where to hold
it.  To obtain the most from an interview the candidate should feel as
relaxed as possible.  Therefore, staging an interview in an open plan
office with people listening in and then being interrupted by phone
calls is not conducive to a flowing interview.  If private office
facilities are not available, consider using a meeting room at a
hotel, you can always introduce them to the workplace at a later


Additional helpful links

Basics of Interviewing Job Candidates

Principles of Effective Interviewing


Lastly, a bit of true Interview Humor for your enjoyment...  :)

For ex.,

"Phyllis Sheerin Ross of Silver Spring, Md., has a colleague in the
human resources department of a computer corporation who regales her
with tales of less-than-ideal applicants.

One candidate arrived with a portable shopping cart filled with
groceries and wore his motorcycle helmet throughout the interview. He
said he was in a hurry to get home and put his groceries away.

He got his wish, but not a job." 


Top personnel executives at 100 major American corporations were asked
for stories of unusual behavior by job applicants at interviews.

My favorite:  
"During an interview, an alarm clock went off in a candidate's brief
case. He took it out, shut it off, apologized, and said he had to
leave for another interview."


keyword search: 

conducting successful job interviews 
conducting job interviews
how to set up a company interviewing room 
human resources guide to conducting an interview
how to conduct face to face interviews
how to conduct conversational job interviews
interview candidates for job


Best regards,
There are no comments at this time.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy