HR tip: Interviewing skills

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These questions are being answered by Learn HR, a market leader in the provision of HR and payroll training and nationally-recognised professional qualifications.

Question: "I have got to carry out some interviews soon but have no experience. What are the main rules?"

HR Tip:
Really the best thing to do is enrol on an interviewing skills course where you can learn the techniques and practise putting them into effect. Failing that, sit in with someone who is used to interviewing and learn by listening.

If I had to sum up the prime skills I would say first, decide what you need to know to help you determine whether this person is suited to the vacancy. Second formulate, and in interview, pose questions aimed at giving you this information. Keep asking further questions until you have the information you require. Third, throughout the interview listen carefully and avoid the temptation to talk too much. Indeed silences, nods, smiles and "mm's" encourage the candidate to continue giving information. And fourth, make notes as you go along so that you can evaluate each candidate evenly at the end of your interview session. But there is more to interviewing than just these points, so I repeat – take an interviewing skills course.

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