How to Conduct a Job Interview

When conducting a job interview, you want to always follow a standardized procedure to ensure you are both legal and fair. This will also ensure that you cover all the right bases so you give yourself the best chance of hiring the best candidate.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper and pen
  • Table and two chairs
  • List of questions


    • 1

      Use a private office with a table so both parties can comfortably take notes. Avoid sitting across a desk because this creates an impression of inequality between the interviewer and candidate.

    • 2

      Have a formalized list of questions ready that directly pertain to the position and follow the same questioning for each candidate. Most first interviews should last from 30 minutes to one hour. Some companies will have a job candidate meet with several people and each will cover different aspects of the process. For example, one manager might give a tour, another will ask situational questions and another will handle background questions.

    • 3

      Ask open-ended questions that do not require just a yes or no answer. Avoid personal questions other than small talk about the weather, directions or traffic. Do not ask about family or ages of children. The candidate may volunteer personal information but it should be relevant to your decision making process.

    • 4

      Describe the job in detail and show what needs to be done, if you have any concern on the person’s physical ability to handle the job. If one of the major functions of the job involves heavy lifting or very demanding physical labor, you should work with a medical professional who can prescreen candidates after you determine the finalists.

    • 5

      Give the applicant ample time to ask questions when you have completed asking yours. Also, provide some idea of what the job entails and general information about the company, its sales volume and plans.

    • 6

      Always follow up with the applicant. Provide your business card during the interview and invite a call in the event of additional questions. Then, once the final decision is reached, call and convey the news. Anyone who comes in for an interview deserves a telephone call. Send a letter to the applicants you did not interview.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ask yourself if each question is directly related to the job. If not, don't ask.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

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