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How to be a Good Interviewer: 18 Must know Characteristics


These days employers compete for top talent, and work hard to make a good first impression on the candidates as much as the candidates try hard to impress employers.

This is even more so for companies that are not so well known yet. Top talent will always have multiple job offers to choose from.

So its essential that employers get the interviewing process as seamless and delightful as possible. While the office environment, the process of contacting the candidate and getting them to the office is often handled very well, employers often forget to brief their interviewers on the Do’s and Don’ts.

There are a few best interview advice or things that turn off candidates, and every interviewer should probably take note of these. So if you regularly interview candidates then you can do these simple things right.

After reading it you will get an idea on how to be a good interviewer.



qualities of a good interviewer

How to be a Good Interviewer: Tips for Conducting a Successful Job Interview Process

1. Show up on time:

You are late

You expect candidates to show up on time. So why apply a different standard for yourself? A few minutes delay is acceptable but anything more than 15 minutes starts to get annoying for everyone.

2. The delayed telephonic interview:

qualities of a good interviewer

If you are to do a telephonic interview, a delayed call leads to a cascading delay for the candidate who has probably made time from their schedule to take your call and can’t get into anything else until the call ends. If you are running late, call and inform about the delay and reschedule if necessary.

3. The background noise on the telephonic interview:

qualities of a good interviewer

If you are conducting a telephonic interview, make sure you are in an office or meeting room before you make a call.

It bothers job seeker’s no end, if there is a lot of noise in the background, and they have to strain hard to hear every word.

4. Not carrying the Candidate’s Resume:

Before you head for the interview room, make sure have a copy of the candidate’s resume with you. It looks unprofessional if you walk in without one, or expect the candidate to provide one.

Most candidates often carry a spare but if you don’t have your copy, it makes you look unprepared. It becomes worse if the candidate isn’t carrying a copy, and you have to find someone to print a copy for you.

Imagine if your HR Team isn’t available at that moment or the printer in the office isn’t working. That’s embarrassment easily avoided.

5. Carrying a Crumpled Candidate Resume to the interview:

What’s worse than not carrying a resume is, carrying a crumpled one. Often the HR team hands over the resume or you print it, before you head out for the interview.

This is when most people get fidgety and roll up the resume while talking to someone or put it in a file in a hurry that causes the “crumpled” resume.

Imagine opening up that crumpled resume in front of the candidate and starting the interview. Hardly the impression you’d like to create in the mind of a prospective employee.

6. Read the Resume before you enter the interview room:

Most often the interviewers tend to make this rookie mistake and start reading the resume when they sit down in front of the candidate making it obvious that they haven’t read it before.

It just makes you and the whole organization look casual. It also makes the candidate think that you are not serious about the process and might be standing in for some other interviewer.

7. Tell me about yourself:

qualities of a good interviewer

If your first question is “Tell me more about yourself” then you just signaled to the candidate that you haven’t read their resume and you are creating time to go through the resume before you actually begin asking questions.

8. Dressing up shabbily:

qualities of a good interviewer

Dressing for an interview is a very important. Candidates get trashed instantly if they dress poorly for a job interview. The same argument applies in reverse too. If your interview dress or attire looks like you woke up in your suit, it isn’t sending the right message to candidates.

9. Chewing gum or smoking in the Interview:

qualities of a good interviewer

Unless you are Bruce Willis or Robert De Niro and you can make it look really cool, give this a pass.

Candidates try and follow successful interview etiquette (or at least most of them do) so it’s just a matter of respecting them back.

10. Checking your email while the candidate is answering your questions:

qualities of a good interviewer

This is the ultimate turn off for any candidate. Unless this is one of your tactics to run a “stress interview and you have a plan to pull it back if you like the candidate, don’t do it. It just looks unprofessional.

11. Answering Phone Calls in the interview:

qualities of a good interviewer

If checking emails looks bad, taking phone calls looks worse. Unless answering your phone saves lives, don’t do this.

12. Referring the Candidate by another name:

If you have had a long day interviewing and you have met hundreds of candidates, it’s quite likely that you can slip up on the name while addressing the candidate through the course of the interview. That is just embarrassing.

If you did forget or are not sure of the name, take a pause, go back to the first page of the resume and read the name while pretending to refer to something on the Candidate’s experience.

13. Scribbling notes on the Candidates CV:

Dont scribble

Many hiring managers make notes on the Candidate CV’s directly. No matter how hard organizations try, the candidate evaluation sheet isn’t always handy. The ready notes get made on the Candidate’s resume.

Make sure you don’t scribble or doodle on the profile. It is the Candidate’s resume.

Also don’t write embarrassingly negative comments that can be easily read inverted by the candidate sitting across the table.

14. Are you cutting off Candidates in mid-sentence?

qualities of a good interviewer

Many hiring managers are impatient with candidates who they have made up their minds about in the first few minutes for the interview. Whether you like the candidate or not, whether you hire him or not cutting candidates off is rude.


The candidate is still going to step out of your office and share the interviewing experience with her friends. Why give anyone a reason to speak ill about your company when you can turn them into an ambassador of goodwill.

15. Politically incorrect humor:

qualities of a good interviewer

Are you funny and have a great sense of humor? Well, humor that works for your buddies over a round of beers might be politically incorrect at the office. So be careful about what jokes you crack.

Most companies promote affirmative action and diversity in jobs so any humor that’s related to gender, race, color or other politically sensitive matters are best not brought up in the interview.

16. Don’t get too personal:

While you are interviewing candidates, some aspects of the personality and the personal life of the candidate will undoubtedly come into the discussion. Draw the line clearly in your mind or as per your office policy on what you should and should not ask.

Many candidates are also increasingly aware of what questions they are willing to answer and if you poke your nose beyond what is acceptable you might lose a great candidate, not to say that you could land into trouble specially if the candidate is not selected.

17. Don’t tell the candidate you are looking for a job as well:

The surest way to turn off any potential employee is to get too friendly with them in the interview and ask them if they knew of job opportunities relevant for you in their current firm.

Sounds crazy enough?

Well there are all kinds of hiring managers and interviewers there are more than a few incidents where hiring managers have asked potential employees this question.

18. End the interview gracefully:


If you like the candidate enough to consider hiring them, you will certainly spend time selling the company and telling them how good it is to work with the organization. But,

What if candidate doesn’t fit?

Do you still treat them as well as someone you want to hire?

They are still going to step out of the room and talk to their friends and family about their experience.


Next time you head for conducting an good job interview, follow these simple steps and watch how your hiring process becomes even more delightful experience for candidates and even candidates that you don’t hire become ambassadors for your firm.

Word of mouth is very powerful and you will be surprised at how a lot of these simple things add up over a period of time.

Do you have any other suggestions that you’d like to include in this list. Leave a comment & We will add them to this article and give you credit for it.