How to Interview Someone in 5 Easy Steps – The Ultimate Guide for Employers

Behind every strong company is a talented and engaged workforce. Hence, recruitment is one of the most critical practices to ensure a company not only remains healthy and thriving but it drives its course to growth and success. With the continually changing and evolving nature of recruitment like any other aspect of running a business, it is crucial to adapt to these changes with speed and efficiency.

In this guide, we compiled ways on how to interview someone in 5 easy steps to streamline your recruitment process. This is a follow-up to our previous guide, which shows you the 12 Creative Ways to Find Employees Online & Offline.

Recruitment is a highly competitive industry. Speed and efficiency are crucial to find the best candidates, especially since the best candidates are taken off the job market in as fast as 10 days according to OfficeVibe. Furthermore, 45% of global employers reported difficulty in filling roles in 2018 as per ManpowerGroup, which stresses the urgency of finding candidates that fit the job roles you’re looking for before they’re off the market.

Credits: – 2018 Talent Shortage Survey

The statistics mentioned show the importance of streamlining your recruitment process. It has also been found out that job interviews are taking longer which also gradually increases time-to-hire. In America, interview processes have grown from 3.3 to 3.7 days. This makes an interview process take up to 22.9 days on average.

Companies are adding screening stages of employers to find the right candidate. These include skills tests, presentations, and group panel interviews, among others, that slow and complicates filling of key roles. Hence, businesses are applying modern recruitment processes with the use of a robust HR software to find the right candidate while saving on resources.

In this guide, we will focus on how to interview someone in 5 easy steps throughout the recruitment process.

How to interview someone

1. Plan before the interview

Before planning an interview, you should already know what role your company needs to fill in. From here, you can proceed with your recruitment process by identifying the job description or specification you are seeking. This helps you determine what skills and experiences required for the position and how you will publicize its availability.

First of all, you should take a look at your current talent pool if there are no qualified internal candidates before proceeding to look at new candidates. Hence, it is important to notify your current employees of the opening. This will save you time and resources for the recruitment, onboarding, and training of a new hire.

When it comes to posting your job applications, there are various channels you can tap into—local newspaper classifieds and online campaigns on your company’s website and social media platforms. Targeted recruiting ads are among today’s modern recruitment trends which streamline the recruiting ads shown to relevant job searchers of a specific industry. HR software services can help in placing your ads to the right job seekers with the right skills and experiences.

2. Prepare interview questions

By having all of this figured out, you can shortlist the most relevant questions that will clearly tell you what you need to know about the candidate based on skills, potential cultural fit, and job fit. To make sure the interview you’ll conduct is effective, it’s recommended to track your previous data over time such as which questions (and responses) helped you land your best employees.

The questions should also focus on the most important skills the candidate should have to contribute to the company and help you assess the candidate’s approach to problem-solving, among others. To give you an idea, here are 5 examples of effective interview questions you may use:

  1. What is/are your greatest achievement/s at work? Goal: It reveals the candidate’s values and priorities.
  2. What is the work environment in which you will most effectively contribute to? Goal: It helps you see if the candidate matches with your culture and work environment.
  3. What major obstacle did you encounter that stood in the way of your goal? How did you approach or overcome it? Goal: It shows you a clear picture of the candidate’s problem-solving style and what he or she considers an obstacle.
  4. What interests you about the position? / What pushed you to apply for the job? Goal: It reveals what motivates the candidate and helps you assess if it’s congruent to the position.
  5. If employed, what is the reason for leaving your current employer? Goal: It tells you the candidate’s goals, outlook, values, and needs from the employer and gives you an idea of what factors might potentially make the candidate leave your company—if hired.

3. Use HR software

Using an HR software is one of the first steps you should have for your workforce processes. HR software can help you from each phase of the hiring process: from human resource planning and recruitment phase to employee selection. As mentioned, speed and efficiency are crucial in recruiting and an HR software is effective in speeding up your processes so you or your HR can focus on choosing the right candidates to fit the role. In fact, the software can efficiently gather data from your previous interviews and help you with posting job vacancies.

Areas where traditional interviews fail. (Source: TalentNow)

If you don’t have an HR software in place yet, this is the time to implement one as the latter stages can get more time-consuming. A good HR solution streamlines the following processes:

  1. Candidate screening
  2. Applicant tracking
  3. Background checks
  4. Candidate application
  5. Employee collaboration

If you want to check out HR products, here are some leading examples to start your search with:

1. Bamboo HR

Bamboo HR is a Human Resources Information System (HRIS) designed for small and medium businesses that are transferring from using spreadsheets in managing employee data to an intuitive online solution. It has ATS or applicant tracking system to help you reach the right candidate more effectively. This streamlines tracking, sharing, and evaluating applicant information. The tool also simplifies posting job openings and creating hiring teams who can collaborate for the task. It makes communication fast and efficient and gives ATS reporting to better understand your applicant funnel. In the candidate’s perspective, they will find mobile-friendly job postings convenient and accessible, especially in filling out their application. You can test drive the platform when you sign up for Bamboo HR free trial here.

2. Freshteam

Freshteam is an applicant tracking system specifically designed to help employers, hiring managers and recruiters to find quality candidates. With recruiting as the software’s primary focus, it is a one-stop-shop for your hiring needs with features designed to streamline the recruitment process effectively. For instance, its dashboard keeps track of applicants and reminds panel members for submission of interview feedback. It also personalizes candidate engagement, enables the hiring team to collaborate, builds a candidate database, and empowers you to make data-driven decisions. Sign up for Freshtream free trial here to use the platform at no cost for 21 days.

3. Gusto HR

Gusto HR, an online HR service, gives you a robust onboarding solution. While the software focuses on its payroll solutions for HR, it packs a rich set of features for welcoming your new hires and managing your current employees. It has a self-onboarding feature where all you have to do is add basic info of the new employee such as their name, email, and salary. You can then choose the documents the new hire needs to fill out and send them an invite to self-onboard. It offers e-signature for documents such as W-4s and I-9s to expedite the process. If you want to explore the product, you can easily sign up for Gusto free trial here.

4. Trakstar

If you’re looking for a simple employee evaluation software, Trakstar is a reliable HR solution you can use. The tool helps you post job openings and develop a career page to streamline finding the right candidate. It has an applicant tracking and searching feature where you can quickly determine the right candidates with customized workflows and personalized questionnaires. Collaboration with colleagues also empowers a unified hiring decision by sharing notes, creating and delegating tasks, and distributing interview thoughts to find the candidate who fits with what you’re looking for best. You may sign up for Trakstar free demo here to learn more about the software according to your business needs.

5. Zoho People

Zoho People is a cloud-based HRMS that handles your HR processes from onboarding to appraisals. The tool’s employee database management system helps you organize and centralize employee records in a single location right from onboarding. When onboarding, it has a document management solution that takes care of sending, managing and sharing of documents. It also supports a collaborative workplace for employees to help and get involved in your hiring process. If you want to test the platform’s features, you can sign up for Zoho People free trial here.

6. JungoHR

JungoHR is ideal for companies that wish to take advantage of an HR system with an HRIS to simplify and centralize all their HR processes. Repetitive and mundane activities, such as filing and approving of leave requests, employee onboarding, payroll, and recruitment can all be automated to help you focus on more pressing matters. Aside from helping HR departments improve their operational efficiency, JungoHR supports multi-carrier connectivity for small to large enterprises. It is also equipped with a robust benefits management system that neatly organizes all available plans in a single hub for easy tracking and enrollment.

If you want to explore more options, you can take browse through the top 20 HR software solutions of 2022. The list is prepared by our team of experts who looked at the leading products that garnered impressive ratings for their features, value and functionality.

4. Conduct the interview process

After finish choosing candidates based on qualifications and other factors, you can start with the interview process to further narrow down the candidates. The entire process varies from one company to another based on their system for screening and evaluating new hires. With that in mind, here are the typical types of the interview process in progressing the interview ladder towards the job offer:

  1. Screening interview. This is the first interview in the hiring process that is conducted to determine the candidate’s qualification. For some companies, this is done through open interviews where multiple candidates are screened at an open hiring event.
  2. Phone interview. This narrows down the pool of applicants to be invited for in-person interviews. It doesn’t just limit to phone interviews as this may be conducted through a Skype or video call for remote applicants.
  3. First interview. The first step in the in-person interview where the applicant converses with you, the employer, or your hiring manager one-on-one. This is where you’ll ask your questions about the candidate’s availability, qualifications, skills and work history.
  4. Second interview. This is a more in-depth one-on-one interview for candidates that are in serious contention for the position. This may include meetings with the company staff such as the management, executives, staff members, and company employees.
  5. Third interview. In some companies, further interviews are conducted which involves a final meeting with the hiring manager or a final interview. You can also use this opportunity to introduce the candidate to his or her prospective colleagues.

Not all companies follow these steps. Some may have simpler steps while others may have more complicated ones. For instance, others conduct a dining interview where job applicants are interviewed by the hiring manager in a more relaxed manner. Regardless of the process you are following, this is the most crucial stage as this is where you will start to look at who to hire and who to reject based on who qualifies best for the position.

5. Assess candidates

Finally, in this guide of how to interview someone in 5 easy steps, you have reached the point of assessing the candidates. This can be interchanged with the interview steps mentioned above for each stage. This is where you’ll take into consideration the candidate’s skills, potential, experience and answers to your questions.

Depending on the skills you prioritize, you can use interview questions to assess the candidate based on their decision-making skills, interpersonal skills, management skills, planning skills, and motivation, among others. Some companies use a candidate evaluation form to streamline and expedite the process. This usually includes sections to determine if the candidate’s qualifications for the position based on the interview. Under each section is an evaluation if the candidate exceeds, meets, or doesn’t meet the requirements or if they need more training.

Here’s an example of the vital sections in a candidate evaluation form:

  1. Education and training
  2. Work experience
  3. Technical skills
  4. Supervision or management of other employees
  5. Leadership skills
  6. Interpersonal skills
  7. Teamwork
  8. Time management
  9. Customer service
  10. Motivation for the job
  11. Problem-solving skills
  12. Overall recommendation

Before making the job offer, here are the things you should tick off when assessing a potential employee:

  1. Review feedback information from the interview team.
  2. Check the performance feedback from the candidate’s former managers and supervisors, if available.
  3. Assess the candidate’s potential fit with your company culture.
  4. Determine if the potential employee can do the job with appropriate training and mentoring.
  5. Evaluate if the candidate can add overall personal or strategic value to your workplace.

You may also check out the 10 tips for effective corporate time management to help you save time in your workflows and processes.


In this article, we covered easy steps on how to effectively interview applicants for your available position. Finding and hiring the right candidate takes time and energy. It also helps to get your employees involved as well as they can provide crucial feedback information that you may have missed.

Getting employees involved

Creating a transparent communication for your company is essential. This is done by making your employees aware of what is going on in the company and letting them have an impact on decisions that affect their jobs, including the recruitment of a new applicant especially as they will work with him or her every day. Employees can assist from reviewing the resumes and qualifications of candidates as well as assessing their potential fit with the company. Employee involvement also shows their commitment to helping the new employee succeed.

If you think this is time-consuming, using an HR software optimizes this process. These solutions offer robust collaboration tools that streamline communication with your teams. For instance, products such as Freshteam, Trakstar, and Zoho People support a collaborative workplace that engages your employees in crucial decision-making processes of your company.


After you find the new employee you’re looking for, you will need just as much time and energy to ensure he or she will succeed as they integrate into the company. This is where proper onboarding becomes vital. Welcoming your new employee entails the onboarding process which is another set of steps that involves acquiring, accommodating, assimilating, and accelerating.

Here’s a quick summary of the onboarding process:

  1. Preparation of physical space ready including office tools, computer, and software systems.
  2. Gathering of personal information—name, social security number, and address, among others, from the application.
  3. Co-creation of onboarding plan with the employee regarding the job, deliverables, and 100-day action plan, among others.
  4. Notification of support departments such as HR, IT, and payroll about the new hire.
  5. Adding the new employee to distribution lists prepared by IT.
  6. Introduction to the new employee’s team or department.
  7. Orientation and training for the job role.

If you are using HR software, its purpose is used beyond the recruitment process. HR tools, such as Gusto HR and Zoho People, include modern onboarding features. They take care of the paperwork collected from the employee like social security number, home address, date of birth, and bank account information. It also handles the collection of signed W-4 and I-9 forms with e-signature options. This reduces the time it takes in filing a single position and optimizing the process.

Emily Watson

By Emily Watson

Emily Watson is a human resource management expert specializing in workforce planning and HR development. Throughout her years in the industry, she has also dabbled in career path development, employee training, and workforce management. In her four years as a contributor for FinancesOnline, she has reviewed over a thousand HR tools ranging from recruitment platforms to unified human capital management suites. She has also created in-depth analyses of emerging HR technologies and trends to provide companies worldwide with the data they need to keep up with industry shifts.

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