How to Get Your Interviewees to Open Up and Drop the Templated Answers


While resumes provide a great deal of information about the individuals who apply to your open position, candidates may look great on paper but may not be the best fit once on the job. Avoid hiring mistakes by conducting well thought out interviews. Interviewing candidates for an open position on your team is an important task. Making the wrong choice can be detrimental.

Unfortunately, it can still be difficult to identify the best person for the job, even during the interview process. Every candidate worth your consideration will arrive with prepared responses to all standard interview questions. Combined with typical interview nerves, these well-researched and rehearsed replies make it hard to gauge the real person.

Four Interview Tips to Ensure You Identify and Hire the Right Candidate for the Job

RealStreet — one of the top architecture, engineering and construction employment agencies  — understands how challenging it can be to conduct a successful job interview. Use the tips below to get candidates to open up and reveal their true colors.

1. Put Them at Ease

Job interviews give many people anxiety. Make candidates feel comfortable by conducting a bit of research prior to their arrival. Use their resume or LinkedIn profile to find a few points for small talk — e.g., their alma mater, hometown — unrelated to the interview. This will establish a rapport, allowing them to lower their guard and open up to you.

2. Choose a Relaxed Setting

Simply put, conducting a job interview at a long table in a big conference room is intimidating. If nothing else this, and similar settings, will make already-nervous candidates even more tense. Set the tone for a more laid-back interview by conducting the meeting at a coffee shop or over lunch at a casual café. Being on neutral ground will level the playing field and allow them to unwind.

3. Start a Conversation

Firing question after question off at candidates is bound to put them on defense. Make the interview feel less like an interrogation and feel more like a dialogue by naturally weaving questions into the discussion. This will help people feel like they are holding a more relaxed conversation, instead of a stiff job interview.

4. Ask Non-Traditional Questions

You already know not to ask questions requiring a mere ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response, but getting a little creative with behavioral interview questions can eliminate templated answers. There’s probably no need to ask candidates what their favorite animal is or what superpower they want most. However, asking the person to describe their morning routine or to name their favorite role on a team can reveal a lot about their personality.

Sharpen Your Hiring Strategy

Hiring decisions should not be taken lightly. Trust the experts at RealStreet to find the right fit for your temporary, temp-to-hire or direct hire positions. Contact us today to start your search for top architecture, engineering and construction professionals today!

The RealStreet folks are always helpful. They were instrumental in landing me a rewarding FEMA assignment in Southern California.

KC Green

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