Job Interview Do’s and Don’ts: The Art of Strategic Interviewing

by Deanna Hartley

In today’s world where 70 percent of candidates say their experience during the hiring process impacts their offer decision, you simply can’t afford not to pay attention to the candidate experience — a large part of which is your interview process.

As part of CareerBuilder’s “HR Connect” monthly webinar series, Keith Hadley — practice leader, employment branding at CareerBuilder — and Jennifer Way — president, Way Solutions — offered up tips for employers on the art of strategic interviewing.

So, if you’re looking to use your time efficiently and respect both candidates and the hiring manager, it’s a good idea to use STRATEGIC interviews.

Here’s a tidbit you’ll find useful as you prepare to interview strategically:

That means reaching out to them prior to the interview and setting as well as managing the expectations up front. Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes and ask yourself what you think they would want to know. This includes obvious information such as directions to the office, but also information you may not think to offer, like informing them about the dress code at your workplace so they won’t have to guess and risk feeling out of place. According to Way, ideally you should be interviewing an average of two or three candidates for an open position, and no more than five.


If a group or team is interviewing a candidate, it’s best for every individual to prepare ahead of time with a different set of questions. For instance, one may focus on gauging cultural fit while another may get a feel for the candidate’s technical skills. And, lest you get too comfortable asking random strangers personal questions, keep in mind this isn’t a casual dinner at Uncle Joe’s; it’s a professional setting and there are certain expectations.

So think twice before innocently asking candidates about their entire backgrounds. In fact, a good first question to ask, according to Way, is: “Why are you interested in this role?” You can ask “Tell me about yourself” later in the interview.

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