Do's and Don't's of On The Spot Interviews

Career Fairs can be tricky to navigate, for both job seekers and employers. You need to meet with a lot of people, give a great impression, and find out what you need to know from a recruiter or a job seeker in a very short amount of time. On the spot interviews require a great deal of finesse on the part of the recruiter. Here's a few tips to make that on the spot interview great, picked up from some online experts.

DO Have a goal for the meeting: According to this article by Jobing, you'll want to have a pretty solid idea of what you are looking for in a candidate before you even meet them. This goes especially for on the spot interviews- soft skills, personality, and a short amount of background will all need to be garnered in a 5-10 minute meeting, and it will all go smoother if you know what to look for, and thus, what questions to ask.

DON'T Come unprepared. Even if you are only recruiting for a few positions within your company, it's a good idea to have a general idea about other potentially open positions, company policies (such as benefits, hiring processes, and human resources procedures), and job descriptions, according to this article by recruiter Kirk Baumann. Many job seekers might be attending a fair looking for an entry level position in your company, even if you are only recruiting for upper level management. You don't want to turn down a good potential candidate because you don't know what your company is offering. At the very least, according to the article, know where to send the job seeker for more information, such as the company's website.

DO Ask about experience, but be sure to ask for specifics. This article by HR Manger lists some very common interview questions that employers ask. While it's not bad to ask these questions, the questions can lead to generic answers from job seekers who have heard that question before. Ask more directed, specific questions about the job seeker's experience, that way they won't give you a rehearsed answer and you'll get a better idea of the candidate's character.

DON'T Ask about personal life. While it may seem benign, asking about age, race, disability, and religion in an interview is illegal- something you definitely want to avoid in an on the spot interview, according to this article by Yahoo Finance. In order to protect employees' rights against discrimination, laws have been put in place at the federal, state, and local level to ensure employers don't ask questions that could disqualify an employee based on discriminatory information. You want to hire an employee based on his or her experience and qualifications anyway, so keep the conversation away from topics that could be construed as discrimination.

Some further tips:
DO Ask the person what they are looking for career-wise. It's a good idea to find out right off the bat what the candidate is looking for, that way, you can establish early on if your company is offering what he or she is aspiring for.

DO Follow up. Candidates that you spoke with will be looking forward to your call. It's a great courtesy to follow up soon with someone you interviewed with, even if it's to tell them that they weren't right for the position. Being polite, respectful, and courteous can soften bad news. And remember, potential candidates can also be potential customers or clients for a company, so it's a good idea to make positive connections with anyone you come across in a career fair.

DO Maintain a positive outlook. Interviews can be nerve-wracking for both recruiters and job seekers- who hasn't been nervous for an interview? Just be sure to smile and keep a positive attitude- your positivity will come out in the way you talk and put the candidate at ease, which will be better for both of you.

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