Interview training provides interviewers and interviewees of all types the opportunity to prepare for a successful question-and-answer session. In the case of a person conducting the interview, interview training can help him or her learn how to act professionally, how to phrase questions and how to follow up answers to previous questions with questions that will go more in depth. For an interviewee, training can help him or her learn things such as good body language, how to speak professionally and how to phrase answers to convey the desired message. In the business world, interview training might be used as preparation for the hiring process by those doing the hiring or by those seeking to be hired.
Many companies create interview training programs to ensure conformity in the way interviews are conducted and to improve the quality of job candidates selected. These programs might be created in-house or outsourced to firms that specialize in formulating human resource programs and training company leaders. Some interview training is ongoing, and other training might be conducted over a period of one or two days. Some companies require their leaders to become certified in interviewing before they can conduct hiring interviews.
Many hiring managers are neither naturally skilled in interviewing nor educated in the laws that regulate hiring practices. To ensure that all hiring managers are properly informed, interview training sessions might cover topics such as equal opportunity law, body language and company culture. Interviewers also might be clearly taught the company’s hiring policies and practices, ensuring that candidates receive correct information and that appropriate procedures are followed. A company leader might also learn what key competencies the company looks for when hiring and what questions should be asked in order to identify those competencies in candidates. Companies hiring in a highly competitive field might also train their interviewers in how to "sell" the job opportunity to highly talented candidates.
In the case of a job seeker, interview training can provide confidence and ensure that the interviewee provides thoughtful answers to a potential employer’s questions. A job seeker might receive interview training through a community center, employment agency, college or university. This training is sometimes free and provided by volunteers or paid employees experienced in the job hiring process. Paid career coaches also offer interview training.
Those preparing to be interviewed will often be trained to plan ahead for the interview and to formulate answers to common questions. An interviewee should consider why he or she is applying for the position. He or she also should be able to identify what qualities make him or her the best person for the job, and he or she should back those claims with specific examples from past experiences. A trainer might put the interviewee through a mock interview to practice these skills and to identify areas for improvement.
The training typically includes information on interview etiquette. This includes appropriate attire for the interview. Trainers might coach interviewees on arriving at the interview early, giving a proper handshake and introduction, making eye contact, making follow-up phone calls and sending thank-you notes.