Statistics from organizations using GuavaHR show that people-centred posts are at the forefront of the number of comments and reactions: new employees, managers, colleagues in the same office or on the front line, where many of us never really end up. Why conduct a fascinating and meaningful interview with your employee and how should you do it?
One of the four key aspects of employee engagement is whether or not their need for teamwork has been fulfilled in the workplace. Among other things, these needs include the desire for meaningful and close friendships in the workplace and good communication with colleagues.
While there’s no way we can force employees to build good relationships with each other, we can lay the groundwork for those relationships to develop. An interview with an employee is an effective, easy and interesting way to do this.
Should the Interview Be in Written or Video Format?
That choice depends on several aspects, for example the shyness of the staff or how many languages the interview needs to be understandable in. You can also do the interview in a way that suits the specific interviewee better: it also makes it more varied for the audience.
If you decide to interview in video format, don’t forget to add bilingual subtitles, so that those who cannot watch the interview with audio and those who do not understand the spoken language can watch it. Also keep in mind that the optimal length for an interview video is 3-5 minutes, having the video any longer than that significantly decreases viewer engagement and interest. Also, think about whether to provide the employee with the questions in advance or ask them spontaneously.
For a text format interview, the respondent can think through their answers more carefully and it’s also possible to edit the text to be more fluent, with the permission of the interviewee. However, such an interview definitely conveys less emotion.
How to choose the interviewees?
Make sure your choice would address as many people as possible: move from one region to another, include employees in different positions; different genders, age groups and nationalities, both management and frontline staff, senior members of the organization and new joiners.
If the interview series is regular, you’ll be able to cover enough people in a few weeks to offer something for everyone. We recommend starting the interview series with someone surprising, not with someone who everyone in the company already knows.
You can also conduct a quick survey among employees, asking with whom they would like to see interviews.
For example, you could conduct one of the following types of interviews:
- Interview introducing a new employee or intern
- Interview with an employee celebrating a work anniversary (this interview could be conducted, for example, by the CEO)
- Interview with the oldest or youngest employee
- My day job shadowing someone
- Interview with an employee in a factory, office, warehouse, on the front line
- The story of an employee on maternity leave
- The story of employees who met at work, fell in love and got married
- One employee interviewing another
How to Brand an Interview Series?
There are several options for branding an interview: this can be done using the company name, values, or visual elements. For example, for ABC Stores the name of the series could be “ABC of a new employee”; if the company name is 7 World Wonders, the name of the interview series can also be “7 Questions With a New Employee”.
If employees know the values of your company, you can take advantage of that in the name. Suppose that the values of the organization include “the best people”, the name of the interview series would also be “Best People: Truck Driver Mary Meets”; if “courage to develop”, then “Courage to Ask: Forklift Driver Mary Meets”.
The third option is to use the same visuals throughout the interview posts: for example, a sticker or tag, a frame, a header, etc. can be added to the employee’s photo design.
What to ask?
Each interview post should include a photo of the employee, their name and position. You can also add how long they’ve worked for the company, what titles and awards have been awarded to them, or in which unit/region they operate in.
However, there are several options for the questions. For example, you can choose ten questions and always ask everyone the same ones. You can also draw random questions each time. You could change the questions after every couple of interviews, removing those that give more similar and less interesting answers. But you can also let the respondent choose the questions themselves from a given list.
The choice of questions could include both work-related and more personal questions – the latter should include deep, as well as fun and simple questions. We’ve given you 31 questions from which you can choose from or ask the employee you’re interviewing to do so.
Questions About the Person and Their Work
- When and how did you start working for us?
- What was your most unusual/interesting job before joining our organization?
- What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?
- How would you describe your work day to a 7-year-old?
- Share some exciting/funny stories about your work!
- What is the best part of your job or tasks?
- What is your biggest professional achievement?
- How would you describe your profession in three words?
- What is the most important/biggest work goal you are working towards right now?
- If you could trade places with a colleague for one day, with whom would it be? Why?
- What would you want to achieve in our organization in the next few years?
- What is the nicest surprise you’ve received from a client or a colleague?
- What is something that colleagues always ask your help with?
- If you could ask our CEO one question, what would it be?
Questions About the Person Themselves
- Are you a night owl or an early bird?
- What does your perfect day look like?
- What is one thing that people don’t know about you?
- What is the best advice you have ever received?
- What is the first phone app you open when you wake up?
- What’s your most hated household chore?
- What is your favourite season and why?
- If you could choose one era and country to live in for a month, which one would you choose?
- What is your favourite quote?
- What would you consider your best and worst sport?
- What three words would your friends use to describe you?
- What’s a book you read recently and could recommend to others?
- What is your secret talent or skill?
- How would you spend a million euros in 24 hours?
- What is something every person should know or learn?
- If you could donate 1000€ every year, who would you donate to?
- What’s one sweet your co-workers could surprise you with on your birthday?