With a myriad of digital and social tools select from, it might seem as though a face-to-face job interview has become extinct. However, interviewing prospective candidates is one of the best ways to gauge attitude, talent and sustainability.

By asking the right questions, employers can fill open positions with the best possible candidates.

To help businesses hire the right candidate for the job, here are the ABCs of better interviewing techniques:

Ask thought-provoking questions

When you’re conducting an interview, create a list of questions ahead of time that go beyond surface responses. Basic candidate information can be found on a resume. An interview is meant to go beyond what’s on paper and provide insight into the kind of employee the applicant could be.

To get to know a candidate, come up with thought-provoking questions. For example, rather than asking candidates where they went to school, ask what single lesson they learned at school makes them more effective than other candidates.

Create open-ended questions that encourage the candidate to do the majority of the talking. Here’s a quick list of starters you can tweak to fit the position that’s open:

  • Walk me through an instance when…
  • What would you do if…
  • How would you handle…
  • What experience will help you deal with…
  • How will you learn to…

Background and talent check

Be prepared to ask applicants how their background and skills fit the position. Employers should be specific here. Have a printout of job duties handy and ask about experience and success rates of completing certain tasks.

For example, a business that’s hiring a social media manager could ask about the most successful social campaign the candidate created and managed. Ask the candidate to provide success rates, such as how many customers were reached or what was the return on investment.

If there are any gaps in skills, ask the candidate how he or she plans to handle that aspect of the job. Some skills can be learned on the job, but only if a candidate is open-minded and willing to learn from others.

Look for specific skills, skill efficiency and willingness to acquire new skills during the interview.

Compatibility should be tested

Talent isn’t enough. Businesses need to gauge compatibility of a candidate as well. How do you gauge compatibility in an interview?

Give candidates “situational questions” that test whether or not they’ll fit in with your company culture. For example, if your company relies on a team mentality, ask candidates how they would handle a coworker who wasn’t contributing to brainstorming sessions.

The candidate’s responses should provide enough clues to his or her compatibility with the company.

In addition to specific questions, it’s a good idea to have more than one interviewer. If a business is hiring someone for the accounting department, for example, asking someone from that department to take part in the interview is a good way to ensure the right candidate is found.

The skills required to conduct an interview are far from extinct. The information gained during an interview is something that can’t be learned from social media profiles, digital portfolios or resumes. By using the ABCs of interviewing, businesses are more likely to hire a thoughtful, experienced candidate who fits the company culture.