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There’s Interviewers and then there’s “those” Interviewers

There’s Interviewers and then there’s “those” Interviewers

Interviews should flow easily and painlessly. 

The candidates should leave feeling like they were listened to and feeling positive about the experience.

Practice your interviewing skills, and you will improve your selection capabilities and find the best person for the job. 

Everyone agrees a business is as good as it’s employees. So if hiring the right people is so important… why are most interviewers satisfied with being ordinary? Maybe employers assume the burden of proof and awesomeness is the responsibility of the candidates? – They think it’s their job to impress! Yes this is a bit true, however it’s very short-sighted.

To select the best employees you possibly can, you must be the best interviewer you can possibly be!

Here are some key qualities of thoughtful and skilled interviewers:

Good Interviewers understand the company’s real needs.

While qualifications and experience are important, never forget you’re not hiring a position, you’re hiring a result. So if you are hiring a Sales Consultant, you need someone who will sell. You need someone who can produce on time.

Identify your real business need… determine what successfully meeting that need looks like, because that defines the skills, experience and abilities you’re looking for… think about cultural fit… and tailor the interview (and everything else in your hiring process) to finding the perfect person to solve your critical business need.

Otherwise you’re just wasting everyone’s time and losing valuable $$$$

They ensure candidates can come prepared.

All candidates should know exactly what to expect: When, where, who will be conducting the interview(s)… they should know everything. Great interviewers ensure candidates don’t have to deal with surprises, tricks, or uncertainty.

For example, take the surprise group interview. A group interview can be intimidating for the candidate, especially when it’s unexpected. If the position requires working predominately within a team group interviews can provide a feel for the candidate’s suitability. In that case, tell candidates ahead of time so they can prepare. Otherwise hold individual sessions.

Make the initial interaction an awesome experience – WOM will travel and your company will obtain a get image on how it treats its candidates

Skilled Interviewers do more research on prospective employees than the candidate does on their company.

Every interview guide tells candidates it’s important to research the company. So isn’t it just as important for the interviewer to research the candidate?

Of course, especially since you can’t ask intelligent questions and foster a compelling conversation unless you really know the candidate.

The resume is the first place to start.  Check  not just on jobs and qualifications, but also on what the resume doesn’t say! Are there any Black holes? Question marks?

For example, why did they change roles?  What do changes in responsibilities and duties indicate about their performance?

PLEASE do a quick survey of their social media… interests? Some things may indicate fit in your company’s culture. What does her FB say about her broader goals and professional interests?

The interview is a conversation, not an interrogation.

The best interviews are a great conversation, not a court case. But you can’t have a great conversation with someone you hardly know.  The more you know about the candidate ahead of time, the more you can ask questions that give the candidate room for introspection and self-analysis.

They bring out the best – shy or nervous candidates feel comfortable.

Beware of the confident, charming interviewee! They just may be professional interviewees! Many candidates on the other hand, are shy or nervous and don’t make a great first impression. But an awkward interview doesn’t mean a candidate can’t excel at the job: While some positions do require the ability to instantly establish warm  rapport (like sales), in many others a lack of conversational skills in no way signals a lack of expertise.

It’s easy to help a nervous candidate relax – especially if you’ve done your research. Compliment on their achievements. Ask a question about an outside interest. Take a few minutes to help them gain confidence and relax.

Seasoned Interviewers often go off script.

An interviewer should follow a plan and ask a reasonably specific set of questions, but the best questions are almost always follow-up questions. Follow-up questions take you past the canned responses and into the details, both positive and negative.

When something sparks your interest, talk about it. Ask questions. Who knows where the conversation will go.  Not only will you get past the standard responses, you’ll also learn details—positive and negative—the candidate never planned or would have thought to share. The real superstars show up in the details, and it’s a skilled interviewer’s job to get those details.

And occasionally you’ll find a candidate who may not be right for this one… but might be perfect for a different opening.

Listen 90%  – Talk 10%.

Interviews often turn into monologues delivered, unfortunately, by the interviewer.

Most candidates won’t interrupt or try to restore balance to the interview; after all, they want you to like them. Unfortunately that means your hiring decision is largely based on whether the candidate was a good listener.

They provide clear information and then closure to every candidate.

Failing to follow up is rude and unprofessional. Think about it: Candidates paid your business a massive compliment by wanting to work with you. (Why is that a massive compliment? They’re willing to spend more time with you than they do with their family.)

Plus, when you don’t provide closure, candidates won’t complain to you… but they will complain about you.

Describe next steps, follow through on those steps, contact candidates when the process for some reason gets delayed, and eventually provide closure to every candidate – period.

Want more information on being the Best Interviewer Ever  – check out Jeff Haden See all Jeff’s posts