Hiring is at the core of more or less every company. And essential in that process is the one conducting the interviews. But how does one become a great interviewer? Here are our five best tips.
- Be prepared. To be able to conduct a structured interview, you need to actively work on setting a solid foundation. Not only in what to say and present to the candidate but make sure that the questions actually asked are what you are looking for. Please don’t fall for the standards of how it has been done, but make sure to make it your own, keep your questions open-ended, but most importantly, simple to understand. In terms of fairness for all the candidates and the overall validity, it will give you an excellent base to work on.
- Take the opportunity to actually listen. There are probably hundreds of recommendations for candidates to prepare for interviews both in terms of what to do or not to do in an interview, the most frequently asked interview questions and how to give answers recruiters want to hear. Well, how do we go about this? Make sure to ask questions to get to know the people behind the professionals; What drives the person? What gives them energy? What is their vision? If you don’t understand why a person is doing what they are doing, will you be able to put how into a context? Have this in mind when setting the structure and remind yourself of the purpose of your discussion.
- Set clear expectations. This is key to be able to stick to the structure you worked on as well as being clear in your communication to the candidate for them to know what to expect as well. Talking through the structure and confirming it at the beginning of your discussion will give you and the candidate a crystal clear understanding of what to come. A highly appreciated addition to any conversation.
- Dare to be silent. If you are eager to go through your well-prepared questions, and sometimes so impatient that you might interrupt a candidate’s train of thought. Don’t. Learn to be comfortable with silences because, in most cases, the silence is more inviting than asking a follow-up question – without interrupting the flow of the conversation or creating an urgent feel to the discussion. Use the silence in your advantage to get better use of the structure you set.
- …and repeat! Stick to the structure in the context of one role, give all the candidates the same opportunity for the specific role before tweaking. If you need to iterate, do it for the next position to be able to vouch that all the candidates had the same opportunity to answer the questions in terms of being evaluated fairly.
Is this as obvious as dots on a Dalmatian? Amazing – then, you are covering the basics of having a structured interview while keeping an eye on the candidate experience. Is this list entirely new for you? Congratulations – not only do you have suggestions on how to go about when it comes to the mindset and priorities on how to best structure your interviews, but you have a golden opportunity to give it a go!
Want to learn more about competency-based recruitment and how to optimize talent acquisition processes? Reach out to Adam, partner in people management.