A good interviewer gets the most out of candidates. While it takes time and energy to truly make the most of the interview stage and uncover the individual, it’s well worth getting it right and hiring the candidate most suited to the role. Follow these tips to become a better interviewer and you’ll find it much easier to evaluate candidates and make accurate hiring decisions.
1) Prepare sufficiently
While you might think the old adage ‘failure to prepare, prepare to fail’ is more relevant to the person sitting on the other side of the interviewers’ desk, it’s just as relevant to you, the hiring manager. Failing to adequately prepare before interviewing a candidate will leave you at a massive disadvantage in determining which candidate will be the best fit for your organization. If you haven’t taken the time to prepare, you may come off as disorganized at best and unengaged at worst.
It goes without saying to read the candidate’s resume before beginning the interview. Make sure you’ve fully engaged in their strengths, weaknesses and listed skills before you begin the interview. Try bringing a copy of the resume with you to the interview for reference. You can star any points or highlight anything that you feel is important to discuss during the interview.
Revise the job description thoroughly beforehand so it’s fresh in your mind as you’re going through an individual’s potential to fulfill the role. Reviewing the job description will allow you to fully think through the role and requirements as you’re interviewing the candidate. Prepare a list of questions beforehand. These questions should start at a more surface level and gradually delve deeper into a candidate’s thoughts and beliefs.
Use your questions to uncover the individual and their fit for the role. Use situation-specific questions to try and determine how an individual might react in certain circumstances. Adapt your questions to incorporate problem-solving. Don’t be afraid to put candidates on the spot and see how they react under pressure.
Think beforehand about what your organization will offer candidates. Think about opportunities for growth and any perks they might enjoy. Thinking clearly about your company’s values and unique culture before heading into an interview will help you evaluate if a candidate is a good fit for the role, the workplace, and ultimately, the company culture.
2) Be consistent
When conducting interviews, it’s important to remain consistent and objective. Job-related interviews should not feel too personal or informal. Try to retain structure. While it is fine to wander off from your questions and explore other secondary points as they become relevant, don’t allow the interview to steer off track and become too free-flowing.
Keeping your question list concise and to the point is a great way to start. Try note taking. While you don’t need to worry about making detailed evaluations while you’re interviewing, try to take short notes on the candidate’s exact answers so you’ll have something to refer to later on when a long day of interviewing different candidates is over.
Take time after each interview to carefully review your notes and reflect on each candidate’s performance. Avoid making an overall decision while you’re in the room or right after an interview. While it might feel imperative to snap up what feels like the ideal candidate, hasty decisions are not advisable when it comes to making measured well thought out hiring choices.
If it helps you to be unbiased and remain consistent and objective throughout, try devising a hiring score system. You might try rating individuals on how they fulfill each of your most important criteria.
3) Stay engaged
There’s nothing worse than an interviewer who seems disengaged or uninterested. It reflects poorly on the company, its culture, and the job role.
Make sure to properly introduce yourself, explain your role, why you’re hiring and what the position in question entails. Building a professional rapport with candidates will help put them at ease and help them find their flow in the interview.
Try not to schedule any important meetings right after the interview. You need to give your full attention to the candidate sat in front of you, plus, worrying if the interview will finish 5 minutes later than scheduled and missing your next interview won’t help a candidate relax enough to share their honest thoughts. Take the time to really think about each response the candidate gives you, and address any concerns you have right away.
Don’t skip out too quickly, always allow candidates to ask questions and clarify any doubts that they could have about your organization. Always answer as honestly and openly as you can. It’s important to represent your company in the most realistic light possible, so individuals are aware of expectations and what the reality of the role will entail.
Even if you feel the candidate probably won’t be right for the position, it’s important to remain fully engaged for the duration of the interview. If you appear to lose interest, you’ll reflect poorly on the company’s culture, meaning this candidate likely won’t apply again when a more suitable role does turn up.
How to use deltPRO to become a better interviewer
Before even reaching the interview stage, use the deltPRO Work Style Assessment to narrow down a vast pool of candidates into a more manageable shortlist to take to interview. The Work Style Assessment will divide candidates into 11 different unique work styles. Using this valuable insight into individuals’ strengths, communication skills and areas for development, you can enter the interview feeling clued up on candidates and their preferred way of working. You can even use this Assessment as a basis for the interview, discussing candidates’ individual strengths and preferences with them, and raising any concerns surrounding their areas for development.