Hone Your Interviewing Skills

Too many times interviews are not as effective as they can be.  Biases can cloud judgment or a lack of transparency about the process can turn off top talent.  Interviews should be viewed as hiring conversations, it is a time for both interviewer and interviewee to determine if they are compatible. 

Over the next three articles, we will explore ways to conduct more successful interviews that ultimately increase new-hire performance and decrease time of training to proficiency.  Keep reading to where we begin with preparing yourself for the interview.

Enjoy!

Gary

Interviewing is a skill that requires practice for both the interviewer and interviewee.  Active job-seekers usually have an advantage, making it important for interviewers to find ways to hone their skills.  One great way to do this is to conduct a few stay interviews with existing team members.  Stay interviews are one-on-one structured retention interviews between a manager and a highly valued “at-risk-of-leaving team member.”  This activity will exercise interviewing skills while reconnecting with top performers.

Just as great candidates properly prepare for an interview, so do great interviewers.  Define the needs, both in skill set and attitude, for the position.  If this is not done, the person hired is usually someone who the interviewer connects with due to similar personalities, not necessarily the person that is the best fit for the position and/or organization.  Determine behavioral indicators and a scoring method by analyzing the traits in both the top and poor  performers.  This will allow candidates to be ranked based on core competencies and cultural fit.

The interview is the first impression a candidate will have on the organization.  Make it count by being on time, prepared, and respectful of their time.  Take the time to review the candidate’s resume and do a quick search on social media to learn more about them.  Too many times interviewers give off the impression that their time is more valuable than the candidate’s.  This does not bode well in a candidate-driven job market.  Focus on the candidate.  If possible, conduct the interview in a conference room to remain free from distractions.

According to Amanda Augustine, 20% of the interview should be used to confirm skill set.  The remaining 80% should be determining cultural fit.  In many cases, hiring decisions are made in the first 2-3 minutes.  These decisions are based on biases which include dress, handshake or the mental picture of a candidate based on their resume.  It is important to remember that a handshake or interview attire DO NOT indicate interpersonal skills or ability to perform.  Keep an open mind and listen to the candidate.  Ask follow-up questions.  It is in these follow-up questions that usually reveal more than their resume.

Be transparent about the process, including next steps and decision-making timeline.  It is also very important to close the loop on each and every applicant.  This shows that the organization respects the candidate’s time and effort enough to let them know of their decision.

Interviewing can be stressful for both the interviewer and candidate.  Proper preparation can relieve this stress and allow for a better interview experience.  Determining behavioral indicators can help create a level “playing field” and expedite the decision-making process.  Next time, we will continue the discussion with a deeper look at conducting behavioral interviews.

Gary Vice is sought out by leaders in Software and Services who recognize the need to attract the industry’s best talent.  Through Strategic Recruiting Partners’ extensive network of relationships, they are able to identify high level opportunities for well qualified candidates.  To discover how this process can benefit your job search, simply reply to this email or call Gary at 469.402.4008.

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