3 Ways to Be A Better Interviewer

3 Ways to Be A Better InterviewerAs you are interviewing candidates, it’s important that you make the right decisions when it comes down to the final selection.  In order to do this, you must make sure you are doing the right things during the interview process.  By ensuring that you are doing the right things during an interview, you are in fact becoming a better interviewer. 

1. Prepare

Before interviewing a candidate, make sure you are prepared, just as you would expect the candidate to be prepared.

Review the candidate’s resume and get a good understanding of his or her background and experience.  Know the candidate’s work history and where they have worked, as well as any key skills noted.

Take a look at where the candidate went to school, subject concentration, and any hobbies or volunteer activities listed.

Search for the candidate on LinkedIn to see any recommendations, connections, or interests.  Make sure there are no large discrepancies between the LinkedIn profile and resume.

Some managers take it a step further and search for candidates on other social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter.  However, Human Resource Executive recommends that employers stay away from this practice due to legal implications.

2. Ask

If you have done your homework and thoroughly reviewed the candidate’s resume and LinkedIn profile, you should not only have typical interview questions prepared but also questions specific to that candidate.

Ask questions surrounding their college concentration such as:

What made you decide to major in ____?

How has your college degree in ____ assisted you in your career?

Also, do not be afraid to ask about any volunteer work or hobbies listed.  If the candidate has shared this information on their resume, it is okay to discuss.

I noticed that you volunteer at ___ organization.  What type of skills have you learned or utilized through your volunteer work? 

I see you coach little league, that must be rewarding.  What do you enjoy the most about coaching little league? 

The important thing in your questioning is to take an interest in the candidate.  By asking questions specific to the candidate’s experience and noted items on his resume, you are obtaining information regarding what is important to the candidate in addition to the candidate’s decision making process.

3. Share

I have always thought it a bit unfair when an interviewer asks all of the questions and doesn’t bother sharing any information with the candidate.  Why should the interview be so one sided, expecting the candidate to share and the interviewer only asks questions?   After all, an interview is meant to not only ensure the employer is making the right choice, but also for the candidate to make the right career decision.

Your interview will have a much nicer flow and be more conversational if you are sharing information along with the candidate.  When you find something you can relate to the candidate with, share this information.  Perhaps you went to the same school or majored in the same subject area.

Don’t be afraid to share information about the company.  When I interviewed candidates to hire for my recruiting team in the past, I found it very enjoyable to share our company’s history and line of business with a candidate during the face-to-face interview.  Not only was I passionate about my company and the opportunity to paint a picture of its history for the candidate, but I found that the candidate truly appreciated this information.  I also discovered that this gave me the chance to see any passion or excitement the candidate initially had for our business.  This was valuable to me, as I wanted to hire people who would be just as passionate about my company as I was.

What have you done to be a better interviewer?  Please share your tips and suggestions below.  

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