Interviewing candidates well is a skill that, like any other in their repertoire, a hiring manager must learn and develop. With an ever-evolving job market and increasing turn-over rates, the hiring process for many companies can become a rote process by which talent is pooled, interviews are conducted, candidates are chosen, and a new hire is brought on. While effective in the sense that this filled a position that needed filling, does your process ensure that you’ve found the right person for the position, or does it simply fulfill your company’s requirements for the hiring process? Can your interview style be revamped in order to learn more about the candidates, reveal more about the position, and increase the chance that the two are highly compatible? What can a manager, hiring manager, or HR professional do in order to improve the interviewing experience?
#4. Remember that you set the mood.
As soon as a candidate walks through the door, they are looking to you to set the tone for the interview. Will you put them at ease with easy conversation and chit chat about the weather and sports? Or will you catapult them into a high-stress situation in order to test them for potential scenarios on the job? The decision is up to you, but reminding yourself that you are in command of that may help to avoid awkward situations later in the interview.
#3. Offer to take the candidate for a short tour of the office.
Jarie Bolander at The Daily MBA blog says this is critical to understanding how the candidate could affect the social dynamic in the office. Their introductions and first impressions can be very telling about their personality and how they might work with people. Taking a walk through the building and letting them get a sense for their surroundings may also help to alleviate stress and nervousness about the impending interview.
#2. Be forthright about your expectations in the interview.
In particular, help the candidate to understand that you expect well-thought out answers from them. To help, remind them that silence after a question and before an answer is okay. In lieu of filling the white space with a less than sufficient answer, suggest that they take a few minutes to gather their thoughts. As you’re setting the mood for the interview, make sure it’s clear that silence is okay and not uncomfortable.
#1. Ask about more than just job experience.
Experience beyond what is on the resume or in the cover letter can be crucial to understanding who this candidate sitting across from you truly is. In order to understand them as a whole person, ask about things beyond what’s on the resume, such as summer jobs, volunteer work, travels, and part-time positions.
By changing the process in just a few, small ways, a hiring manager could see different, improved results in the people they bring into the office. Companies should encourage this across the board in order to develop and improve the skills of those involved in hiring. Just as you hope to bring on the most skilled candidates, the company will benefit from having a highly-skilled hiring manager at the forefront of the hiring process.
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