As a Hiring Manager, your primary goal in the interviewing process is to identify a candidate that has the experience and skills you are looking for, that will successfully represent your company’s core values, and that will fit your company’s culture. With easy access to interview advice and questions online, today’s candidates are better prepared to give a great first impression with rehearsed answers. So how do you look through the candidate’s initial presentation to uncover their true character and ability? Consider the following advice before conducting your next interview.
Use Active Listening: Although silence may feel uncomfortable in an interview, it is important to give the candidate a moment to think and respond to the questions you are asking. Many interviewers tend to carry the conversation and rush through their questions leaving no room to absorb the information the candidate is giving you. You want to be able to interpret and analyze their answers to get a feel of what may be hiding behind that initial rehearsed presentation.
Ask for Examples: It is always a good idea to be as specific as possible when asking interview questions. If you find that you are getting rehearsed or vague answers, ask candidates to give you a recent example that directly supports their answer. Make sure you are clear that you are looking for examples from their professional experience. Listening to examples gives you a chance to analyze a little more of their character, ethics, and values. This may also raise questions that you may not have thought of before the interview.
Include a Variety of Question Categories: Think about all the characteristic and skillset aspects of an individual that would best suit the position you are hiring for (behavioral, organizational, ethical, technical, etc.). You want to prepare questions that relate directly to each of those specific aspects. Each resume that comes across your desk is unique. Avoid using a lot of overused interview questions and get specific.
Involve Other Staff Members: Panel interviews are beneficial for both parties. Having more than one staff member in the room allows for multiple perspectives of the candidate’s skillset and character. One panelist may make an important observation that is overlooked by others. In addition, it gives the candidate a chance to get insight into your company’s culture.
Encourage Questions: Remember it’s not just about whether you like the candidate, the candidate must like you and your organization as well. Most quality candidates have prepared a few questions of their own for the end of the interview. Be cautious of candidates that have not prepared questions or say that all their questions have been answered. If you are looking for a good match, you want to know that the candidate is engaged in the interview and interested in your organization.