Being a good interviewer is a lot harder than people think. Recruitment specialists have several tried and tested strategies that can help interviewers to hone their skills and get the most out of every minute of the process. Here’s how to get started.
Step One: Preparation
Getting ready for the interview can save a lot of headaches further down the line. The interviewer not only has to ask the relevant questions to get the information that they need to make the right choices, but they are also acting as an ambassador for the organisation.
What to do
Make sure that the correct questions are lined up. Important factors include questions that will help the interviewer to understand the candidate’s personality, attitude, and long-term goals. Equally important are practical issues, such as flexibility. In addition, being clear about the organisational mission statement, goals, and culture will help the candidate learn whether they will be a good fit for the company.
Step Two: Design a Structure
Going off topic in an unstructured interview can be an excellent way for candidates to show their true selves. However, for HR departments it can lead to information gaps. Ensuring that interviewers are armed with a clear structure can help to keep everything relevant, leading to more meaningful results.
What to do
Think about the information that’s vital to know, such as a candidate’s experience, their expectations, and what they want to bring to the role. Pin this down to eight or ten key questions and use these to structure the interview. By having the structure in place, the interviewer can bring the interview back on topic whenever it goes in unexpected directions, ensuring no vital information is missed.
Step Three: Improve Your Judgement
Lots of judgement-related issues can cloud the clarity of an interview. These include cognitive bias, pre-posed prejudice, body language, and cultural expectations. Being able to leave various assumptions at the door can help interviewers see the candidate for who they are, rather than what they expect.
What to do
Interviewers can improve their judgement abilities in several ways. For instance, there are plenty of courses available, and lots of books have been written that cover the various elements. Even experienced interviewers can benefit from exploring the material, as behavioural and social science researchers are constantly revising their understanding.
Step Four: Learn From Your Mistakes!
Interviews can be difficult for candidates and for interviewers alike. Just as some potential employees will ‘faceplant’ in an interview, there will be occasions where the interview structure or rapport simply didn’t work. Rather than seeing this as a negative experience, it’s more productive to view it as a chance to improve.
What to do
If the interview hasn’t achieved everything the interviewer hoped, note it down. If possible, brainstorm with colleagues to find proactive solutions. It can also be helpful to run pilot interviews to test new strategies, pinpoint weaknesses, and practice elements such as body language.
At Blue Octopus, we understand that becoming the perfect interviewer can be a challenge. Our experienced teams include professionals skilled in interview preparation, structuring, judgement, and constructive reviews. To learn more about how becoming the perfect interviewer can help you to find the perfect candidate, please get in touch today.