Even to this day, interviews play a very important role in the hiring process. Yes, there are other methods like initial short-listing, group discussions, case studies, written tests, and so on to evaluate a candidate but in organizations around the world, interviews still are the final step in making the decision to hire a candidate or not.
You would think that the pressure of doing well in an interview is on the candidate – after all, the candidate is not going to become an employee if he or she fails in the interview – but there is an almost equal amount of pressure on interviewers as well, after all, the decision has to be made by them and the entire organization will be impacted as a result – positively or negatively. Interviews might have changed over the years but some kind of face-to-face interactions is a must. So, it is in the best interest of organizations to make their interviews effective and productive. Here are some tips on doing that:
It is not just the candidate who has to come prepared to the interview; the interviewer should also put in the same, if not more, effort into being prepared. The interviewer has to test the candidate on a variety of topics, and this cannot be done unless the interviewer is well-prepared. And this preparation need not be limited to the subject at hand – the interviewer also needs to research the candidate so that he or she can prepare the best questions to ask the candidate. Also, sometimes, the candidates who appear for the interview will be smarter than the person who takes the interview, so it is essential to be prepared.
Ease into the Interview
Sometimes, it is tempting to get right to the point and getting the task over with. This, however, is the wrong approach to take. Interviews are big occasions for candidates and it not uncommon for them to have nerves. If they don’t start by being comfortable, their nerves are liable to overcome their abilities and they might give a very poor account of themselves. You don’t want to miss top talent just because you did not start the interview well. So, ease into the interview and try to put the candidate at ease. Remember, there is no point in having interviews which cause stress to the stakeholders. At the same time, this method of easing into the interview is also good for you because you will have a rhythm and will be able to get going easily.
Question Types and Flow
One important thing to keep in mind when interviewing is the type questions you ask and the flow these questions will take. Interviews present you with a great way to learn about the candidates, and this cannot be done if you keep your questions closed. Keep your questions open-ended and allow candidates to be expansive with their replies.
Also, ensure that you listen. The real performer there is the candidate, and you are the catalyst in the process. It is a good interview that lasts for a longer time, more than half an hour. In this time, you should speak for no more than five, and let the candidate speak for a longer duration.
Take Peers along
Sometimes, employees who actually do the work will know more about what the job entails than the team leader or the manager, who do a lot of administrative work. So, have one or two peers sit in the interview even if they are not the ones doing the actual questioning. They will be able to tell you better if the candidate is a fit or not. Also, they will have a chance to see the potential talent firsthand, which gives them a better idea of how well to perform.
Today, there are many recruiting software solutions in the market that can significantly enhance the recruitment process. Use the software to keep track of candidates and their performance in interviews. Chances are that you will have to discuss the interview with others, and technology will help with data sharing and collaboration.
Interviews are part art and part science; make sure that you are good in both respects. An effective and productive interview is a joy for all those involved and will help you onboard the best talent that will take your company places.