Interviewing Essentials for Managers
Interviewing is really more art than science and, all-too-often, prospective candidates who look good on paper and ace the interview process completely choke once they actually get the job.
Making the wrong hiring choices is costly and time consuming for organizations of all sizes. Bad hires are more than an inconvenience: they’re expensive. According to a recent 2017 research from CareerBuilder, 41% of companies say that a bad hire costs them three times their salary package.
Conducting successful interviews is one of the traits that a good hiring manager must possess and while doing that he must remember that it isn’t simply checking off a list of job requirements, but to see the person behind the resume.
Effective and efficient interviewing requires advanced preparation and a structured approach. In addition to carefully constructing job-related questions, managers must ensure organisational protocols and must also make certain that their assessments and recommendations remain unbiased.
How can managers better their chances of making a good hire?
Unlike HR, the majority of hiring managers have had no formal interview training. There are no interview courses in any MBA or general business or university programs that I’m aware of. For the most part, they conduct interviews so infrequently that they have no chance of developing the skill on the job.
At Learngage, we are helping clients use the Outcome-Based Interviewing (OBI) process and training workshops to identify the best candidate for a position through a structured, job-focused interviewing process and facilitate managers to learn how to structure an interview. Based on our experience, let me share with you fundamental tips that will help you and your managers to hone your interviewing skills and improve the chances of choosing the best people for the job.
1) Structuring the interview.
Interviewing managers may mistakenly use a job candidate’s resumé as a guide for structuring the interview. Generally, the resumé only provides information the candidate wants to reveal. Following the resumé throughout the interviewing process allows the candidate to control the interview, not the interviewing manager. Managers must establish a set structure, to be applied consistently, for each interview to accomplish efficient and accurate interviews.
2) Set the Tone.
Interviewing managers may set the tone of the interview by first greeting the candidate and then engaging the candidate in casual conversation to create a calm and relaxed atmosphere. Comfortable and secure candidates may communicate more honestly.
They may ask about the person’s hobbies, interests, travel, or city of residence. However, they must remember to avoid sensitive areas that the candidate doesn’t want to reveal early on in the interview. The formal interview may then begin through a simple transition question, such as, “What do you know about the organization?” or “How did you hear about this job opening?”.
3) Provide an Overview.
Managers should provide the candidate with an overview of the interview process. For example, how the interview will proceed and what will be covered - job experience, education, interests. Additionally, a comprehensive overview will explain that after discussing the candidate’s background, the manager will ask for information about the job, the organization, and answer any questions the candidate might have.
4) Review the Job
Before going in for the interview process, it is very important that you define the position well. You will have to mention the skill, required experience and KRA’s of the job, so that the candidate knows what is expected out of him or her in the interview process. However, they should be careful to limit comments to the specific facts about the job as it currently exists.
5) Discuss and Probe
In discussing a candidate’s work experience, the interviewing manager should ask prepared questions first, following up any responses that deserve further probing. A good hiring manager is not the one who asks the correct behavioural questions; instead a good hiring manager is one who makes note of the answer of the candidates and probes further to get more out of the candidate.
6) Candidate’s Interests and Self-Assessment
After discussing a candidate’s education and work experience, the manager may then ask a few questions about a candidate’s activities and interests to get a broader perspective. Candidates may also be asked to provide a self-assessment, summarizing personal and professional strengths, as well as “developmental needs” or qualities that the individual might want to change or improve.
7) Closing the Interview
In the final portion of the interview, the candidate should be given an opportunity to ask questions about the organization and the job. Managers should thank the candidate for the time spent on the interview and keep them informed of the next steps in the hiring process. Unless your organisation is not able to match the job criterion for the candidate, managers must be transparent with their inputs and make the candidates understand that as well.
Most importantly, if your candidates and your interviewing managers are clear on the process from the get go, you’re less likely to encounter misunderstandings. And by listening to your candidates, you’ll address any issues quickly and maintain those original expectations. Ending the interview experience with closure and accountability ensures the candidates know where they stand, and recruiters know how well the process went.