Interviews. Your palms are sweating, you’re drawing a blank when it’s your turn to speak and you’re drinking water like there’s no tomorrow. And you’re not even the candidate.
Being a great interviewer takes time and practice – knowing what to ask of which candidate is a skill that takes a while to hone, and it’s not just candidates who should be preparing before an interview. Don’t forget that your interviewee is also deciding if your company is for them, or even wondering if they’d like you as their boss, so this is a great opportunity to ensure you put yourself, the role and the company forward in the best light. In this candidate-short job market, any edge can make the difference.
Be methodical, unstructured interviews that feel like free-flowing conversations can easily go off on a tangent and become non-job related. Structuring your interviews will make them more effective. If you don’t have time on your hands, then try simulating a structured interview as much as possible. Remember you’re looking for the best suited candidate to join your team, so you need to gain as much information as possible.
Let’s make sure you go into the interview on a positive note, leave unrelated issues at the door and give your interviewee the best possible chance to showcase their ability. Greet interviewees on time and make them feel welcome, offer them something to drink, smile and create a comfortable environment.
As your career progresses interviewing is going to be an integral part of your job—and that means you’re going to be doing it a lot. Like anything else, it’s going to get easier with repetition.
Until then, remember that truthfully, you have the advantage: interviewees want to impress you. Your responsibility is to go into the interview prepared and get an accurate picture of the candidate. Take the time to come up with a plan, and you’ll be just fine—and if you play your cards right, may just end up hiring your company’s next superstar.
Our interview guide aims to help you understand how to best prep before interviewing candidates, how to structure your interview as well as exactly what to ask depending on seniority level, with some fun anecdotes on what not to do in an interview…
Download the guide here to help you give Oprah a run for her money.
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