5 Things Great Interviewers Do
We often think of the interview process as a one way street. The applicant tries their hardest to make a great impression, and the interviewer decides whether or not to go ahead and hire them. But in reality, an interview is always mutual, giving both people a chance to decide if they can work together well. With that in mind, it’s important that interviewers do more than just ask the right questions: the way that they conduct the interview is crucial to representing the company’s culture and ethos. If you’re the one tasked with conducting the interview, then here are 5 things that will showcase you and your company at their best.
Respect everyone’s time
If you’re late to an interview, you’ll either come across as disorganised, or making a power play. Neither are desirable as a first impression of the company culture. Respect your interviewee’s time just as you’d expect them to respect yours, show up on time and bring the right documents.
There’s no reason to test your subject’s ability to stand up to intimidation. Start off with some safe, personal small talk questions, such as how their day has been, and give them time to relax and get comfortable with the interaction. As a bonus, you will learn about their temperament and may elicit some background that you wouldn’t otherwise discover.
Make questions open ended
In many ways, conducting a job interview is a lot like conducting a journalistic interview: the aim is to draw out information about the subject and build a broader picture than can be gained from just reading their work history. Closed questions – those which elicit a yes or no answer – tell you very little. Instead of asking “do you consider yourself a team player?”, for example, ask your applicant what they consider to be their biggest strength in a team, or to tell you about a time when they demonstrated collaborative work.
Don’t spring any surprises
If it’s going to be a panel interview or a group interview, make sure the applicant knows that. If there’ll be a practical skill-testing component, they should be made aware beforehand. Anything but complete transparency around the process will make the company look unprofessional, and it’s much harder to judge a person’s skills and personality fit if they’re caught off guard and unprepared.
Do your homework
We know that slogging through a huge pile of CVs is time consuming, and interviews take up a lot of resources, but by the time you’ve narrowed it down to the few people, you should be across their job history. Make a few notes when you’re reading their CV so you can ask the questions that are tailored to that particular applicant’s strengths and weaknesses. When you’ve put in the effort to make your interview go smoothly, you are better placed to make the right judgement about the applicant, which can save you some serious time down the track.
This article was written by Tanya Ashworth-Keppel on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources were used to compile this article: Forbes, Inc and Fast Company.