Best Interview techniques for employers
Interviews were the most difficult part of the recruitment process in their entire history. The best interview techniques for employers are difficult. Mistakes can affect your judgment, from cognitive bias to lack of preparation, and can have serious consequences.
It is therefore important to learn how to conduct an interview. The tips are there when you need them. Whether you have researched the best interview questions and identified the interview questions you shouldn’t ask, how do you eliminate the mistakes you don’t even know you are making?
The interview is an opportunity to connect the dots and determine whether a candidate is really qualified for a job. Besides the questions you ask, it is just as important how you conduct the interview. It’s not always easy to conduct a meeting, but adopting best practice employer interview techniques can make a big difference to your bottom line.
If you are preparing for an upcoming interview, here are our recommended guidelines to help you and your company identify the best talent for the job you are offering.
Invest time in planning your questions and interview techniques with the employer. A sound interview doesn’t have to focus on difficult questions although it is important to plan the questions in advance. In particular, add behavioral questions such as “Tell me how you solved a current challenge. These questions can provide insight into the candidate’s initiative, problem-solving skills and ability to work with others.
Setting up an interview structure ensures that the entire field is covered within a limited time frame without neglecting essential information or being distracted by a candidate.
A typical structure starts with an overview of the company and the role it plays. The candidate is then asked a series of questions and then asked if he or she wishes to ask questions of their own.
Open the discussion by explaining to the candidate how the interview is conducted. This keeps everyone on the same page and avoids surprises that might cause an otherwise strong candidate to deviate.
Of course, you have a busy schedule today but it is always worth checking each candidate’s CV before the interview.
This avoids questions that may already have been answered in the CV and ensures that any uncertainties about the candidate are addressed.
Also, at the end of each interview, take a moment to make a few notes about the candidate. This is particularly important when speaking with a large number of candidates, as it can be easy to confuse individual candidates after the interview round.
Listening is crucial for good interviews with the employer, especially since it is easy for recruiters to focus on what they are going to say next and miss an important comment from the candidate in the present.
Good listening requires concentration. While the candidate is speaking, also think about the type of language used. Are the answers too repetitive or are they really relevant to the person?
The ability to read a candidate’s body language can be a valuable technique for an interview with the employer. Keep in mind that a job interview can be a nerve-wracking experience and that an element of nervousness, nervous laughter or fast speech can be natural.
Check to see if the candidate is calm. Does he or she give the impression of being confident and capable? Is the candidate comfortable making eye contact or is he constantly trying to avoid your gaze?
What is important is whether the candidate seems engaged and interested in conversation or whether he or she looks at his or her watch (or even worse, his or her phone) as if he or she would rather be somewhere else?
The other side of the coin is that HR managers need to be aware of their own body language. If you lean forward slightly in a chair, you can show interest in what a person is saying. Try nodding your head or smiling occasionally to calm a nervous candidate.
It may seem polite to inquire about a candidate’s hobbies or personal interests. However, there are good reasons why one of the recommended interview guidelines for employers is to focus primarily on role-related issues.
You need to be aware of the risk of hiring a candidate because you like them, not because they have the best skills and experience for the job. If the interview deviates from what was planned, don’t forget to narrow it down.
At the end of the interview, it is important to end the interview by explaining how you will proceed with each candidate. Make the appointment and the means of communication (e-mail or telephone) very clear and thank the candidate for their time. Then, you commit to responding to each candidate on the scheduled date. This is a professional courtesy that reflects on you and the organization.
It can be difficult to find the right candidate for a position. Following our recommended interview techniques will help reduce the selection of suitable candidates and give candidates the impression that the company is well managed and wants to be part of the organization.
Experienced interviewers know that their recognition is an important step in dealing with them. Here are 10 things you should try to avoid:
Lack of preparation
Hundreds of articles encourage candidates to prepare well for an interview. At the same time, few remind the interviewer to do the same. A candidate who arrives unprepared risks losing one of the many job offers, when the stakes are higher for the interviewer. You may miss the opportunity to systematically apply a technique to the interview by recording valuable historical data. In the end, you may also lose a great attitude. It’s great if you know what you’re looking for. But you can’t always rely on the “If I see it, I’ll know it” attitude. A structured interview takes time to prepare, but it is one of the best indicators of job performance.
When a person formulates an idea or hypothesis in his or her mind, he or she will look for a way to confirm it. This is a confirmation bias that needs to be checked. If a hiring manager decides before the interview that a candidate is a star, he or she will look for (and likely find) evidence of this fact during the interview. In the meantime, due to selective perception, they will be blind to anything negative that contradicts this preconception. This poor interview tactic is a sure way to make a bad decision.
Imagine being impressed with a candidate’s programming skills. You have quickly written a piece of code that is functional, clean and perfect to look at. Your appreciation of these skills may spill over into other areas where you are trying to assess the candidate. You find that their communication or teamwork skills are deficient, but their negative effect is greatly diminished. You may hire this candidate and find it difficult that they do not fit well into your organization.
Social Comparison Bias
It happens to all of us. People tend to compare themselves to others in all aspects of life. When you realize that someone is better in a certain way, feelings of resentment can arise. During the interview, recruiters may look at candidates they feel are better than they are with a certain degree of competitiveness. This leads to negative feelings and does not lead to the recruitment of a highly qualified candidate. Being aware of this prejudice can help you overcome it. Be aware that this candidate is not looking for your job, but that you will hire them based on their potential and the benefits they can bring to the company.
So you and the applicant went to the same high school. You feel the intimacy and enjoy the memory. If you don’t check it quickly, your judgment can easily be clouded and influence your future decision. Fortunately, there is a remedy. The presence of more than one interviewer is likely to reduce the effect of subjective judgment. Most importantly, a structured interview will help you focus on objective criteria.
According to a recent survey, half of the employers state that they only need five minutes to determine whether a candidate is right for them. In that short time, you will probably be able to tell if they are polite, confident or well-dressed. But are these qualities really linked to future job performance? Most likely not. It is important to remember that a job interview is not a race. You will not receive bonus points for the quick selection of a candidate. The first impression can easily mislead you and affect your willingness to ask the right questions or interpret answers. Try to wait until the end of the interview to make your first judgment. You may be surprised.
Striving for perfection
HR managers often do not really try to find the best people among the respondents. They try to find what they have dreamed of as the “perfect” candidate. A candidate who has all the qualifications they require and who is hardworking, polite, confident and willing to work for them. But there is no such candidate. You will probably continue the interview until the decision becomes urgent. Talented candidates who could have been trained to excel will have found another job. Instead of clinging to “perfection”, be more realistic.
Not knowing what to look for
Interviewers sometimes rely too much on sample questions they have found on the Internet or heard from others. Sometimes they do not know what these questions are supposed to reveal. You should think about what you are trying to assess in competency-based interview questions, for example, how a candidate treated a difficult client. Is it patience, communication skills, problem solving or all these qualities together? The only way to judge the answer is to be aware of the purpose of a question. Otherwise, you can interpret it intuitively or ignore it altogether.
The use of structured interviews can help you to define your needs early on. Download our free guide to find out how.
Don’t follow the questions
Behavioral interview questions are a modern interview technique that is actually more complicated than it sounds. If you ask a question about past experience, it may not tell you much about a candidate. You don’t just want to hear their story. You want to understand how they thought, how they came to a solution, what effects their actions had and how they were perceived by others. Every time you ask a question, you should be prepared to follow up with others until you have reached the essence of what you need to make an informed decision.
Do not “sell” the business
Interviewers sometimes forget that an interview is not just about evaluating the candidate. It is also an opportunity to present the business in a way that convinces the best candidate to accept the offer. This is essential because someone with strong qualifications is likely to consider other options. This does not mean, of course, that you have to get carried away with boasting about your company. A good guideline to aim for is to listen/convert with 80/20 and avoid appearing arrogant or insincere. You should try to decide every word in your favor.
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