An interview has a very specific time limitation. The sense of urgency in a business environment makes it even harder for interviewers to make major changes to their preferred methodologies. This is why interview processes haven’t seen a major shift in methodology for years now. The interviewer ends up constantly looking at the watch to know if he’s going to run out of time.
There’s no doubt this can have a massive effect on the hiring process. Conducting an effective interview to hire executives is almost an art. There are only a few people who can do this right. You can be one of them if you follow the right strategies while interviewing. These strategies may help you follow a streamlined approach so that you end up making better hiring decisions.
Preparing for an interview
Planning is everything. It’s probably the biggest reason why most interviews could go wrong or right. If you don’t plan well, the interviewee can almost always make out and take advantage of the situation. Planning and preparing for an interview sounds like a tedious process but it lays down the foundation for conducting better interviews.
You also need to make sure you allow the interviewee enough time to prepare his own part. Ideally, you don’t want to go overboard with excessive planning time to the interviewee. This would allow your candidate to rehearse for their answers. That’s something you really don’t want.
Preparing a written outline of the action points that need to be covered during an interview is a good note to start off with. You may even add typical questions that seem necessary to ask the candidate. After all, your main purpose while interviewing is to evaluate the candidate.
Preparing well in advance for an interview also lets you control the timing. You can assign time slots to each section of the interview to make sure you don’t run out of time when you are about to cover the most important part. Make sure you also prepare relevant questions to ask the candidate. In case you still end up doing that, you should schedule another round of interview with the candidate.
When the interview begins, it is very important to set the general tone right from the start. You should appear friendly to the candidate to allow better communication. You should switch off your mobile phones or turn away anything that might disrupt your conversations. It is also considered polite to ask the candidate to do the same.
It is critical that you build a strong rapport with the candidate during the initial period of the interview. Exchanging pleasantries is known to cool down candidates if they might be anxious due to the environment in an interview setting. You can start off with basic questions that help you understand the candidate better. This will help the candidate open up and begin the real conversation.
While conducting an interview, your biggest tools are your questions. You must use them carefully. Using the right choice of questions, you can not only reveal a lot about the candidate but also find out about their intentions for the new job profile and judge how likely they are to become a good performer at the job. Avoid any double negative questions. Reviewing your questions before an interview can help you a lot.
Research has revealed that the top hiring experts use a broad set of questions combined with a few general questions to conduct a highly effective interview. This allows you to absorb as much information as you can extract from the candidate. Once you receive the type of information you want to get you could further target the candidate with specific questions.
Asking questions may be an art but so is the listening part. If you are not a good listener, you can never become a good interviewer. Recruiters with poor listening skills end up making a majority of the wrong hiring decisions. You cannot allow your bias to get into your decision making process. To get the best possible information out of the candidate it is critical that you listen to the person first. This helps in making lesser assumptions about the candidate. Therefore, you can make more logical decisions.
Once you are done with an interview, the most critical aspect of the entire process begins. The interview is over for the candidate but certainly not for you. You must sit down and think over all the notes you’ve made during the question-answer round. Precise notes that help point the candidate’s skills always help the interviewer make the right decision. In case you feel you still have a few follow up questions to ask, you should try and schedule another interview just to be sure. Analyzing a candidate’s performance during an interview must be matched with your opinion based on your experience in the industry.