There are so many factors that can affect the quality of an interview and its results. Focus on what you can control as the hiring manager and keep candidate experience top of mind. Here are some helpful tips that our Client Solutions Manager, Aubrey McCauley, has collected from hiring managers she has partnered with.
FOR A SUCCESSFUL INTERVIEW
COME PREPARED. Do your research by reading through the resume and your recruiter’s notes. Write down topics you want to address. Make a list of the things you want to learn in the allotted interview time and form structured, open-ended questions around these. Coming prepared, shows respect, will keep you on track, and ultimately, will ensure you know if you want to invite them to the next round or not.
BE MINDFUL AND PRESENT. If it’s a 30-minute interview, finish it in 29 minutes, or if you feel like it will run late because it’s going so well, acknowledge it and make sure that both parties have time to go longer. Don’t assume. Make sure your body language shows that you are there, listening, and engaged. Turn off all distractions. If need be, take a quick walk and drink some water ahead of time. It will show.
PEOPLE FIRST. We are all people first before we are the role that we play in an organization. Smile, actively listen, show kindness, acknowledge something that stood out in their resume or if you share the same alma mater. Include at least one question that gets the candidate to talk about what they do outside of work and what is important to them as far as leadership or environment in their next role.
DIFFERENTIATOR DETAILS. Share a little bit about why you are excited to talk with them and what excites you most about your team and what they are working on. Be genuine while also mindful that you are interviewing each other. Share high-level, differentiator details and give plenty of time for the candidate to share examples of what they have done that could help your team reach their goals.
ASK “SIMPLE” FOUNDATIONAL QUESTIONS. We learn more from questions like “what is a requirement?” than having candidates needlessly recite the the details of complicated processes.
ALLOW PAUSE. Allow the candidate time to pause and reflect. It’s an interview not an interrogation. The goal should be to assess a candidate’s fit and qualifications, not a Jeopardy contest where you penalize someone for answering slowly.
LEAVE ROOM FOR THE CANDIDATE’S QUESTIONS. Be clear on the timeframe of expected next steps, on when they should hear from you or their recruiter, and if you are open to connecting on LinkedIn, mention to them that they should reach out with a request.
CONVERSATION STRUCTURE. While you want each conversation to be unique, keeping the same structure to every interview allows for consistency and limiting bias. Having open-ended questions allows for the unique qualities and experiences that each candidate can bring to the table to be heard.