Interview Techniques

There are a great number of resources for interview techniques designed for candidates but who teaches the interviewer how to conduct an interview? This is an overlooked aspect of the interview process.

Think about it for a moment, how many times because of poor technique by an interviewer has an interview failed to properly gauge the skills of candidates? Worse yet, if the interview is conducted poorly, top candidates will have second thoughts about joining your organization. The interview process is a reflection of your company!

Here are some pointers about the different types of interviews along with some suggestions on how to make your interviews more meaningful including topics such as how to screen employees.

Typical Company... AKA What Not To Do

Here's an example of a typical interview scenario at many companies. There are 3 candidates coming in to interview. The day of the interview, the resumes are sent to 2-3 people who are assigned to interview the candidates. When the candidates get there, the interviewer scans the resume and asks a couple of questions about the different jobs they have had and then asks the candidate if they have any questions for them. The end and the candidate moves on to the next interview where the exact same process is repeated.

At the end of the interviews, the team gets together and gives their opinion on who is the better candidate. Then the person who is the hiring authority makes a decision on who to hire...based on a 'gut' instinct.

If this is your process, please do two things, look at your hire rate of 'A/B+' candidates and the 'B-/C' candidates. If you are not 90+% you may want to reconsider your process.

The Preparation

The first bit of information every interviewer needs is training on how to prepare for an interview. The company should have a hiring strategy that lays out what type of interview technique, what format, and what types of interview questions should and should not be asked ( illegal interview questions) .

Each position that is open should have a complete job description with success criteria. The people who are selected to conduct the interviews should be intimately familiar with the success criteria and trained in how to conduct an interview . Beyond that they should understand not only what questions to ask but how to ask questions in an interview setting. Poor questioning and follow up may leave a bad impression on that future employee.

Next, depending on the type of interview, whether it is a behavioral interview or a panel interview or another type of interview, each person needs to be briefed on their expected contribution.

Continued on Part 2 of Interview Techniques

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