In this blog post, we will look at interview techniques for employers.
Good interviewers will always make every effort to get more out of the process. They know that interviewing is hard, but getting to hire great people is worth it in the end.
Why conduct an interview?
An interview is a conversation between two people for the purpose of gathering information. The interviewer asks questions to elicit information from the interviewee. Plus this is an opportunity for the employee to learn about their employer and the new role, to see if they would also be happy in this new job.
The importance of conscious interviewing
Getting an interview right can be a difficult task for a recruiter. It’s easy to see the interview stage as a small insignificant step in the recruitment process when there are a bunch of other candidates to interview that day.
However, nailing the interview is critical to hiring and attracting the best talent for the role. Not learning proper interviewing techniques can cost you significantly in the long run. You run the risk of scaring away top talent and making bad hiring decisions.
Bad interviewing habits
So what are these bad interviewing habits that recruiters pick up? Often, bad habits are formed based on your own experience. So recruiters may act and ask questions based on how they’ve been interviewed in the past, and just accepted this is the right way without question.
This is reaffirmed when a department manager or recruiter takes the time out of their busy schedule to interview for the vacant posting. Often not much thought goes into their performance in the interview.
When this occurs, there are many mistakes that recruiters will do subconsciously that can negatively affect the interview.
To be a successful interviewer, it’s important to be aware of and unlearn these bad habits. Then, thinking consciously about all aspects of interviewing.
Next, we’ll go through all the best interview techniques for employees to embody to gain the most out of their interviews.
Interview techniques for employers
1. Read the candidate's CV prior to the interview
Firstly, as a recruiter, you need to read the candidate's CV prior to the interview. You should also make notes so you can ask follow-up questions on anything that stood out to you.
Bring their CV to the interview and refer to your personal questions. This will make the candidate feel valued and appreciated, as well as give them an opportunity to tell you a little more about themselves.
This is just more of an icebreaker to help relax the candidate and allow them to feel more comfortable going ahead with the questioning in the interview.
It’s also a good opportunity for you to see how the candidate responds in a more conversational and casual tone. But keep in mind they may be very nervous so are likely to not appear as friendly as they usually would.
Being organised and well prepared
A disorganised and chaotic recruiter will create a negative interviewing experience for the candidate.
Ensure you turn up on time. Many recruiters will keep their candidates waiting past the allocated start time for the interview as an intimidation method.
This is an ineffective and poor strategy to use as sends all the wrong signals to a potential employee, starting the relationship on a bad foot.
Asking behavioural- based interview questions
The best interview techniques for employers focus on behavioural-based interview questions. It is a good way to determine how the candidate is likely to react in your job. But getting it right is essential.
What not to do:
As a recruiter, you should never ask situational questions in a hypothetical way. For example, “how would ordeal with a difficult customer?”
As the question is posed as a hypothetical situation the candidate answers in theory. This can create pretend actions, which actually wouldn’t be how the way they would act in any future scenario.
Fix stay out of the woods and stay rooted in reality.
So a better way to rephrase this question is to ask it like this, “Can you tell me about a time when you’ve interviewed a customer?”
Be happy in silence
Silences are a great thing in interviews if done correctly. Silence can be powerful with the right body language.
When appropriate, a recruiter being silent after a question or candidate answer calms down the situation.
A calm and relaxed recruiter keeps the candidate calm and confident. Which allows a candidate to gather their thoughts easier?
What not to do:
Do not use silence to intimidate candidates by staring them down after they’ve answered. This will just add to the pressure of the interview and create a weird atmosphere that will cause more damage than good.
Do Not Coach
If a candidate answers in a different way to what you used to, recruiters usually want to jump in and correct them on their way of doing things. However, it’s important to note that there’s only a limited amount of time to evaluate the candidate.
Being able to resist the need to coach or give feedback on the candidate's answers during an interview is just a waste of time. This time could be better spent understanding the candidate’s experiences and lessons learnt in their experiences.
It’s better to save the coaching/ feedback for after the interview. The candidate will also be in a better position to receive feedback.
Mistake- Don’t ask leading questions
An example of a leading question is,
“Tell me about a time when you successfully dealt with a customer complaint.
How did you resolve it successfully?”
The first half of this interview question is great as it focuses on real-life past behaviour that the candidate can answer and paint a picture of how they’ll perform in future roles.
However, don't follow this question with “How did you resolve it successfully?”
Firstly, this is making an assumption the candidate resolved the complaint. Plus, it’s putting pressure on them to come up with an answer.
Unresolved conflicts can be used to a candidate’s advantage if they're smart. If a candidate wasn’t able to successfully resolve a work issue, they could instead focus on what the candidate learnt and what to do differently for next time.
As a recruiter, your job is to make the candidate feel relaxed and comfortable.
Remembering to smile, having a good posture and open body language will relax your candidate and put them at ease. Allowing them to be calmer and answer from a better state of mind.
Meanwhile, the candidate is also interviewing you. It’s your job to sell your company to them, and encourage their interest in wanting the role.
Putting it to the test
Being able to effectively communicate and represent your business during an interview is critical to your company’s long-term success. Interviews should be taken more seriously and time put into them from the perspective of a recruiter.
If you enjoyed this post on interview techniques for employers, you may find this post on interviewer preparation before an interview very helpful!
Good luck with your interviews.