Interviewing Others Is an Art
By Cynthia Wright, TheWrightStuffNH
While often good at managing diverse teams, getting projects in under budget and administering performance reviews, managers typically have yet to master the art of interviewing.
Managers who can build strong, successful work teams will allow their company to succeed in today's competitive economic climate. Your ability to interview - and eventually hire - top notch talent will help you to achieve this important goal.
Here are five criteria to succeed:
1. Keep Questions Job-related
Staying on-topic with your questions not only keeps the interview on track, it reduces the time spent on non-related chat. Secondly, asking questions that are unrelated to a job can make your company vulnerable to a potential legal action. As a manager, if you're unsure if an interview question is legal, don't ask it.
2. It's a Dialog, Not a Monologue
An interview is a conversation between two people. Encourage the interviewee to ask questions. A prepared and savvy job candidate will have relevant questions about the company and the position. The best interviews are productive conversations and an opportunity for both parties to gather valuable information.
3. Be Prepared
Sounds familiar, right? Being prepared usually refers to the job seeker's preparation for an interview. But as a manager, your role requires preparation, too. Read the applicant's resume before the interview to become familiar with how their skills and background are a fit for the position. Jot down job-related questions ahead of time to create a specific direction for the interview.
In this competitive economy, managers will typically interview several people for the same position ? be sure to stay consistent in your interview process. A recruiter can meet with managers ahead of time to pinpoint the key questions that will be asked during the interview process, ensuring that all candidates are assessed fairly and that their data can be compared consistently.
5. Behavioral Interviews
Behavioral interviews are becoming increasingly common for a number of reasons. First, the theory behind behavioral interviewing is that a person's past behavior is a good indicator of their future behavior in a particular job.
Secondly, behavioral interviews are excellent assessment tools because they give the interviewee the opportunity to speak about specific, relevant accomplishments.
When conducting a behavioral interview, be sure to ask for specifics, such as:
- When were you asked to implement change to a group that was resistant to change?
- How did you save a project from going over budget?
- How did you implement a new process to a team that had done a process the same way for years?
A Google search can help you discover more examples of behavioral interview questions.
Then, look for the following in the candidate:
- Did he or she bring the situation to a successful conclusion?
- Did he or she tell the story in a logical, articulate manner that made sense?
- Is he or she making eye contact when speaking?
Recipe for Best Employees
Disciplining yourself and your team to prep, stay focused, ask consistent questions, and relate candidates' past behaviors and successes to your business needs will net you the best employees most of the time.
Cynthia Wright has 18 years of recruitment experience in both corporate and agency environments and currently is a Senior Corporate Recruiter with a large New Hampshire hardware re-seller. Cynthia has interviewed and hired hundreds of candidates in Engineering, Finance, Marketing, Sales, and Information Technology. She has written extensively for The Telegraph (Nashua, NH), is a contributing career expert for My Job Wave/The Employment Times, wrote a syndicated column with Knight Ridder's News2Use, continues to publish her columns nationally, and is the author of the book 366 Tips for a Successful Job Search (Rosstrum Publishing). Cynthia holds a BS degree from Rutgers University and a Masters Certificate in Human Resources and Labor Relations from Southern New Hampshire University. She can be reached at TheWrightStuffNH (at) gmail.com.