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The Dirty Little Secrets of Interviewing

The Dirty Little Secrets of Interviewing

  1. Give yourself 5-10 mins to review a resume before the interview.
    • This will allow you to formulate some questions for the candidate and get yourself in the “mode” for interviewing. Also, if you go into an interview unprepared, your candidate may not feel as if you “care” about them.
  2. Perform the interview in a quiet place, free from distractions.
    • If you are in your office, place your phone on Do Not Disturb (Remember to turn it off when you are complete) and close your door. If you aren’t comfortable closing your door, leave it open just a crack. This will help focus both you and the candidate and eliminate outside distractions. If you are in a room that has windows, face the candidate away from the window where they could be easily distracted.
  3. Introductions.
    • Make the candidate feel comfortable and relaxed during introductions.  Sometimes just a smile and a hand shake or little comment about the weather can set the right mood.
    • A relaxed candidate may allow for more honest responses to your questions and give you a better read on their personality.  Typically starting with a little bit of information about your company and culture could help lighten the air before diving into their resume.
  4. What is the best prediction of future behavior? Past behavior. 
    • So why are we still using situational questions in our interviews??? Let’s switch it up to behavioral. What’s the difference? See below:
      • What would you do if a customer began screaming at your because they wanted to return a defective product?
      • Tell me about a time when you dealt with a difficult customer?
    • The difference is one asks the candidate to make assumptions about what they would do, when the second questions requires them to draw upon a previous experience and their reaction to that particular situation.
  5. Steer the conversation.
    • Remember, you are in control of the interview, not the candidate. While structured interviews are best, it can often disrupt the flow of an interview. I suggest taking your list of questions and using them as the conversation allows. One question made lead into a different topic in which you have questions, so steer the conversation as best as you can. This can be difficult at first and make take some practice.  If a candidate begins to take over or go off into a tangent, don’t be afraid to redirect. You don’t want to waste your time or the candidate’s time.
  6. Not a good fit
    • Ever had that interview where you almost know immediately it’s not going to be a good fit? Yeah, me too. Not the most fun, but you have to remember that this individual took time out of their day to interview with you, so be polite, allow an “appropriate amount” of time to pass before ending the interview. Candidate experience is key to maintaining your company’s reputation. If the candidate has a bad experience, they will definitely let others know and may tarnish your reputation.
  7. Inform the candidate of the next steps.
    • Remember when you were looking for a job? Didn’t the waiting kill you? Wondering if you were going to hear from a prospective employer? Well, don’t let that happen to your candidate. Let the candidate know your process. Let them know if you have other interviews and when they should expect to hear from you either way.
  8. Close the interview
    • Ask the candidate if they have any other questions, thank them for their time. Also take 5 minutes after to write down any additional notes you may need.
  9.  Follow-up   The 2nd most common complaint we hear from the candidates regarding the interview process is always the lack of finalization.  They would typically prefer to learn quickly that they weren’t chosen for the next round or the position rather than endure the agonizing wait that could extend for weeks until they see the notice that the company is introducing their new employee.  (The most common complaint is lack of response to their initial resume.)

Written by Recruiter, Erin Stevens with Talis Group.


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