Too many companies out there believe the interview is only about assessing the candidate and do not appreciate that the person sitting opposite them is also trying to work out if this is the company for them.
In an increasingly talent short market it is the companies that have slick interview processes, that both challenge and impress the candidates, that demonstrates that this is the job, team and culture for them that stands the best chance of hiring the right candidate.
So how do you make sure that, in an interview, you have assessed but also impressed?
- Don’t keep the candidate waiting, not even for a few minutes. No matter how busy you are, make sure you are prompt and give the interview your full attention. Chances are you are very busy because you are under-staffed, so make hiring your top priority!
- Make sure your questions have structure and a purpose. We have all heard the weird and wonderful questions management consultancies ask but they have developed them for a reason, how does “how many baked beans can you fit in a 747?” help you assess if this is the right hire for you? Think about what you want to know, which aspect of their career, personality, motivators etc do you want to understand more about, and then develop questions that will help you assess this.
- Maintain the same structure and approach with each candidate and you will be able to assess like for like, making it easier for you to identify the most suitable candidate for you.
- Don’t allow the candidates to get away with broad open answers, digging deeper will both challenge them and make them feel like they have earned the 2nd interview and job offer. It will also make it clear who has read about it in a book and who has ground out a result on their own.
- Make sure you give the candidate a chance to ask you questions. These will usually be relevant to their own priorities and will tell you a lot about the individual, as well as giving you the opportunity to promote the part of your business which is going to appeal to them. It might be career development and training, it might be money, culture or the opportunity to work from home, regardless, let the candidate lead you on what to discuss rather than making any assumptions.
Ultimately, appreciate that the interview is a two-way street, you want to impress and be impressed. Interview the candidate based on your own culture, values and requirements and the right candidate will naturally stand out and, perhaps more importantly, will be excited to join your team.