Better Interviewing – Tips for Managers

Many managers are given the responsibility for interviewing new people when their company is looking to expand their team, or because they have to replace someone who is leaving. For managers who do not do this regularly it can be a daunting process. Here are some recruitment training tips to help you interview better.

Recruitment, in particular the selection interview, should be considered as the first step in creating a high performing team. Done well it will attract and identify a candidate who will not only suit the job role but will also fit the company culture. Such a candidate is far more likely to succeed and thrive in the position. Companies with effective recruitment interviewing processes tend to have lower staff turnover and happier, more productive teams.

All effective recruitment interviewing starts with good preparation – and a key part of this preparation is for you to decide exactly what type of candidate you are looking for. A starting point is the job description. However, an often overlooked part of preparing for interviewing is to consider the culture and values of your business. A candidate’s energy, commitment and passion need to fit with your organisation’s culture and values. Therefore, in the selection interview you will need to find ways to identify whether a candidate is a good or a poor cultural fit. This is best achieved by making the interview an informal, relaxed affair as this is far more likely to give you an honest view of the candidate’s personality.

It is also important to be realistic about the role to be filled and your expectations. It is easy to forget that people can be taught skills and they can gain experience over time. As part of your recruitment preparation identify the “must have” skills and experience from the “nice to have” skills and experience for the job role you are recruiting for.

It is useful to prepare some questions in advance. Whilst you don’t want to interview as if you are reading from a script, pre-prepared questions ensure you remember to ask all candidates the same questions about important strengths and competencies. In the interview itself you may need to ask follow-up questions in order to gain a more rounded view of the candidate. So do not be afraid to probe a candidate’s initial response to your pre-prepared questions by asking them follow-up questions.

Finally, we should never forget that interviewing is a two-way process – with candidates making judgements about whether they want to join you and your company. This being the case, it is important that your behaviour accurately reflects the values and organisational culture during the interview. Be polite and courteous at all times, even if you have decided that the candidate is not suitable for the position. You want to leave them with a good impression of you and your company, irrespective of whether they will be joining you or not.