Recruitment and HR Blog
How well prepared are your managers for interviewing?
A recent study by Reed discovered that 59% of respondents wished they had posed different interview questions to applicants. 47% of managers worried about asking candidates the right questions. And this contributed to broader regrets about hiring decisions that were made.
Making a poor hiring decision is frustrating, time consuming and costly. In some cases, it might be the consequence of the candidate misleading the hiring managers. Perhaps there were a few little white lies on their CV, or they turned out not to be the person they portrayed at interview.
But it’s also possible that the interview process was not as effective as it could have been. How well prepared were the managers who were interviewing? It’s so important that they are given the right support and advice ahead of holding interviews to make sure they know how to get the best from each candidate so they can identify the real stars. So here are some tips that you might like to share with your managers to help them develop their approach to interviews.
Interviewing tips for managers
Prepare, prepare, prepare!
We remind applicants to be prepared, but every interviewer needs to put the work in up front into their preparation too. Draft questions carefully to make sure you’re really exploring the essential skills needed to be successful in the role. And do your research; depending on the type of role, consider spending some time looking into the applicant’s background. Does their LinkedIn profile match their CV? If not, why not? Identify any specific points that you would like to know more about when you meet.
What’s the interview environment like?
Consider the set up in the interview room: atmosphere, temperature, surroundings, plus any possible distractions. Remember you’re interviewing that person because you want them to show you what they can do. People will do that best in an environment where they’re comfortable. Think about what their first impressions are likely to be as they arrive too – is the atmosphere welcoming and will it help them feel as calm as possible and able to be at their best?
Consider your questioning technique
Use competency-based interviews with a variety of open, probing and closed questions as appropriate, seeking examples to back up bold statements. People can often say what they think interviewers want to hear - which isn’t helpful. You need candidates who can answer your questions by providing examples and ideally applying these to your company or the role when doing so.
Be ready to ask follow-up questions
Good applicants will have prepared answers to the most common interview questions. Asking a follow up question nudges them to provide a more in-depth answer which can be more revealing. Asking a thoughtful follow up question also shows them that you are listening and interested in what they’re telling you.
Have an interview panel
We’d always encourage at least two people to make up the interview panel if not more. It makes for a more transparent and fair interviewing process, and also removes some of the burden of making the decision alone. Interviewing with a colleague or two will offer different perspectives, as it’s likely they will notice things about the applicant and their responses that you miss and vice versa. It will provide you with an opportunity for discussion afterwards and the chance to develop a more rounded opinion of a person.
Be aware of non-verbal cues
There’s no exact science to reading another person’s body language but being able to recognise positive and negative attributes can be useful. A person’s body language including posture, expression, and attitude can provide useful insights. But remember, it’s not only the candidate’s body language that you need to be aware of. Be mindful of your own too – and what that could be saying to the candidate.
It’s never a good idea to make an offer for the sake of filling a role. If you haven’t found the right person, start again. It can be time consuming and frustrating but hiring the wrong person will only lead you back to the beginning anyway - and with a lot of extra expense.