In the work of avoiding costly bad hires, hiring managers must approach each candidate carefully and conscientiously. There are interview methods and techniques that will be wise to practice whether you’re new or experienced. Building off of the tips listed in Part One of this series, we’ll jump right in to discussing even more things you can do to make sure your interview process uncovers the best candidate(s) for any position.
- Get used to awkward silences. A common mistake among new interviewers is to prattle. Interviews can be awkward or intimidating on both sides of the equation, and the temptation to fill those awkward silences will be strong. Resist it. If you shift the responsibility of talking to the candidate, you’ll eventually start uncovering useful details about their personality, qualifications, and communication skills. Imagine you’re a therapist. Ask your prepared questions, and then wait for the answers, and keep waiting until you’re satisfied they’ve said all they can say about the topic. Remember: this isn’t a conversation; it’s an interview.
- Be prepared! In Part One, one of the tips was to ask the same questions of every applicant so that you can more easily compare their answers. This means preparing the list of questions beforehand. Get yourself out of the mindset that this is a conversation, where “winging” your questions might be acceptable. In an interview, it’s not.
- Pay attention to your phrasing. In a conversation, “Tell me about yourself,” is a fantastic ice breaker and the resulting answer will be general and erratic because the statement itself is general. Phrase your questions to be specific and targeted: “Take everything you’ve learned about the role and the company and tell me how you feel you’d be able to positively contribute.”
Stay tuned for the next installment in this series, and remember, no hiring process is complete without a thorough background check.