Interviewing — 5 Ways to Take it From Good to Great

1. Make it About Them
Making people feel important is the single most important thing you can do to make an impression on anyone, anywhere, any time. By showing sincere interest in your candidate you are sending a  strong signal to them that they matter, and that you appreciate they are showing interest in your company.

WIIFM What’s  In It For Me?  During early interviewing stages you and the candidate want to get to know each other as quickly as possible, you to determine if the candidate is a right fit, and the candidate to learn more about the job and whether they’ll like working for your company. And if they do, they’ll then want to know as quickly as possible if you think they’re a serious candidate.

2. Prepare
Asking questions – and preparing in advance the questions you want to ask – is important so you can get to know everything you need to know about your candidates’ ambition, skills, past behaviours and competencies for the job, again as quickly as possible. Here are some great openers:

  • Your job looks interesting. Can you tell me what made you want to join this company?
  • You have an impressive track record (background) in ___. What keeps you interested in this field of work?
  • You’ve been in your job for quite some time. What is it today that gives you the most satisfaction in your work?

3. Who’s Doing all the Talking?
Is it YOU? If you’re talking more than 30% you’re talking too much. No exceptions to this rule.

4. Right Fit or Personal Preference?
Short-listing People Most Like Ourselves is something we’re all guilty of in our management careers at one time or another. As humans we’re naturally attracted to the people who share similar values, ethics, humour, hobbies, sports, fashion sense or whatever. But these are not in themselves good enough reasons to consider someone a strong candidate for the workplace.

What to do? When you find yourself ‘engaged or attracted to a candidate for what could be more personal than business reasons, a)  know that it’s perfectly okay, and b) immediately follow your ‘excitement’ up by getting a few other opinions. Add competency profiling and skill assessments to gain an objective and fact-based perspective on your potential new hire’s skills, abilities, behaviours and attitude. This will give you the assurance that it’s not your candidate’s personality, but solid fact-based decision-making instead that is leading you to your next right hire.

5. Communicate Communicate Communicate
Your first date was awesome. You’ve met with a sensational candidate, and you’re pretty sure they like what you and your company have to offer. Now what? This is when it’s critical to keep the communication lines open, the connection moving forward.  We’ve all experienced the disappointment at one time or another when someone said they were going to call, and then they didn’t. Don’t let that happen to your star candidates. If your hiring plans get stalled, or you’re unable to get stakeholders engaged, just send a quick email to reassure the candidate and let them know you are still (very) interested.

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