The key to selecting the right talent for your organization begins with conducting successful interviews with carefully chosen candidates. It’s crucial to understand each applicant’s background and accomplishments in order to determine whether they would be a positive addition to your team. While the interviewee should do roughly 80% of the talking during the interview, as the hiring manager, it’s vitally important that you ask the right questions. Carefully crafted questions elicit the critical information you need in making the best hiring decision.

Here are a few tips to ensure you are gaining the most value from each interview:

Make a good impression with the candidate. Be prepared, be on time and communicate after the interview. While it’s important for the candidate to make a good first impression, it’s equally as important that the interviewer make a strong first impression that reflects positively on the organization.

Involve the appropriate parties in the interview process. Engage a relevant team of individuals so the right questions are asked, varying perspectives are presented and your company is in a position to hire the right talent for the role.

Instead of asking about hypothetical situations, ask questions that give you information about the candidate’s accomplishments. This allows the candidate to provide specific examples of functions they have performed. “Describe a situation in which you were able to relay your idea despite receiving initial push back” is an example of a question designed to elicit a specific and factual answer.

Ask references the right questions. Be sure to gain real, valuable references by asking specific questions related to the keys to success for the position. While several candidates may be qualified for a position, it’s important to determine which one possesses the necessary skills to flourish in the position. Be specific when you query references: “Tell me how Steve handled giving feedback on someone’s ideas.”

In my role as an executive recruiter, I work with many hiring managers and coach them through the executive search process, including the interview, a pivotal juncture in the job search process.

If you have questions on successful interviewing or additional tips to offer, I invite you to connect with me.

This is the third post of a three-part series that takes an in-depth look into the interview process. Please follow the links below to read the rest of the series.

The Resume: Part One of the Interview
Three Tips to Help You Succeed in an Interview


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