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12 Tips To Interviewing For Identifying Good Talent

Candidate Interview Photo Sample
Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash

Interviewing is a job that requires preparation and coordination among various stakeholders. Unfortunately, though in many places that I have been to as part of my Consulting gigs, I have witnessed first-hand on the very many things that go wrong in the preparation and conduct of interviews. In this post, we shall focus on the things to do before, during and after the conduct of an interview to aid better decision making in identifying talent.

  1. Prepare. Know what you want. Do know the expectations of the role you are hiring for.
  2. Prepare Again. A candidate's CV is a window to his world. Fish for things you want from the CV against the job expectation. You may or may not have clarity at this point in time. But you mind keeps working behind the scenes, and this is important.
  3. Prepare Yet Again. Unless you are a recruiter yourself, you wouldn't be the first person to interview the candidate. So, see if you can collect the feedback from earlier interviewers. Why? So you don't overlap what was done in earlier rounds and may want to know the gaps that could or should be filled in. This way, you make the best use of your time with the potential hire, continuing where things were left off in the earlier rounds of candidate interview.
  4. Prepare One Last Time. Once you know the gaps and the areas you may want to double-check, prepare on a set of questions to ask. Frequent and odd silences during an interview would be perceived as company's lack of competence and professionalism.
  5. Start the interview by introducing yourself and the company you represent in a manner that eases the candidate's stress and making him want to join your team. Do not forget that you are an ambassador of your company and thus have the responsibility to present yourself well enough.
  6. Stop examining the candidate. Start exploring the candidate for his strengths and weaknesses. As bonus, you would even encounter red-flags in the candidature. The secret to exploring is having a conversation.
  7. Respect. It is not your choice but an obligation. Throughout the interview, irrespective of the candidate's race, ethnicity, background, or experience level, demonstrate your respect for him/her by being humble. You are duty bound to protect and build the brand of the company you represent.
  8. Do not forget to noting down key observations. Every observation counts. Usually this aids in sharing meaningful feedback about the candidate post the interview to the Talent Acquisition team.
  9. Be mindful of the interview time and try to complete it within time. If you had to extend it, don't drag it much and ensure that the candidate is okay with it.
  10. Just before you end the interview, make sure give room to take questions from candidate.
  11. End gracefully by being thankful to the candidate for his time spent exploring the open opportunity at your company.
  12. Immediately after an interview, re-visit your notes and construct meaningful feedback about the candidate that you can share to the Talent Acquisition team for use by the next round of interview.

Whether or not you hire the candidate; whether or not the hired candidate joins your company; the interview experience should be a win-win. There can't be second thoughts about it.