If you’ve recently been promoted to hiring manager or Human Resources Manager, you may feel a little overwhelmed about how to conduct an interview. Even though your new position puts you in charge of interviewing candidates, remember that these candidates will be interviewing you as well. Most hiring managers are not trained on proper interviewing techniques or using formalized questions. While recruiters often know what to ask potential hires, this is because it’s their job and they practice it everyday.
Don’t lose sight of the fact that the interview process is meant to assess the essential job skills of the candidate. You want to use the opportunity to learn as much about the potential new hire as possible.
Here are five interviewing tips for hiring managers:
1. Let the candidate speak
If left unchecked, some hiring managers may spend the majority of the interview either talking about the company, the other employees or him or herself. Sit back and let the candidates speak since what they say will reveal a lot of information about his or her character not contained in the resume, such as whether they’re sharp, thoughtful, considerate and friendly. The University of Connecticut Human Resources department recommends you
follow the 80/20 rule, wherein you let the candidate speak 80 percent of the time.
2. Be prepared and consistent
The worst thing hiring managers can do is improvise the interview. If you go into each interview and try to wing it, you’re likely to ask some candidates one question and other candidates another question. This can create some glaring gaps and cause candidates to withhold pertinent information.
3. Ask the right questions
Cliche questions such as “Where do you see yourself in five years” or “What’s your biggest flaw” don’t provide an adequate measure of a candidate. Instead, walk the person through their employment history by asking specific questions about how he or she overcame an on-the-job obstacle. ITBusinessEdge recommended using the CAR approach: ask about a Challenge faced at a previous position, what Action the person took to resolve it and what the Result of that action achieved. If you really want to improve success, then each position will have clearly identified core competencies around which you can develop behavioral interview questions to more accurately determine the candidate’s alignment with the job based on previous experience.
4. Develop a scoring metric
One candidate might have a stronger skill set in one area but a lack of other abilities, while another potential new hire might have the opposite qualities. How do you choose between the two? Create a scoring metric with weights assigned to various critical criteria. You can then use this during the interview to keep track of how different traits stack up against each other.
5. Involve the rest of the staff
While Hiring Managers usually have the ultimate say, it is a good idea to get others involved. You can approach this tip several different ways. First, you can have the candidate actually interview with other members of the staff. Bring in the supervisor who the new hire would be working under to see if they make a connection. This tactic might uncover useful information about the interviewee you didn’t think to ask. Another way to approach this tip is to ask other employees their opinions. You might be surprised to learn the candidate was rude to the receptionist, or maybe the candidate bumped into a manager in the restroom and was exceedingly polite.
By keeping the interview focused on the interviewee, asking specific questions, scoring the results and involving the rest of the staff, you and can dramatically improve your hiring success, and the ultimate success of your team and company!