‘It’s the start of a New Year, and the time when employers often think about the skills they need to add to their team for the year ahead. If you are thinking of recruiting, remember it’s just as important for you to brush up on your interview skills as it is for the jobseekers who will apply to your role.
After all, good interview technique is not just the candidate’s responsibility. Managers also need to develop their skills in order to conduct an interview fairly, thoroughly, consistently and competently so that they make a sound decision.
It’s also worth considering that ineptly handled interviews send a damaging message about what it’s like to work at your organisation, but a competent and objective recruitment process can be so powerful that even unsuccessful candidates recommend the organisation to others.
Here’s our advice on how to upskill your interview technique:
• Make it human: Avoid scripts, which are likely to make for a stilted and unnatural interview and don’t allow you to explore areas of real interest. A list of guiding questions is important, but it should be used to steer you through the interview rather than as a cumbersome, form-filling exercise.
• Prepare: Think about the competencies most relevant to the role and the questions that will be most valuable to ask so that you can benchmark candidates against one another.
• Build rapport: Put your candidate at ease, break down any barriers and make sure you engage in active listening in order to help them put their best foot forward.
Ask a few gentle introductory questions to get the candidate warmed up, and give them enough time to answer each one.
• Look beyond technical skills: Understand your organisation’s unique values, culture and the type of person who will be aligned to them. Devise questions to determine a candidate’s cultural fit. If you get this wrong, your new hire could have a detrimental impact on internal culture and team morale.
• Meet legal requirements: Know what you can and can’t ask in an interview. Seek out the advice of a professional if you need to in order to adhere to legal requirements. Do not open yourself up to accusations of discrimination.
• Enjoy it: This process gives you an insight into someone else’s world and the opportunity to make a positive difference to their life.This issue is explored further in the latest Hays Journal, available at www.hays-journal.com.