Interviewing is believed to be a skill but it’s more of an art form. On the surface, recruitment may seem like a simple job of hiring but it is, in fact, an art that involves the execution of clever techniques which result in the best hires that directly impact RoI.
In this blog about interviewing techniques for interviewers, we will be discussing some of the fundamental to expert level interviewing strategies that are often overseen.
Some of the strategies mentioned may take time to learn, and sometimes even unlearn your current practices so stick around until the end to learn all of it.
Probably one of the best interview techniques experienced recruiters follow, listing two sets of questions before every interview is important. One set of questions must be about the job opening itself and the other is particularly pertinent to the candidate.
Begin by jotting down the key responsibilities of the available position and compiling knowledgeable questions related to these responsibilities. During this process, it is important to reach out to the hiring manager who is recruiting for this particular position and extract crucial information for the questionnaire.
Secondly, gather information about the applicant and make a list of questions. Follow the below pointers during this process.
Furthermore, make sure to thoroughly review the candidate’s CV and compile questions based on it which will show that you’ve personally invested time, and the role is important for the company.
One of the most effective interview techniques even to this date is knowing the candidate thoroughly. Taking a little time to learn about the candidate shows that you are hiring for an important position and ensures productivity during the interview.
Also, remember that the resume is carefully written to please the recruiter. Go the extra mile and find the candidate’s LinkedIn account, Instagram, Twitter, and others. If the profiles are public, glance through the feed and grasp the energy of the candidate, her ideologies, interests, and others, which will surely help break the ice, or even more.
Remember that you are the first person the candidate meets so you’re practically representing the company. If this representation goes right, the candidate will have the right regards for you even if she doesn’t make the cut. Better yet, if you leave a good impression on the candidate, she could be a part of your candidate pool to pick from in the future.
Another good interview technique is keeping the back & forth conversational. If you conduct interviews frequently or are going by the book, you may be a creature of habit and make the interview seem like an “interview”. A skillful recruiter makes the candidate comfortable right of the bat, and this immediately brings the best out of them.
From the moment of eye contact, welcome the candidate with a smile, make her comfortable, treat her well, and start a conversation, not an interview.
In the first few minutes, gauge the energy of the candidate, try to match it, and build a rapport. Allow enough time for the candidate to loosen up and settle down. You may take this ice-breaking few minutes to talk about the weather or the traffic, and put an end to the small talk by offering a glass of water.
Starting with lighter questions, you may begin the interview discussed above.
Upon completion of asking the questions, sweeten the pot for the candidate by mentioning special perks offered at your office. It may be a decked-out breakout area, fitness center, vacation allowances, and others.
The whole idea is to not only get the most out of the candidate but receive the most out of as well, so allow them to speak freely, and as much as they want to.
Now that you have a basic camaraderie with the candidate, explain how the rest of the interview will transpire. Give the candidate a clear picture (even if you already know she won’t be hired) of the company’s hiring process and the upcoming steps to look forward to. A clear explanation is essential especially if you have a long hiring process and multiple rounds.
Details like when would the candidate be contacted, will she receive an email or a phone call, and how long it usually takes for the remainder of the process are some of the things you must clarify.
If you have conducted more than a few interviews, you may have realized that you most likely miss some points the candidates are speaking about. Despite how fast you write, or how good you are at multitasking, your brain may undermine a crucial point mentioned by the candidate which could be detrimental for both parties.
A general rule of thumb and a practice experienced recruiters undertake is asking a colleague or a fellow HR to take note instead. This way, the candidate knows that she has your undivided attention.
It is a popular notion that recruiters observe every move a candidate makes carefully. This may be true to a good extent but most recruiters are either reading body language wrong, noticing a couple of obvious movements, or observing nothing at all.
As HR, it is your duty to learn to read body language as it sometimes speaks more than words. Take the time to learn body language reading from the internet as there are oodles of information available for free.
Most candidates practice sitting straight, giving mock interviews in front of mirrors, and sometimes even mind their body language but leaning forward to exude interest, smiling genuinely, taking pauses to think before speaking happens naturally, and can’t be practiced.
So investing time (or even money) in learning how to read body language is a great investment indeed.
If you are hiring for multiple similar roles, group interviews can come in handy. Predominantly utilized during hiring freshers and in voice process-related jobs, group interviews showcase a lot more than you think.
In a group situation, you get to observe if a candidate is knowledgeable, gauge her attitude, courteousness, if she can hold her own, and even how she will fit the existing team.
By simply putting multiple candidates in a big room and giving them a pertinent topic to talk about, asking them to solve a riddle, discuss the nuances of the job description, a recruiter can easily decipher who qualifies for the next round and who doesn’t.
Whilst undertaking this, ensure to have multiple recruiters or fellow HR with you and each one may notice a different set of candidates at any given time.
Group interviews may also be a great idea to filter the ordinary from the extraordinary so get creative in this process.
Human beings are complex creatures. Unless you have spent years of quality time with somebody, it is hard to truly know them. Likewise, a candidate often unravels herself during and after the interview so it’s extremely important to follow up.
Regardless of whether the candidate made the cut or not, a recruiter’s job, in the least, is to inform her about the facts. Write a formal & hearty email to the candidate if she didn’t make it and even inform if she’s been added to the candidate pool for future purposes. It gives a great deal of confidence to hear that you almost made it, even if you didn’t, and sometimes that is all a candidate needs.
If the candidate is shortlisted, do not hesitate to call her personally to give the good news and make sure to inform the proceedings that follow.
Lately, many recruiters do not inform candidates if they made it or not, and sometimes keep them waiting for weeks even if they did, and this should change.
The steps to follow may be tedious & meticulous but every single one of them works like a charm. As a recruiter, you get to meet people with various personalities and upbringings. With time & experience, you will learn how to deal with them all and this will be your biggest professional growth. Meanwhile, making mistakes as a recruiter is easy so stay on your toes to unlearn & learn on the go.