So why does it have to be that way? Why do people dread it so much? Through past experiences? Through a perceived notion that it will NOT be fun?
True, there are many things you need to do to prepare for an interview and they may seem tedious but I view them like I view preparations to a party I am throwing, with the end result of having a good time with people. Hey, you are looking to hire someone you will be working with for at least eight hours a day, that’s exciting!
I will go into detail, in a future blog, on all the preparations I do prior to starting to bring people in to interview. This includes job descriptions, job ads, networking, job sites, screening questions, phone interviewing, and more.
This blog is to outline some basic things to think about once you have scheduled someone to come in to the office to interview.
Each company, each office, even each team may have their own approach to interviewing but for me these are the things that work and I have learned these over 20 years of interviewing:
1) Know what doing this role well looks like - what I mean by this is what attributes, what skills, what competencies need to be done well in order for this person to do this job really well and focus on open-ended non-leading questions that help you understand their thought process as well as their behavior doing these tasks through their career. Listen to their answers to hear if they fit the attributes of doing the role really well.
2) What type of interview process - I prefer the tandem interview process because two people are much better than one. Those two people will hear two different answers as well as will catch something in an answer and ask a follow-up question that I might have missed. It has proven time and time again that it is much more effective than one on one interviews.
3) Who will be part of the interview - I look for people who have interviewed for some time and who are really good at doing the skills and tasks being discussed for the role. For example, if part of the role you are looking to fill is to have great project management skills then I would include a manager or sr. project manager who handles projects daily. They don’t even need to be in the same department. I could ask the Events Manager to interview because no one project manages better than a great Events Manager. Of course the manager should interview as should co-workers who will be working closely with the person, but I always have people outside of the team interview, as well, to get a more well-rounded understanding of how the person being interviewed will perform in the role.
4) Interviewer’s Meeting - One thing is those who have interviewed don’t talk about the interview with others unless they would like someone else to focus on one area that they still feel is unclear. Otherwise discussions about the applicant are not done until the entire interview team meets together. Once the applicant has left meet at once as a team and talk openly about how people feel and why they feel that way. Everyone needs to give examples. When you are scheduling interviews always be sure the people interviewing can meet later that day to be at the Interviewers’ Meeting. If they can’t, find someone else or schedule the interview when everyone can meet immediately after to discuss the applicant.
5) Have fun! Again, you are getting paid to sit down and meet new people. How cool is that! Make every person who is coming in to interview feel welcome. When they arrive, be ready. There is nothing worse than making an interviewee wait. Give the person a tour of the office and offer him or her a drink and remind them who they will be meeting and how long the interview process should be. If you are not part of the first tandem interviewing team, let him or her know who that will be. Take time on the office tour, give it a gentle pace, giving the interviewee time to relax and gather their composure. Also give them your business card so they won’t forget who is who. Just remember how you felt during your last interview or your last first date. And after the interview if you welcomed them, it might be nice if you walk them out, as well, thanking them for all of their time and wish them a good day.
Now doesn’t that sound like fun!