Being an effective interviewer

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While most of us have always been dreading interviews and the anxiety associated with the possibility of rejection, believe it or not there are many occasions when it gets equally uncomfortable for the person on the other side of the table. Yes, we often assume that the interviewer is an extremely knowledgeable person who is just going to grill us through the interaction despite our best efforts to appear confident. Trust me, an interview is just like any other conversation and even the most extrovert person is not necessarily a good conversationalist.Being an HR professional myself, I know it comes with a lot of practice and the skills developed actually help in various other aspects of life as well. Here are 7 points to be considered by inexperienced hiring managers for conducting successful interviews –

  1. Know your audience: It is always wiser to go through the profiles of the candidates beforehand to understand their background. This create a sense of familiarity at your end and helps fill the awkward silence in the conversations.
  2. Create a conducive environment: One can create a comfortable environment only by matching the level of the interviewee in terms of the tone, energy, style and to a certain extent, the mood e.g a fresher from college is likely to be more innovative, energised and more aware of the latest updates while an experienced person might have more knowledge about his work but not about the latest trends . Bringing the subject to ease always leads to a successful interview. 
  1. Start with open ended questions: Start with the background of the person and let him/her explore the areas that he/she wants to elaborate on. This creates a sense of confidence in the subject which leads to a more fruitful conversation. It is rude to ask direct questions on marital status, religious preferences etc , hence it should be limited to the topics which have relevance to the job profile. 
  1. Be a good listener : Being a good listener helps you decide when and how to probe further. It also helps to decide when to move to the next topic without wasting any more time. 
  1. The technique of behavioral event interview : I have used this technique for years and find it very effective. It is about how you must focus on the “How” and not just the “What”. When you talk about particular events and how the task was handled, you don’t merely look at the output and evaluate the person. It gives you an overall idea about the behavioral competencies of the individual. 
  1. Appear curious : Engaging rightly in the conversation is very important. Appearing genuinely eager to understand the perspective of the interviewee establishes a sense of belonging.
  2. Take notes,always: Please do not rely on your memory, written notes are a must. They come really handy when you are evaluating multiple candidates. You can easily do a comparison and it is a more objective approach to the evaluation. Also, when the interviewer takes notes, the interviewee feels satisfied that his points are noted.

Hope these tips help you. Enjoy being on the other side of the table!

4 thoughts on “Being an effective interviewer

  1. Thanks for this list! Actually, as an introverted HR consultant (side hustle), I find that your first point helps my own confidence. If the interviewer seems uneasy or unsure, the interview will fail, as the interviewee at best also becomes insecure and at worst thinks the company is like that. Confidence in the interviewer, no matter how short-term, is always better. Knowing the resume beforehand, even a two minute scan, is my favorite trick that I know will help my personality. I’m then freed up to find social and body cues.

    Liked by 2 people

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