You got me at “Hello”!

• The Art of Interviewing

01/08/2017


You got me at “Hello”!

In the ever-increasing quest for skills and talent it’s becoming vital that potential employers know how to engage with potential employees. You can usually tell fairly quickly if you have a candidate sitting in front of you that could really make a difference to your organisation (and likewise tell just as quickly when they won’t!)

So here are a few pointers to ensure a successful hire:

  • Be prepared! – make sure you have a good look through the CV prior to the interview, if you have time, check out their linkedin profile and speak to members of your recruitment team who may have already had a conversation with the candidate. Make some notes, with a focus on questions that you want answering.

  • Create an initial rapport with the candidate – A smile, a handshake and a bit of casual conversation will help relax the job candidate and make them much more comfortable. This can only help the interview process because you want the candidate to open up and answer your questions. If you don’t take some time to make them feel comfortable speaking with you, the candidate may be too nervous and keep their answers guarded and short.

  • Take notes – You may think that you’ll remember everything the candidate has told you – especially if their answers are impressive. However, the more candidates you interview, the harder it is going to be to keep track of who said what. Take simple notes after the candidate answers each question (you don’t want to be scribbling away while they are speaking).

  • Listen carefully to the candidate’s answers – A common mistake when interviewing candidates is to lose focus on what the candidate is saying. Avoid thinking about what the next question is going to be while the candidate is answering you, and try not to judge what they are saying until after the interview ends.

  • Ask open-ended questions – Make sure your questions aren’t “yes” or “no” questions. Otherwise, you’ll have nothing to distinguish one candidate from another. Make sure your questions are open-ended so that you can create an actual dialogue.

  • Don’t be afraid to deviate from the script – If you are asking open-ended questions, then you’ll probably want to ask a few follow up questions every once in a while that you hadn’t written down beforehand. There’s nothing wrong with asking a few questions that you come up with on the fly. It usually means that the interview is going well and that the candidate has peaked your interest.

  • Continue to build rapport – as the interview goes on ensure that you focus on building a good rapport. Talk about personal interests and find common ground, keep a relaxed atmosphere and focus on making it an enjoyable experience.

  • Be professional and patient – Be patient with responses – some people are nervous in interviews, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be excellent employees. You should also make sure to appear professional to them. If appropriate show them around the organisation and conduct the interview in a clean & tidy space. Remember, the candidate is evaluating you and the company just as much as you are evaluating them.

  • Promote your organisation – really think about the aspects of your organisation and team that this candidate would enjoy and be interested in and focus on all the positive aspects of working in the environment. Make a great impression so they’ll want to accept a potential job offer from you.