Improving Interview Skills: Advice from the Experts
To improve the caliber of talent you attract to your organization, you need to pay close attention to your hiring processes, in particular the interview. This is the first point of contact for many candidates between themselves and your company’s HR personnel. Therefore it is necessary for you tweak your interview process. Improving interview skills means doing more than changing the qualifications for the candidates you seek for your organization. Choose your interviewer carefully, and make sure they practice and use the following tips.
Qualities a Good Interviewer Should Possess
Interpersonal skills are a must when improving interview skills. The best interviewers are those who are able to communicate effectively and efficiently amongst themselves and with others. They know how to phrase questions to elicit answers from job candidates. Their interview questions are clear, easy to understand and direct. They don’t use deceptive interview tactics in an effort to trip up job candidates to disqualify them.
Exhibiting empathy can improve outcome. Good interviewers remember what it is like to be in the hot seat. They can recall at one time or another in their lives being interviewed and how it felt. Instead of resorting to every tactic in the book to make interviewees feel uncomfortable, they speak in a manner that helps to put them at ease. They also understand that even the most qualified of candidates sometimes get nervous during interviews. Candidates that are at ease during interviews are more likely to put their best foot forward and showcase just how much of an asset they can be to an organization.
Maintaining respect towards others, especially job candidates can go a long way. Interviewers and HR personnel who remember that job candidates are human beings just like themselves, are more capable of being respectful towards interviewees. They do not let their positions go to their heads or alter their behavior in an effort to feel or act superior. No matter who interviewers come in contact with, they remain transparent, well-mannered and respectful, especially during the interview process.
There are many other skills that your hiring personnel should have. Many of those skills can be gained from practical experience as an interviewer. Others can be obtained from evaluating each interview opportunity objectively to devise better ways to become a more effective interviewer.
Techniques That Should Be Employed
In addition to possessing certain skills, interviewers should be prepared to use a variety of tactics to effectively weed out poorly qualified job candidates.
Stay on legal ground. Although your interviewer may have control of the situation, there is no way of knowing what a candidate is going to say until they have spoken. Interviewers should be mentally prepared to expect any kind of response and able to respond appropriately without going astray into illegal territory. No matter what type of response is needed, one should not ever stoop to asking questions that may inadvertently discriminate against anyone.
Keep it professional. The interview process is one that is designed to enable HR personnel to determine whether a candidate is a good fit for their organization or not. It is not a time for the interviewer to develop a personal like or dislike for someone, nor is it the opportunity to ask inappropriate questions or to stray off topic in an effort to trip candidates up.
Be transparent. Encourage candidates to ask questions so they can learn more about the organization they are interested in becoming a part of. Interviewers should be prepared to provide clear and transparent responses to limit confusion while representing the organization in a positive manner. Candidates who feel their questions and concerns are being addressed instead of blown off are more likely to reciprocate transparency during the interview process.
Use the resume as an advantage. Interviewers can make the interview more productive and beneficial by using the candidate’s resume to form follow up questions that can better aid them in their hiring decisions. The resume is essentially an overview of the skills, qualities and credentials any candidate has. By adapting interview questions to get candidates to elaborate or provide more information where needed, interviewers can make more informed hiring decisions. This will also keep them from wasting valuable time and energy by asking questions that may be answered with a quick glance at the resume.
When it comes to improving interview skills, one should be willing to continuously evaluate their skills and techniques by assessing every aspect of their past interviews. Good interviewers are made, not born. Regardless of how much education or experience they may have, the most successful interviewers are those who remain focused on improving interview skills.
Improving interview skills is not an overnight process. It requires time, commitment and motivation to be the best interviewer possible. For more ways on how to become a better interviewer, Mighty Recruiter has many resources available to help.