15th September, 2015
6 Quick and Effective Tips to Interview More Effectively
By Anthony Demeca
Hiring your next great staff member is the most important thing you can do for your business.
Think about the people in your team. Go on, do it right now. In your head list the great employees. What happens if they leave? You would almost be at a standstill taking backwards steps to recover the loss.
Now, list the ones who if left tomorrow you’d almost be better off.
How much easier would your day be, your life be and how much more successful would your business be if you were surround by great talent? How much stronger would the business you are building be if the foundation was solid?
The first step is to make sure you bring the right people into the team. Because process is a good thing but great people are the only assets that will change your business for the better.
Before you read on maybe let those great team members you listed earlier know they are doing a fantastic job. Never underestimate the power of an unsolicited pat on the back.
So, here are 6 quick and effective tips you can use when interviewing potential superstars.
1 – Remember that interviews are nerve racking.
Candidates don’t always shine in an interview. Especially candidates who aren’t customer facing or candidates who are on the junior end of the experience spectrum. Nervousness and an inability to articulate exactly why they a right for the job can often be a sign of incompetence or it can be a sign of a lack of confidence when put under the spotlight. In over 10 years of recruitment experience I have met some outstanding candidates who do every part of their role really well (except for interviewing). So give people the chance to warm up and feel at ease. Small talk and some easy questions to start the interview will help to let their true self shine. Don’t miss out on a fantastic, loyal and highly skilled candidate because they struggle to sell themselves. Especially for roles that have been deemed “back office”
2 – Beware of the articulate underachiever.
On the flip side of point one, don’t let charisma and great presentation skills blind you from focusing on competencies, experience and genuine skill set. I’ve seen this many times where candidates present exceptionally well and then when pressed in a behavioral interview situation they struggle to present specific examples and figures around past experience.
3 – Find the good in the bad
Every candidate will have positive and negative aspects to their background. We have all had great roles and conversely we have roles we wish we never took. Try not to focus on one good or bad experience but look at the experience as a full story. Keep in mind that a lot of very successful people will tell you that you need to fail before you succeed. Sometimes candidates who have failures in their past have learnt more than a candidate who has done it easy. The question is what did they learn from the experience.
4 – Let them do some interviewing.
An engaged candidate is a candidate who asks questions. This shows a genuine interest in the role. That being said I can’t tell you how many times candidates (often more junior candidates) ask really mundane questions. You can see they have put no thought into the role and are simply asking questions for the appearance of asking a question and not because they want the answer. Keep an ear out for the type of question they are asking and how they are recording the information. A well thought out, articulate question and following discussion is often a window into a candidates true nature.
5 – Assessing the interview is part of the interview
The interview isn’t over when the candidate leaves. Immediately after the interview take some time out to assess what you thought and what you learned from the interview. Ask yourself what you liked and what you didn’t like. Weigh these things up. If they are concrete facts then start to form your opinion. If the positives and negatives are based on “Gut feel”, don’t disregard them but don’t put too much weight on them. Use reference checks and second interviews to alleviate your concerns or to cement your positive assumptions. The longer you hold off through the day to think about the interview in detail, the more you will allow gut feel to come into play. Remember, can you articulate the good and bad points of an interview with facts?
6 – Don’t simply hire a job title.
Almost every time my clients go to market they are looking for a personality wrapped in a job title. Hiring candidates who have held similar job titles is a good starting point, but don’t rule out candidates who have the skills set, passion and all-round ability to move into the role and make a positive impact. Be it a step up, sideways step or a candidate from a totally different pool. Learning how to spot transferable skills and the ability to cultivate those candidates can bring innovation through new ideas and experiences to your team. It can also dramatically increase your candidate options and give you an edge over competitors. Focus on core competencies not simply job titles. Job titles often mean the candidate will understand the industry jargon and does not guarantee a successful employee.
At MATCH Executive we have a combined 25 year’s experience in candidate search and vaccine for herpes selection. For a quick no obligation discussion on how to structure your interview or search process and for help on how to master the above 6 tips please feel free to contact us on 03 9529 8944.
We can assist you in:
• Understanding the role and competencies required.
• Preparing to interview your candidates
• Behavioral interviewing and other interviewing techniques
• Candidate assessment and ranking.
Join us next week when we will discuss some steps you can take to master these tips.