Your candidates know how to interview… Do you?

Published on: December 2019

Written by: Lynn Collins and Vivian Chou

Job interviews are commonplace in our everyday lives.

Right at this very moment, there are an unimaginable number of interviews taking place around the world. But interviews aren’t useful if they aren’t conducted correctly. In fact, one in five hires are considered to be bad decisions after the fact. Hiring less-than-great candidates often occurs because inexperienced hiring managers go with their gut feeling rather than approaching interviews with a deep understanding of how to conduct a meaningful one.

The typical format is familiar. An interviewer asks the candidate questions, receiving responses that range from rehearsed and professional to confessional and personal. Prepared candidates use resources to help them “ace” the job interview, such as making small talk, mirroring the interviewer’s body language, finding something in common with them, or showing confidence while complimenting the interviewer and organization. Candidates are trained to say what they think interviewers want to hear.

Hiring managers need training to prepare for these tactics and ensure that they consistently select the best person for the job. By providing managers with opportunities to learn and practice interviewing in a highly realistic environment, they get to experience the impact of their hiring decisions and become “great” more quickly.

You might be thinking – really? Is training really necessary to conduct an interview? The reality is, job interviews are here to stay. Even though companies are experimenting with AI techniques to hire, managers still want to meet their future team members instead of a hiring sight unseen. 69% of companies feel the interview process has the biggest impact on the quality of a new hire, and companies without a good candidate selection process are five times more likely to make a bad hire.

Why is conducting a great interview so important?

Managers who conduct great interviews signal the ability to manage their team well, communicate, and treat direct reports professionally. Great interviews also sell the company story, give the candidate a realistic understanding of the role, generate enthusiasm for the position and pull out the right information about skills and abilities. When applied consistently across candidates, interviews will result in informed hiring decisions.

However, a poorly conducted interview can leave a bad impression on candidates. Candidates might meet unprepared hiring managers, experience inconsistency in the process, hear repetitive questions between interviews, lack insight into the company vision, or fail to foresee what the actual role will look and feel like.

How do you ensure you have great hiring mangers?

Providing managers with the right training ensures that they can be great. The good news is, training managers to properly conduct a job interview is a straightforward and impactful process. Managers need to practice asking great questions, probing, evaluating capabilities and making selection decisions.

Great hiring managers are considerate of the candidate’s experience during the interview and move quickly to make offers, all while selecting the right talent. They know that the market is candidate-centered and those who don’t approach the interview process from that viewpoint are detrimental to the company. Training, especially in a highly contextual environment, is critical for ensuring your hiring managers are great.

Human capital is critical for organizations to maintain a competitive edge. Bringing in great talent will help both organizations and their employees to thrive in our increasingly complex and changing world of work.