'I've been in the industry long enough and employed enough people in my time. I don't need your help with interviews.' Even the best of people2people's clients fall into the trap of not accepting advice when it comes to interviews and selecting the best talent for their teams. I, therefore, thought I would signpost a few of the most common mistakes made by interviewers.
Many line managers ask a different series of questions for each candidate they see. Although this is entirely appropriate, you should have a core group of questions from which comparisons can be made. These consistent questions can involve certain skills or technical knowledge, and I always recommend a competency or behaviourial based question to be included in the core set. These type of questions will get your prospective employee talking and imparting a story. Not only can you assess the behaviour you are keen to hire, but you can also see how they communicate a message.
As human beings, we all have built in prejudices. We like a particular sport or enjoy the culture of a particular country or have a favourite 'go to' brand. As human beings, we also communicate in a variety of ways, other than verbally. We are very quick to assess people, and, when we interview, we do exactly that! In my experience, many interviewers will meet someone, make an assessment within a matter of minutes and then ask questions to justify the way they feel. Making sure you have a core group of consistent questions, which may help in overcoming this (intended or otherwise) bias.
Finally, the timing of the interviews can also have a remarkable effect on the outcome of interviews. If you have a shortlist, make sure you interview these people with minimal gaps between their respective interviews. Making comparisons between candidates with a week's break between interviews leads to poorer decision making. The time of day can also affect results. A discussion with your recruiter or agency recruitment consultant can really help. Consider that the prospective employee may be on a lunch break or may have taken time off to attend the interview. They may have travelled a long distance. When scheduling your interviews, you may think that back to back interviews will be the most efficient use of your time. But if you do not allow enough time to complete an interview satisfactorily or have the time to consider interviewees' merits, you may not be able to make an effective decision. Remember that the interviewees are also making an assessment of you. If you are late, rushed or ill prepared, they may not even accept a job offer form you, even though you think they are brilliant. Interviewing is an art. Human beings are unpredictable, and you cannot recruit by numbers, so please ask for and take advice from your recruiters when going into an interview. You may be surprised by the improved outcomes. Happy recruiting.