Tell Me About a Time…Bringing Your Interviewing Game to the Next Level



The resumes are in, the interviews scheduled, and you print up the same set of behavioral interview questions you’ve been asking for the last 5 years. But know, your candidates are prepared, they’ve researched, prepped, Googled responses to every interview question imaginable.  You need to put in the same amount of preparation, your goal is to hire the BEST people, so your interview game needs to be next level.

Know more about the job than just the KSA’s – Experience, qualifications, education and credentials are important.  Every employee solves at least one critical business need, can you identify what that is?  What are the common attributes of your best employees?  If you can’t answer these questions, you’re just checking a box, and not really learning anything.  List the attributes of an ideal candidate and use it to construct relevant questions.

Do Your Homework! – The average recruiter spends 6 seconds reviewing a resume, and then the hiring manager spends only a couple of minutes prior to the actual interview.  How can you ask the right questions to engage the candidate, and create compelling conversation, if you don’t know anything about the person? 

Your interview should be a conversation –The more you know about your candidate in advance, the more opportunity you have to ask questions that count.  Be a good listener! You should not be doing most of the talking, your candidate should.  If you listen well, and slowly, allowing for time between questions, the candidates will often fill gaps with additional examples, more detail, or reveal something.

Ask for Real Solutions – You are wasting your time with questions like “What are your weaknesses?”  You might as well ask them to lie to you.  Instead discern how the candidate would handle real situations.  Explain a problem your team struggles with and ask the candidate how they would solve it.  Or describe a process your company uses and ask the candidate to identify inefficiencies.

Follow up Questions – Here’s the key.  If you are actively listening, your candidate’s answers often will help you formulate follow up questions.  Why, when, what was learned, why was it successful?  Follow up questions lead you to the details.

Be Kind – Always be considerate and treat candidates with respect.  By making an effort to be nice, a good interviewer significantly improves the candidates experience.  Remember, your employer brand is built beginning with that first phone call, what will your candidates say about your organization?

Closure - You should always provide appropriate, timely closure for all interviewed candidates including those who didn’t get the job.  Provide closure for all the rejected candidates by sending them a post-interview rejection letter or email in a timely manner. Learn how to say “Sorry, you didn't get the job” in a way to keep a positive image of your company’s employer brand.



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