Mark Twain said, “The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up.” This couldn’t be more true for a company’s early-career recruitment strategy.
According to the Harvard Business Review, happy and engaged candidates perform better in interviews. But the success of an interview doesn’t lie solely on the candidates: Having strong interviewers is one of the first steps to hiring great new team members.
Here are some tips on how your recruiting team and hiring managers can become better interviewers.
1. Think Emily Post And Focus On Etiquette
Just as candidates will be on their best behavior, the interviewer must remember etiquette. For starters, interviewers should be prepared to greet each candidate with a smile and a handshake. Also, make sure your interviewers look candidates in the eye and have an open and inviting posture. Always treat every candidate with respect, even ones they learn during the interview aren’t a good fit. Again, just like your candidates are doing their best to make a strong first impression, interviewers should too.
This, in turn, means interviewers have to use active listening skills, something that’s important for both candidates and interviewers. Obviously, this will help them continue to keep the interview flowing. More important, they can learn whether or not the candidate’s skill set suits the job’s needs.
2. Do Research On The Candidate
According to Inc.com, the onus of major research should fall on the interviewer, not the candidate. Interviewers are expected to find out more about the candidate than the candidate needs to learn about the company. Why? So interviewers can ask questions about the candidate’s work history if they don’t know it.
But it’s not just reviewing the candidate’s resume.
Interviewers should research qualified candidates on social media and conduct internet searches to find out if they are a good fit. Does this candidate bring added value to your company culture? Think about this: If the candidate has controversial social media posts, it may cause your company to rethink a candidate’s application. A company’s employees represent a company both inside and outside of work.
That said, this would still create a positive candidate experience: Candidates want closure and don’t want their time wasted.
3. Ask Questions That Relate To The Job’s Responsibilities
Yes, interviewers want the candidate to be engaged in the conversation, but it should be centered around the position. According to Monster.com., that’s why it’s important to ask questions that relate to the job’s responsibilities. In order to do this, the interviewer must have a clear understanding of what the job entails.
It’s important that interviewers meet with hiring managers beforehand. This gives hiring managers a chance to fully explain the role, and to let interviewers know what they’re looking for in a candidate. The last thing companies want to do is to bring in a candidate for an interview, only to have the applicant meet with several different interviewers who all ask the same questions. So it’s important to have a strong plan of action.
During or after the meeting, an interviewer should create questions based on these responsibilities. Because if an interviewer can’t create questions about the job, how are they supposed to choose candidates with skills needed to perform the role?
Your interviewers should be judging your candidates for different skills. And if they each know which skills they’re focusing on, the questions they ask should reflect that. One interviewer can concentrate on past work experience, while another can examine the candidate’s foundational skills.
4. Stay Relaxed
It’s important that your interviewers stay relaxed while they’re interviewing candidates. The human brain doesn’t distinguish the difference between a high-stakes job interview and the threat of attack, as Forbes explains. So if companies want top talent to be able to show why they’re the best and brightest, it’s important that qualified candidates are put in positions to succeed by their interviewers.
And interviewers need to know how to keep the candidates relaxed too.
Plus, if both parties are calm, this allows them to easily go off-script during the interview. And going off-script gives your interviewer the freedom to ask questions that are personalized to each candidate, prompting candidates to think quickly.
The interview process creates a ripple effect: Well-prepared interviewers create a calm candidate, who’ll perform better during the interview, leading to your hiring manager choosing the right candidate to join your team.
Just remember: A happy interviewer translates into a happy candidate.