6 Critical Interview Tips for A New Hiring Manager

Jun 24, 2016


The primary goal is to improve the quality of your hiring process. Success is measured in various ways, however by improving your hiring process, chances are you can reduce new hire turnover.

And it all begins with the one on one or group interview. At minimum, the interview process is like a networking event, providing a chance to brand your company in the eyes of the potential employee, consumer or brand evangelist. Ultimately, the process will assist you in finding the perfect fit for your organization. The purpose of this actionable list of critical interview tips for the new hiring manager is to provide a framework for success.

A clear vision to achieve your objectives assures the highest level of success in your new role. Your research begins long before you get to your first interviewee. To begin, start with a razor- sharp job description. Besides listing required skills and education, include qualifications essential to the position, other special certifications, and a list of desired skills. Pertinent information could also include a starting salary, required hours and job location.

Next, create a well-structured guide for your interview process with questions targeting the needed competencies and other details of the position.  Behavioral questions are specific to past experiences and are a good indicator of future performance. It’s up to you to determine how to score the responses. Either way, the process remains objective, and it's an effective way to get past the fluff and assess if the candidate is a good fit.

We recommend you take steps to make sure everything is covered and done right the first time because of the enormous costs of hiring the wrong person. A sound approach helps to avoid starting the the process all over again. From understanding the questions to avoid, to knowing how to make the candidate feel as comfortable as possible goes a long way. As the hiring manager, realize you and your company are also being evaluated. Today’s candidates desire to work for organizations that value their input, is bold about corporate social responsibility and supports their progressive career goals.

Therefore, to make the most of your time with each candidate, we suggest to implement the following steps for an effective interview:

∗   Develop a protocol for interviews

  • Preparation is critical, to help avoid that ‘something is missing’ feeling, make a list of the most pertinent questions you want to ask. Besides their resume, you might also check their online profile and other pertinent materials. Craft your questions based on the job descriptions and your review of their resume. Conduct the interview in a quiet and non-threatening location to reduce candidate anxiety.
  • Set the proper expectations, including how long the interview should take and if more than one interview is required before an offer is made.

∗   Create a comfortable atmosphere

  •  Candidates should not be made to feel as though their auditioning to join an exclusive club. Although          company culture is important, it should not be the only premise for adding to your current team.
  •  Sit next to the candidate if possible. By sitting beside the interviewee, it makes them feel valued and as  your equal, quickly turning the formal interview into an informal conversation.

∗    Be cognizant of verbal and nonverbal communication signals

  •  Don't talk too much even when the need to fill dead air arises. You get to explore how the creativity of    the  candidate and their thought process. You then can learn what’s behind the pre planned responses.
  •  Be mindful of body language signals you’re sending. We are human and sometimes boredom or  frustration sets in, however it’s your responsibility to maintain a professional demeanor.
  •  Rubbing the back of your head or neck indicates boredom.
  •  Leaning back in your chair with your arms folded, shows arrogance and an ‘I’m better than you’ attitude.
  •  Smiling too much may be an attempt to trying to put the candidate at ease, yet it can also        mean you not taking them seriously.

∗    Ask the right questions

  •  Ask open-ended questions and allow enough time for a response. However, for the ‘talker’ you may need  to set a time limit when asking questions. Sometimes people need a little more time to respond when          they’re in the hot seat.
  • By asking the same question of each applicant you minimize potential discrimination claims.  
  •  Some questions you should ask, but probably aren't include:

                    »    What trends do you feel affects our business? Their response shows level of interest and                                                 industry knowledge.                                

                   »   How did you handle delivering a negative message to a customer? This behavioral                                                              question  helps you to gauge the candidate’s ability to handle pressure.

  •  Don’t ask questions or make comments regarding marital status, sexual orientation or concerns about        their health.
  • Questions such as; what drew you to this position, can you tell me about one of your proudest professional achievements, and how have you prepared yourself for this role? Will show how well the candidate understands the requirements and expectations of the position. The goal here is to understand why the achievement is significant to them. And provides insight into their ability to articulate how their skills and experience match the role they’re interviewing for.

∗    Avoid making these mistakes

  • Refrain from making contrasts and comparing candidates to those who have already been interviewed. The order in which candidates are interviewed could impact your perception of them.
  • Asking hypothetical questions allow the candidate to make up the answers that are as vague as the question. Instead ask, “How did you handle the complaint of the most challenging customer you ever faced?”

∗    Follow-up when promised

  • You can probably recall a time you interviewed for a position, then were told to expect a call or an email in a week but received neither. Just like you, candidates hang on every sign and word. Next to the interview itself, the waiting is the most vexing part of the entire process including the never-wrecking interview. Even if you have chosen or are leaning toward someone else, let interviewed candidates know their status. It shows professionalism and appreciation for their consideration.

After the interview set the proper expectations such as, next steps, time frame for a decision, and potential second interview.

If your company administers tests or request the candidate to complete a project, provide specific feedback. It is a simple courtesy if for no other reason than to communicate appreciation for their effort. By leaving the candidate with a good impression, they’re more likely to refer their friends and colleagues.

Pixentia is a full-service technology company dedicated to helping clients solve business problems, improve the capability of their people, and achieve better results.

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