With the advent of big data within the hiring process, recruiters are now distinguishing themselves by their ability to gauge the character of an individual during an in-person meeting. Here are some tips for improving interview skills and finding that rare gem.
1. Prepare yourself (really)
It sounds obvious, but once the stack of resumes has been filtered through and the appointments have been made, we must establish a list of characteristics that we are absolutely searching for. You can refer yourself to the job description, but you must prioritize the required skills. The Robert Half recruiting firm recommends reading the candidate's resume before the interview, preparing specific questions and trying to remember to ask them, looking at your notes at least once during the interview.
2. Present scenarios
Instead of asking questions like “What is your greatest weakness?” present a simulation exercise, which relates to the role. These scenarios are most effective when evaluating a candidate, since you can evaluate their capacity for analysis, problem solving, logic and interpersonal approach. John Sullivan, professor of management at the University of San Francisco and author of 1000 Ways to Recruit Top Talent, recommends presenting a problem that the company faced in the past year and asking the candidate what they would have done in such a situation.
3. Be wary of your body language
You pay attention to your interlocutor’s posture and handshake, and they do the exact same during the interview. Poor posture can give the impression that you’re not interested what a potential employee has to say, a bad signal to avoid. Think: a straight back, honest looks, a sincere handshake; and yawning is to be avoided as much as possible. The interviewer is the company's representative, and they should do it honour.
4. Be a good seller
Of course, the candidate must prove that he or she is worthy of working for your company, but if they are in demand, then it is up to the interviewer to switch to seduction mode. Professor John Sullivan recommends offering a tour of the offices and meeting other employers and workers, even if you have not yet decided on a specific candidate. You will be able to display the business’ advantages, while gauging their interest and assessing their social skills.
5. Follow up
Once they’ve left your office, candidates will begin thinking and rethinking about how the interview went. Be courteous and send a follow-up email quickly, to let them know when you will be communicated with them about the next steps. This will also keep the candidate on alert, especially if they are very busy. Also, don’t be afraid to remind them that they can ask any additional questions they may have: better clarify any doubts now than make a costly hiring mistake!