…if you are the interviewer.
It isn’t breaking news that interviews are just as much about the interviewee gauging if the opportunity is right for them as it is the other way around. Whether you are a seasoned interviewer or new to interviewing, here are our tips on creating the best possible candidate experience at interview.
Be Prepared (but not too prepared)
An understanding of the CV alongside a robust set of prepared interviews questions are always a must. However, it is important not to get ‘stuck’ to these. Whilst you will have an idea of the most relevant areas to discuss beforehand, don’t be afraid to let the conversation flow and ask questions that genuinely interest you as you go along, switch the order around and miss questions out should they no longer be relevant.
We totally understand the importance of giving an interviewee a clear ‘warts and all’ view of a role. After all, you would rather know up front if there are going to be parts of the role they can’t or don’t wish to commit to. However, be careful not to overstate these areas, it may not present a problem for them, but if you labour the point, it could. Ask open questions such as ‘how do you feel about this?’ and remember to tell them the good parts too!
I think we have all heard the horror stories of ‘sell me this pen’ type scenarios. We understand you want to test how the candidate responds to a bit of pressure. However, the danger of ‘sink or swim’ scenarios is that the interviewee feels on edge and therefore doesn’t perform as well as they could. Set them up to succeed by setting a task in advance and asking competency based questions to see how they have dealt with pressure in the past.
One of the most memorable interviews I have ever had was early on in my career, and one of the interviewers spent the whole time looking out the window. No matter what I said or did, I could not get engaging eye contact with them. Convinced I had blown all my chances, when the call came with a job offer, I had to think long and hard about whether I wanted to work there. Use your body language to engage and show interest in the candidate, but equally, use it to move on from a topic or end the interview by turning a page, changing your position or putting your pen down.
It is great to set expectations at the end of the interview. If you know when you are likely to make a decision or have feedback, do let the candidate know, as long as you can deliver on this. If the timescales is more fluid, be honest about this too.