Ability to recruit right people

Interview is a conversation during which you do an assessment of a potential employee if s/he is the right fit for the organisation that you represent. Taking interview is a big responsibility. It is not only about asking right questions from the candidate but also to facilitate him or her in such a way that s/he gives his/her best. It is also not about power or luxury being other side of the table, it is about responsibility to find right match for the organisation. The interviewer must provide comfortable environment to the interviewee. Treat equally the way you want to be treated in such a situation. Dignity of the interviewee must be upheld. Here are a few tips for interviewer:

  1. Show empathy – please keep in mind that the candidate might have come from long distance to travel all the way to your company for the interview,. Do everything to make the candidate comfortable, ask for water/coffee etc. and make sure environment is comfortable.
  2. Start with your own introduction and a glimpse of your company. Never jump into questions straightway.
  3. Break the ice by starting a light or fun conversation.
  4. Never sit across the table. It gives a feeling of hierarchy and hence creates a hidden element of fear which in turn is a barrier to bring best out of the candidate. IMO, we should prefer to use a round table and create an environment of freedom.
  5. Ask questions on those areas only which are claimed to be the knowledge areas of the candidate. Objective is not to find out what s/he does not know but to find if s/he knows right thing(s) in her/his area of strength which is required for this job.
  6. Judiciously choose between leading, objective questions and open ended questions – depending upon if you just need short/boolean answer or details to know the approach, mindset of the candidate.
  7. Tips to check behavioural skills:
    • Role Play – It always helps to know candidate & his thought process, approach, spontaneity and maturity.
    • Ask the candidate to give examples from the past experience that demonstrates the skill/behavioural attribute in question.
    • Sometimes candidates try to take credit of the entire team by portraying as if ‘I have done everything and that too from scratch’. Ask the candidate about his/her contribution in that situation, number of other people in team and their role. This will help you delve deep about the credentials.
    • Give situations or hypothetical scenarios to the candidate then ask his choices, approach etc. This will help read his mind unlike plain vanilla questions which can be answered superficially.
    • Ask competencies (essential attributes) required to perform his/her job. It will help you know how well s/he understands the job. A follow up discussion could be to ask the candidate to give self-rating on those competencies. It will open the door of next level of discussion
  8. A few questions that may be useful:
    • If we ask your 2 good and 2 areas of improvements from your colleagues in current company – what will those people say about you?
    • Tell me about a situation when your work was criticised.
    • What was the toughest decision you ever had to make?
  9. Questions around aspirations:
    • How far or close you are to achieve your aspirations in professional life
    • What are missing skills to achieve your aspirations and what is road-map to fill the gap (clear thoughts and understanding of one’s goals)
    • What new skills you have added or learnt in the past 1 year that might have helped you bring closer to your goals

Conclude the interview by giving an opportunity to the candidate to ask questions. Do express gratitude; the interviewee has given valuable time to you and your company. Please don’t forgot, you are an ambassador of your company. Based on that conversation during interview, the candidate will make an opinion about you and your company. Be very professional, polite and respectful.

Author: Vinay A.

Agile specialist, expert in full spectrum of end to end project deliveries, Innovator and lateral thinker to solve routine corporate problems