How to Conduct Better Interviews to Hire Great Talent

Your goal as a hiring manager is to hire the best people you possibly can. You want to hire talent that has the right skill sets, knowledge, and most importantly aligns with your workforce culture.

That means your interview should be the best it possibly can. The stakes are simply too high to do otherwise. Learning how to conduct an interview and how to be a good interviewer is a crucial step to hiring the best candidates for your organization. An ideal job interview will give the interviewee the opportunity to learn about the company and the interviewer the chance to learn about the candidate.

Today, we are going to share with you our strategy behind a great interview. Our team uses the six techniques below in their hiring process to land the best hires for their clients.

  1. Truly understand what you need
  2. Understand what drives the candidates
  3. Dig deep into the candidate’s current challenges
  4. Use behavioral questions
  5. Consider using disc or personality assessments
  6. Provide closure — every time

#1 Truly understand what you need.

Experience, qualifications, and credentials are all important when it comes to interviewing. But great employees don’t just perform a job; they solve at least one critical business need.

Your mission in the interview is to identify that critical need, determine how you measure success in the position, assess the common attributes of your top performers, figure out what qualities you need in a candidate to fit well with your culture and tailor everything in your selection process to finding the perfect person to solve that critical business needs. Otherwise, you’re just going through the motions.

#2 Understand and know their career drivers.

Along with understanding what you need, you need to understand what drives the candidate. Figuring out what motivates the candidate will help you determine fit and future success. Is it meaningful work, compensation, and benefits, work environment/culture, growth opportunities, or leadership and management style.

Ron Modica, Senior Search Consultant at Capstone Search Advisors said, “We want to know their true feelings before we get into the company or position details so we can assess the fit. If we share too much info on the company and position before getting the candidate’s feelings, you run the risk of the person changing their answers to better fit our job. People don’t like being left out so it’s just human nature for them to alter their answers. We want the person’s unadulterated feelings so we can assess if this is a good fit for all parties.”

By unlocking and understanding what drives a candidate you will be able to fine-tune your interview and adjust your strategy to understand their interest as early on as possible.

#3 Dig deep into the candidates’ current challenges.

Before you dig into your requirements for the job, ask the candidate about current challenges (why are they looking) and uncover their career aspirations. To do this you need to hone in on these questions. What’s important to you? What are your short-term and long-term goals? What are your priorities in life? What are your overall career goals?

“Matching the candidate to the right job is important to us. If there is something they don’t like about their current employer, we don’t want to place them in a company or position with the same issues. We usually have a pretty good feel for the companies we work with and their culture. We gather a lot of details on the job before we interview, so we can be upfront with candidates on the good and bad of each job and company. We will suggest passing on positions where there isn’t a match. We want to find long-term fits for candidates and companies,” said Ron.

#4 Use behavioral questions.

When we interview candidates we focus more on behavioral-based questions. This helps us uncover how they worked in various situations in the past. These types of questions will reveal, their skills, abilities, and personality, along with how the interviewee will perform in a future role.

According to Ron, “Behavioral questions force a candidate to elaborate on their experience or how they’d handle certain situations. This can either expose someone who has fluffed their resume, while also opening the door for someone who hasn’t done a job but is more than capable of doing it (they just haven’t been given the opportunity to do it yet).” Knowing all of that information will help determine if they align with the open position.

Throwing in a few behavioral questions can also move the interview into a looser, more natural conversation. Here are a few questions you could ask, How do you handle a challenge? Give an example of how you set goals. Tell me about a time you failed. Describe a long-term project that you managed.

These types of questions allow the person to tell the story of where they’ve had a similar scenario. Not everyone is a pro interviewer, so these questions can make a nervous interviewee more comfortable – thus showing their true personality.

#5 Consider using personality assessments.

“Consider using disc or personality assessments early in the hiring process so you can discuss the results (figure out why they answered a question this way, etc.). However, don’t use it to rule candidates in or out. Use the results to guide questions in the interview,” said Ron. Using an assessment could help you evaluate if they can do the job, will they do the job, and will they fit in.

By having candidates take the assessment, you are able to capture additional information on them that you may not get during an interview or by reading their resume. The assessment can help in the decision-making process and help you hire a candidate that aligns with your team, and most importantly, find someone who will stay in the role for the long haul.

#6 Provide closure. Every time.

Failing to follow up is incredibly rude. Everyone deserves closure whether they got the job or not. It’s just common courtesy and there’s a business reason, too. If you don’t provide closure people won’t complain to you… but they will complain about you and your company and you don’t want your company to earn a bad reputation. Before you post an opening, always decide how you will close the loop with every person who responds.

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