There are a TON of great articles out there on how to have a great job interview…if you’re the one being interviewed for an open position. But how can you have a great job interview if you’re the interviewee?
First of all, if you’re in a position in your career where you’re in charge of hiring someone new, congratulations! You’re doing a great job.
However, we know that it can seem daunting to find the right person to join your team. There’s the pressure to find someone qualified. Office politics may come into play. And most importantly, you want to find someone who “fits well” with the rest of the team.
Chances are if someone has made it to the interview stage, you’ve already pre-screened their credentials and resume. So, how do you make sure the person sitting on the other side of the desk will play well with others? What are the best interview techniques for understanding what a person’s really like to work with?
As we wrote about on Chelsea Krost’s blog, companies will bend over backward to find new hires who will successfully join their family for the long run. Skip the elaborate dog-and-pony show, and follow these five tips to get the information you need and give a great interview.
Obviously, a candidate is putting their very best foot forward when submitting a resume and job application. What they present to you and your organization should be the most polished version of the candidate as a professional. Do a little research before the interview to see if there’s a big discrepancy between the person on paper and the person IRL.
A full 93% of hiring managers check up on a candidate’s social media profiles before making a hiring decision. “Vetting a candidate by doing a quick Google search or looking at his or her social media platforms can help you determine if the candidate will fit the position and company culture,” says one expert.
Better yet? Check their BULLIT profile. With over 100,000 members in our community, you can see anonymous reviews of a candidate’s soft skills – things like leadership, trustworthiness, and imagination.
We’ve all been in an interviewee’s shoes at one point or another. It’s so nerve-wracking to put your hard work out there for judgment and potential rejection by the person sitting in front of you. As the interviewer, it will do you a world of good to put the interviewee at ease.
As Harvard Business Review discovered, when people are stressed out, they will not perform to their usual standard. Put an interviewee at ease, and you’ll get a better sense of what they’re like each day in the office. “Tell people in advance the topics you’d like to discuss so they can prepare. Be willing to meet the person at a time that’s convenient for him or her. And explain your organization’s dress code.” Remember, your ultimate goal is not to intimidate. Make sure your conversation is productive and professional.
Do you really want to help a candidate relax? Then let’s avoid interrogating your interviewee about every decision they’ve made in their professional past.
As Jeff Haden outlines, start by knowing more about your candidate ahead of time. That way, you can ask questions that lead to deeper conversation. “And once you ask a question, the key is to listen slowly. Give the conversation room to breathe. Often candidates will fill a silent hole with additional examples, more detail, or a completely different perspective on the question you asked.”
Of course, you don’t want to make the interview too informal. But taking the pressure off the candidate will lead you to learn much more about them if you were to grill them for 30 minutes.
Behavioral questions are those that start with phrases like “tell me about a time when you…” These questions get to the heart of specific examples and previous successes. From these stories, you can get a good sense of how a person might work with your organization in the future.
Here are a few behavioral questions we like:
- Tell me about how you worked effectively under pressure.
- Have you ever made a mistake? How did you handle it?
- What do you do if you disagree with someone at work?
- Share an example of how you were able to motivate employees or co-workers.
In general, think about some key qualities you want to add to your team and ask questions that can help you get to the heart of those skills.
Be prepared to answer the candidate’s questions
This is as much of an interview for the candidate as it is for you! Keep in mind they will be ready with questions about your company’s culture, the position, and you and your team. Be ready to sell the position if it’s a candidate you really like!
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Also published on Medium.