Improve your Interviewing Techniques
Gregory P. Smith
A successful interview should determine if there is a match between the individual and the job. Furthermore, a good interview process allows you to understand their behavior, values, motivations, and qualifications. Time and time again we have seen people hired for sales jobs that don't like calling people, customer service people whom can't look into your eyes and say, "Hello." Then there are good employees promoted into management positions and have no clue how to lead and manage others. Here are several reasons why interviewing techniques fail:
Lack of preparation - The first impression lasts a long time. Prior to the interview make sure you understand the key elements of the job. Develop a simple outline that covers general job duties. Possibly work with the incumbent to get a better idea of what the job is about. Screen the resumes and application to gain information for the interview. Standardize and prepare the questions you will ask each applicant.
Lack of purpose - Not only are you trying to determine the best applicant, but you also have to convince the applicant that this is the best place for them to work. Today's workers have many more choices and job opportunities to choose from.
Lack of clearly defined job competencies - Each job can have anywhere from 6-14 job competencies. Identify the behaviors, knowledge, motivations and qualities incumbents need to have to be successful in the job. If the job requires special education or a license, be sure to include it on your list also. There are several assessments and profiles available to help insure you have a good match between the applicant and the job.
Lack of structure - The best interview follows a structured process. This doesn't mean that the entire process is inflexible without spontaneity. What it means that each applicant is asked the same questions and is scored with a consistent rating process. A structured approach helps avoid bias and gives all applicants a fair chance. The best ways to accomplish this is by using behavioral based questions, role-plays and situational questions. Here are some examples:
Behavioral based questions are used to evaluate the applicant's past behavior, experience and initiative such as:
Give me an example when you . . .
Describe an incident where you went over and beyond the call of duty . . .
Tell me about the time you reached out for additional responsibility . . .
Tell me about the largest project you worked on . . .
Situational based questions evaluate the applicant's judgment ability and knowledge. The interviewer first gives the applicant a hypothetical situation such as:
"You are a manager and one of your employees has just told you that he thinks another worker is stealing merchandise from the store."
What should you do?
What additional information should you obtain?
How many options do you have?
When or if should you call the police?
Sample role-plays are effective ways to learn and practice new skills. They can also be used during the interview process to determine the skills and personal charisma of people during stress. For example, if you are interviewing a customer service representative you can use a role-play to see how this person can manage an irate customer. When using role-plays consider the following guidelines.
1. It is a good idea to write the situation down on paper. Give the person time or a short break to "get into character" prior to beginning the role-play.
2. Give the candidate clear guidelines and background information so they thoroughly understand the situation.
3. Allow them to ask questions before you begin.
4. Debrief the applicant at the conclusion of the role-play. Ask them to tell you how they thought they did and how they could have done it differently. Conclude the role-play in a positive way.
As said in an earlier article, the traditional interview is never 100% reliable. Yes, a structured approach will improve your chances, but it is important to go one step further. Pre-employment screening is an important aspect of the hiring process for a growing number of employers. By using various assessments and profiles organizations have been able to help clients reduce turnover and improve the quality of the workforce. Behavioral assessments have proven to be an effective tool for improving the management of an organization. They provide an accurate analysis of employee's behaviors and attitudes otherwise left to subjective judgment.
- 10 Reasons to Hire Vets
- Hire Older Workers
- Improving Candidate Quality
- Sourcing 101
- Sourcing Candidates Well
- Tips for Building Employment-Related Websites
- U.S. Employ of People with Disabilities: Free Workshops
- Virtual College Recruiting
- 10 Commandments of Recruiting
- 5 Keys to Successful Hiring
- 7 Tips for Successful Phone Interviews
- Behavioral Interviewing Basics
- Contrary Evidence Questions
- Interview Questions: Do's and Don'ts
- Interviewing Opening and Closing Remarks
- Interviews: Common Weaknesses
- Mistakes Amateur Interviewers Make
- Phone Screen Interview Mistakes
- Probing Techniques Explained
- Screening Interviewing: Top 10 Red Flags
- Strengthen the Validity of Your Interviews
- Telephone Interviews: Basics
- Ten Bad Listening Habits of Interviewers
- Types of Interviews
- Typical Probes and Follow up Questions
- What Do Interviewers Need to Know to be Effective?
Interviewing Best Practices
- 7 Keys to Effective Selection Interviews
- A Closer Look at Behavior-Based Interviewing
- Advantages / Disadvantages of Interviewing
- Applying Core Competencies to Selection Interviews
- Are You Really a Behavior-Based Interviewer?
- Assessing Speaking and Listening Skills
- Best Practices in Interviewing Candidates
- Deadly Interview Mistakes
- Death by Interview
- Ensure Hiring Success in Every Situation
- Executive Assessment Should Be Mandatory
- Generational Interviewing
- Hiring Interview + Strategic Applicant Management
- Hold Evening and Off-Time Interviews
- How to Interview a Top Performer
- Improve your Interviewing Techniques
- Interview Questions to Assess Soft Skills
- Interviewing for Ethics
- Interviewing Millennials
- Interviewing: Business or Psychology
- Metrics Interview
- Peeling Back the Onion
- The Positives of Panel Interviews
- Time for Candidate Advocacy?
- Tips for Conducting Successful Interviews
- Two Critical Interviewing Questions
Laws & Documentation
- Applicant Reference Release
- At Will Employment Release
- Avoid Negligent Hiring Mistakes
- Employee Referral Program Metrics
- Fair Labor Standards Act Information
- Four Interview Questions Never to Ask
- Giving Employee References
- Hiring Compliance Guidelines
- Hiring for Small Business
- Interviewing People with Disabilities
- Job Denial Letter
- Legal Issues in Interviewing
- Minimize Employment Risks: Document
- SAMPLE Employment Policy
- SAMPLE Letter: Educational Records Check
- SAMPLE Letter: Reference Check
- Ten Safe Hiring Tools
- What is Negligent Hiring
Line Manager / Recruiting Partnership
- Defending Candidates to Hiring Managers
- Interlocking Core Competency Interviews
- Internal Application Process
- Making Internships Work for You
- Making the Case for Behavioral Interviewing
- Non-Traditional Merit Pay Alternatives
- OFCCP Definition of an Internet Applicant
- Why Managers Shouldn't Do Most Hiring
- Workforce Planning: Strategic Staffing Strategy
Pre-Planning & Retention
- Bonus or Incentive?
- Brand-Building on a Budget
- Build a First-Rate Hiring Process
- Closing the Deal
- Compensation Plans: An Overview
- Conducting an Exit Interview
- Good Hiring Starts with a Good Job Profile
- Improve the Quality of the Employment Function
- Interview Process Problems
- Interview the Job Before the Candidates
- Job Description Template-Link Pay to Performance
- Linking Pay to Company Performance
- Selecting and Using Salary Surveys
- Succession Planning
- Succession Planning: Identifying Top Performers
- Using a Pre-Interviewing Questionnaire
- Winning the War for Talent
- Worker Shortage by 2010: Preparation
Reading the Candidate
- Beware of Those Who Boast
- Blind Man's Bluff
- Decision, Decisions: Choosing the Better Applicant
- Detecting Deceit in Interviews
- Little White Lies on Resumes
- Suspend Judgment Until the Interview is Over
- College Recruiting Basics
- College Recruiting Essentials
- Cut Down on Interview No Shows
- Discouraging Low Quality Applicants
- Don't Hold Too Many Interviews
- Job Descriptions: Why are they Important?
- New Strategies for Screening Job Candidates
- Preventing Resume Overload with Questionnaires
- Resume Review Basics
- Test Validation Explained
- The Value of Person-Organization Fit
- Three Companies Cut Turnover with Tests
Recruiting Best Practices
- 25 Telltale Signs of the Wrong Candidate
- 5 Overlooked Ways to Hire Winners
- Asking the Right Recruitment Questions
- Attracting Your Competitor's Employees
- BPR.......for Recruiters!
- Candidate Engagement
- Cloud Recruiting
- Evaluate Your Capture Strategy
- Hiring Best Practices
- How Do You Attract and Retain the Best People?
- How to Attract Applicants to Undesirable Jobs
- How to Attract, Develop and Retain Best People
- How to Find and Keep Valued Employees
- Ignorance and the Human Condition
- Onboarding Success Secrets
- Secrets to Non-Profit Hiring
- Selecting Top Management Talent
- Semi-Active Candidates are Best Bets
- Six Core Selling Principles
- Skills Based Recruiting: When, not How
- Smart Choices: How to Hire the Best
- Strategy for Hiring the Best This Year
- The Uses and Misuses of Personality Tests
- Top 10 Employee Selection Mistakes & Solutions
- Treat Candidates with the Carbon Rule