As a hiring manager or HR representative, you may have done interview preparation a million times. However, there are always new things to learn to be a more effective interviewer! Keep reading to find out our list of the top 8 interview preparation tips for hiring managers.
1 – Review Candidates
Before going into the interview, you should review the CV and cover letter of the candidate you’re meeting with. What are their long-term career goals and history? What sort of work environments have they been part of?
By taking a second look at their information, you may find that you have some questions about their experience or skills. Perhaps there is something that is unclear or you’re not sure what their tasks were in a certain role. Then you can create some fantastic interview questions to find out the information you need. The interview is a chance to find out more about what you don’t understand, so don’t miss this opportunity to ask!
2 – Invite to Interview
When you invite a candidate to interview, remember that this is the start of relationship building with a potential employee. Their first impression of you starts here so be friendly, polite, and helpful. Let them know where to come and add handy information such as where the best parking is nearby.
It’s also useful if you let them know about the interview process, who is on the panel, and what type of interview questions they can expect. For example, whether it will be a structured interview with behavioral interview questions or if they need to do a cognitive assessment beforehand.
3 – Sell the Role
Remember during your interview preparation that your preferred candidate is choosing your company just as much as you are choosing them. They may be a great fit for the role but why would they want to work for you?
At the start of the interview, tell them a bit about the role and the company culture. While you’re doing this, include reasons why the role will be their dream job. How will it be exciting, challenging, and interesting for them? Go over the benefits of working at your company. Sell the role to each interviewee!
4 – Plan Your Time
It’s not just the candidate that should prepare for the interview, but you as the hiring manager needs to prepare too. If you can, you should leave at least 15 minutes free before and after each interview. This gives you the time to prepare and review the candidate’s CV beforehand. Afterwards, you will have time to reflect on your impression of the person and their responses.
Plan time at the start of the interview to sell the role, as described above. You’ll also need time to discuss any pre-interview testing they have done. If they have completed a cognitive assessment as part of the recruitment process, they will be interested to know how they performed in this.
5 – Meet with Other Interviewers
It’s always a good idea to meet with any other interviewers on the panel beforehand as part of your interview preparation. This ensures that you’re all on the same page before you start interviewing. Go over the job description and salary requirements together so that you all know what you’re looking for in a candidate who could be a good fit.
If you take a little time to do this, you can create a more professional impression when the candidate arrives. Discuss who will ask which questions as this is where interview panels often start to look disorganized and it will be clear whether you are in sync with each other or not.
6 – Interview Questions
Setting up your interview questions is one of the most important aspects of the interview process. There are some common interview questions which are fantastic for use across a range of roles.
Behavioral interview questions can be extremely useful for delving into how the applicant handles different situations in the workplace.
For example, here are some simple questions you can use:
- Tell us about your greatest strength
- Tell us about a time you made a mistake and how you handled it
- Have you ever had to deal with a difficult client? How did you go about this?
- What is your ultimate career goal?
7 – Answer Candidate Questions
Be ready to answer any questions that candidates have. A common question will be ‘what is the salary for this position?’. Make sure that you have a response prepared in advance. If you want to hear what salary they expect, ask them about that before seeing if they have any questions.
Candidate questions can be a good way to see if any red flags come up. For example, if they are more focused on whether or not the break room has a ping pong table, they may not be interested in working hard should they get the job.
8 – Follow Up
The follow up you send after an interview is critical to the candidates’ impression of your company. You will need to ensure that you follow up with each candidate in the time frame you specified at the end of the interview.
Even if you haven’t yet made your decision, still get back to them and just be honest that you haven’t decided yet. When candidates don’t hear from you, they can get frustrated and you may find that you lose some fantastic applicants.
By putting some time into preparing to interview the candidates, you can come across as much more professional and organized. This will encourage your preferred candidate to accept the position when they are offered it. Don’t forget that your impression on them matters just as much as theirs on you!