The Effective InterviewerMuhammad Zeeshan Ali, PMP, PMI-ACP
Being an effective interviewer is the other side of the coin, following up on our discussion from another article “Give Respect to Interviews”. The interviewer has to be prepared for this activity as much as the candidate. There are a few observations regarding the Interviewers during the Interview activity:
Part of your Job:
The interviews are often considered something of an additional task or waste of time. It is a part of your job to participate in activities related to Team and Organization building. It is as important as any other task assignment.
Understanding of Requirements & Roadmap:
The Interviewer should be absolutely clear about the Job requirement and the Role. This helps in selecting the right candidate for the position. Understanding of the Roadmap for this position means that the Interviewer is able to determine how much effort will be required on the selected candidate to bring him/her to the required level and thus sets the realistic level of expectations.
Review Candidate Profile:
The interviewer should take a few minutes before the start of the interview to review the candidate’s profile and highlight the areas which should be part of discussion during the interview. This helps in a much more focused approach.
Make the candidate comfortable:
Start with introducing yourself and little about the Organization and the role. This helps the candidate to settle down a bit as it is natural and common to have a few nerves about any interview. It is important because the best evaluation of any candidate is only possible when he/she is in a positive frame of mind.
Prediction of Tenure:
The interviewer should be able to determine how long the candidate is expected to stay with their organization. The future plans for resource growth are very closely linked to this question. Frequency of job switch and average tenure with each organization is easily reflected from the candidate’s history. It gets a bit tricky in case of fresh graduates but those with a clear vision and targets tend to stick much longer.
Eagerness to Learn:
Another important aspect to judge during interviews is how much a candidate is keen to learn. This depicts how he/she will respond to situations when they will be tested with extended work pressure. The actual response and performance of any resource can only be judged during the actual scenario but still the response and eagerness portrayed by the candidate, during the interview, can give some idea of things to expect.
Benefits related to the Positions:
There are two kinds of benefits the Interviewer has to understand regarding each candidate. The first one is the set of standard pre-determined benefits related to this position which includes Salary package etc. The second kind is what varies for each candidate and it is determined during the interview. For example, the candidate might really benefit from this job by learning a new domain which may not be too common but in high demand. This understanding helps in building the right level of expectations for both parties.
Start and End on Time:
It is very important to start and end interviews on time. It is a very unprofessional thing to keep the candidate waiting. Similarly it is not a good practice to extend the interview beyond planned time. If the time required to access any candidate is taking long then the schedule and effort should be revised accordingly.
Be Respectful and Provide Honest Feedback:
The interviewer should be respectful to all the candidates. If a candidate is not suitable, then it’s not his/her fault that he/she was invited for the interview. It is also a very good practice to share your feedback with the candidate at the end of the interview so he/she can learn from them. The feedback is aimed at highlighting strengths and weaknesses observed during the interview. The candidate should also take those in a positive manner.
Ask for References:
The interview should also ask for references from the candidate both internal (if any) and external. These references basically act as a mood of authenticity of the candidate and the information he/she shared during the interview.
The interview should be closed with answering any questions the candidate might have and then informing him/her about the next steps and tentative timeline. Good HR departments always inform the candidate in any case regarding the outcome of the interview.
Suitable for any other Role:
There is often a case when a candidate demonstrates a lot of potential and can be really beneficial for the organization but on the other hand is not suitable for the role that he/she was interviewed for. In that case, it is always a good idea to share the feedback with the HR department and recommend him/her for any other relevant position.