7 Keys to Being a More Productive Interviewer

It is expected that candidates come fully prepared for interviews. Turning the tables, it should also be expected for all hiring managers/recruiters and additional stakeholders involved in the interviewing process to be prepared as well. Here is a list of interviewer tips to help ensure you have the most productive interviewing process possible.

7 Keys to Being a More Productive Interviewer

1) Do Your Research

Review the candidate’s resume, LinkedIn profile, cover letter, and any other material they may have provided. Beyond that, do some research on the companies they have been a part of so you have a better understanding of their background.

2) Prepare Questions

While reviewing the materials above, prepare questions that you may want to ask the candidate about their experience. Additionally, have a controlled list of interview questions that you will ask all candidates who interview for the role. Having a controlled list provides consistency across the hiring process.

3) Listen and Take Notes

Surprisingly, this takes practice. Be conscious of what you are noting as it’s easy to jot down unnecessary information. Stick to the core of what the interviewee is saying. As I’ve explained in the past, it is helpful to follow the BAR method for candidate responses — keep note of the Background of the situation, what Action was taken, and what the Outcome was.
Then when you refer back to your notes you will have information on the entire picture, rather than out-of-place details you’re missing context for.

4) Probe

Ask questions for clarity and make sure candidates elaborate. At times, candidates can assume you know the background of a situation, or will not provide the entire story behind a situation, so ask the candidate follow-up questions on specifics. Generalities and vague answers tell you nothing.
Follow-up questions can also help to change the dynamic of the interview, making it more of a conversation as opposed to a question and answer session.

5) Have an Interview Scorecard in Hand

Having an interview scorecard in front of you will allow you to immediately be able to jot down and highlight notes based on each critical competency, ask questions based on each, and allow you to be more accurate in your scoring.

6) Follow up

If a candidate inquires about something you don’t have an immediate answer for, jot the question down and follow up with the candidate. If you cannot, forward this information to the recruiter involved so he or she can get the candidate the information.

7) Provide Timely Feedback

This means getting back to the recruiter/hiring manager within a reasonable timeframe — typically 24-48 hours.

Do you have any interviewer tips that should be added to this list? How do you prepare for your own interviews?

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