Talent Acquisition : Three Easy Ways To Improve Your Interview Technique

Interview Tips for Employers

The importance of interview preparation by employers is a part of the hiring process that is generally overlooked or deemed unimportant.  An online search will reveal a plethora of articles offering advice to candidates on how to perform flawlessly at interview but advice for employers is rare. The suggestions below offer a good starting point for hiring managers and recruiters on how to improve your effectiveness at interview:-

Be human

In the race to recruit the top talent as quickly as possible, the importance of personality and culture fit is often overlooked.  Well-designed recruitment management software will help you to pinpoint vital skills but as some specific technical skills become harder to find expect a subtle shift towards hiring for attitude and potential. One of the most important aspects of this is culture fit.  Prepare interview questions that will enable you to find out more about the person behind the CV and accomplishments.  What are their hobbies and interests?  How do they spend their free time?  How well will they get along with your existing team members? By helping anxious candidates to relax you will gain a much better sense of their personality and suitability for your organisation. 

Prepare appropriate questions

An effective talent acquisition strategy relies on carefully prepared interview questions that are relevant to the vacancy being filled.  Candidates will be well prepared for the typical interview questions such as ‘what are your strengths and weaknesses?’, ‘why do you want to leave this job?’ and so on.  While these have their place in interviews, the most effective questions should be direct, specific and related to the vacancy you are hiring for.  Include open-ended questions that will reveal the characteristics that are consistent with your organisation’s core values and vision. Subjective interview questions are also invaluable as they ask for a candidate’s opinion and cannot generally be rehearsed or scripted. Competency based questions also provide vital information on a candidate’s skills and abilities on the basis that past performance predicts future behaviour.  While these are essential interview components, employers should be aware that well-prepared candidates anticipate these questions and rehearse answers in advance.  

Be aware of non-verbal communication

Some research suggests that as much as 90% of all communication during interviews is non-verbal.  Paying attention to the body language of candidates will provide an indication of their underlying attitude.  Their overall demeanour towards your employees should also be noted.  How do the candidates communicate with your receptionist and the people they meet as they walk through your offices?  How comfortable do they appear?  What was their attitude like during the scheduling of interviews?  Companies can gain some revealing insight into a candidate’s personality and culture fit by closely observing their behaviour.  The results of your observations should be collected and tracked within your recruitment management software to ensure all candidates are compared equally.  It is also essential to be aware of your own non-verbal cues during the interview process.  Interviewers should express interest and pay attention to the answers given by the candidates.  Negative cues will have a negative impact on the interviewee.

Hiring managers are highly influential in attracting talent to your company as they represent your culture, core values and brand message at interview.  Investment in that process now will reap significant rewards in the long-term – and improve your talent acquisition strategy as well as your levels of employee retention.


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