Interviewing is like making love
What? The more you practice the better you get? No, it’s not that old chestnut. We all know plenty of ‘highly experienced’ recruiters whose selection process and interviewing technique is a real turn-off.
To improve you have to recognise that you have weaknesses. You have to know and accept that you’re not perfect and be willing, nay keen, to learn. You have to cut out any of that macho self-posturing as an expert.
Most of us have met plenty of them: the recruiter who swears blind that selection is all in the handshake or how the candidate answers their favourite age old boring question. I wonder if those people make you yawn as much as they do me?
But most business leaders I know are not like that. They know that recruiting top quality people is one of the greatest challenges they face. They know that they’re not the bees knees at interviewing, and that they need expert help to be able to identify the people who are going to be the future of their business. That’s wonderful; those business leaders stand a decent chance of being highly successful. They’re not macho about their recruitment prowess, they’re willing to listen and learn, to practice, to improve, to put some effort in.
- It’s about preparation – understanding properly, and without pre-conceived ideas, what you’re looking for.
- It’s about working out how best to identify whether or not the person sitting in front of you meets those criteria.
- It’s about understanding what questions are relevant.
- It’s about actively listening to the answers you’re given, following up and probing deeper.
- It’s about recognising that it’s a two-way process – it’s as much about allowing your candidate to decide whether or not they’d like to work for you as it is about you selecting someone to join your business.
- It’s about building a relationship.
- It’s about determining the best selection techniques that allow you to achieve your objectives and the candidates to achieve theirs – therefore not just interviews.
- It’s about learning from your mistakes as well as your successes.
Top 6 Takeaways
- Don’t skimp the preparation
- Remember the goal of satisfying the other person’s needs as well as your own
- Be willing to learn and improve
- A variety of techniques may be best
- Interruptions, such as phone calls, are highly disruptive
- Smoking afterwards is bad for your health
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