As a hiring manager or HR professional, you know that the interview process is crucial for finding top talent. A good interviewer can effectively assess a candidate's skills and fit for the company, leading to successful hires that benefit both the individual and the organization. But what makes a good interviewer? In this post, we'll delve into the characteristics and best practices of effective interviewers, as well as tips for improving your own interviewing skills.
Preparation is key
A good interviewer takes the time to thoroughly research the company, the role, and the candidate before the interview. This includes reading the candidate's resume and cover letter, as well as any additional materials provided. It's also important to have a clear understanding of the job requirements and the company culture to ensure that the right fit is found. Proper preparation allows the interviewer to ask informed and targeted questions, and helps to create a more productive and meaningful conversation.
Active listening skills
Effective interviewers are excellent listeners. They pay attention to what the candidate is saying and ask follow-up questions to clarify points and gather more information. Active listening also involves maintaining eye contact, nodding, and providing verbal affirmations such as "I see" or "okay" to show that the interviewer is engaged and interested in what the candidate has to say.
Ability to put candidates at ease
Interviews can be nerve-wracking for both parties, and a good interviewer understands this. They create a welcoming and comfortable environment, and do their best to put the candidate at ease. This can involve small talk and casual conversation to break the ice, as well as actively listening and offering encouragement during the interview.
Asking targeted, open-ended questions
Good interviewers ask targeted, open-ended questions that allow the candidate to elaborate on their experiences and skills. These types of questions encourage the candidate to provide examples and share more about themselves, rather than simply answering with a yes or no. Asking targeted questions also helps the interviewer get a better sense of the candidate's fit for the role and the company.
Avoiding leading questions
Leading questions are those that suggest a specific answer or steer the conversation in a certain direction. For example, "You must be a great team player, right?" is a leading question that assumes the candidate is a great team player. Good interviewers avoid these types of questions and instead ask neutral, open-ended questions that allow the candidate to answer honestly and freely.
Being open and fair
A good interviewer is open and fair, treating all candidates equally and without bias. This includes avoiding making assumptions about a candidate based on their appearance, background, or any other personal characteristic. It's important to approach each interview with an open mind and give every candidate a fair chance to showcase their skills and fit for the role.
Giving constructive feedback to candidates is an important part of the interview process. A good interviewer provides honest and helpful feedback to candidates, whether they are moving forward in the hiring process or not. This helps candidates understand their strengths and weaknesses and can improve their chances of success in future job searches.
Being respectful of the candidate's time
Good interviewers respect the candidate's time and make sure to stay on schedule. This includes arriving on time for the interview and ending the interview at the agreed upon time. It's also important to be mindful of the candidate's schedule and make sure they have enough time to ask questions and share their thoughts.
Being professional and courteous
Good interviewers maintain a professional and courteous demeanor throughout the interview process. This includes dressing appropriately, being punctual, and behaving in a respectful and polite manner. It's important to remember that the interview is a business meeting, and the candidate is evaluating the company as much as the company is evaluating them.
Being adaptable and flexible
No two interviews are exactly the same, and a good interviewer is able to adapt and be flexible in order to get the most out of each conversation. This may involve adjusting the questioning approach based on the candidate's responses or changing the direction of the conversation if necessary.
Being aware of body language and nonverbal cues
Effective interviewers pay attention to both verbal and nonverbal cues during the interview. This includes the candidate's body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice, as well as the interviewer's own nonverbal communication. Being aware of these cues can provide additional insight into the candidate's fit for the role and the company.
Being transparent and honest
Good interviewers are transparent and honest about the role, the company, and the interview process. This includes providing a clear job description and expectations, as well as being open about the company culture and any challenges or opportunities the candidate may face in the role. Honesty and transparency can help build trust and create a more positive and productive interview experience for both parties.
Having a clear evaluation process
A good interviewer has a clear and consistent evaluation process in place to assess candidates. This may involve using a structured interview format, creating a list of essential skills and qualifications, and using a standardized scoring system. Having a clear evaluation process helps to ensure that the best candidate is selected for the role.
In conclusion, good interviewers are essential for successful hiring. They are well-prepared, excellent listeners, and able to adapt and be flexible in order to get the most out of each interview. They are also respectful of the candidate's time, open and fair, and have a clear evaluation process in place. By adopting these characteristics and best practices, you can improve your own interviewing skills and find the right fit for your company.
How Hume Can Help
One way to improve your interviewing skills and make the hiring process more efficient is by using interview intelligence platforms like Hume. Hume records, transcribes, and summarizes interviews, providing a wealth of objective data that can help hiring teams make more informed decisions. It also allows interviewers to review and analyze their own performance, helping them to identify areas for improvement and become better interviewers. By leveraging technology like Hume, you can streamline the interview process and make it more effective for both the company and the candidates.
No more hurriedly scribbled notes. Aspect delivers clear, detailed and custom AI summaries of every interview, capturing the nuances that matter.
Learn how to improve your interviewing technique with personalized feedback based on your interactions.
End-to-end integration: Aspect seamlessly integrates with your existing ATS systems, providing a unified hiring solution.
People Success Specialist
Absolutely game-changing for busy recruiters!
The summary, the Q&A feature and the ATS integration have boosted my productivity and lowered the context-switching stress, the analytics provided allowed for me and my team to have full visibility over our stats, and Aspect's team couldn't be more helpful, friendly and accessible!
Aspect adds rocket fuel to the hiring process.
Aspect helps me hire faster & more efficiently. I can create short highlight reels to share quickly with my team & clients for faster decision making. Faster, more informed decisions using Aspect has led to faster, better hires!