Written by Lisa Holt
In today’s market, jobseekers have more opportunity than ever to research and prepare for an interview. Sometimes it can even seem like the interviewee has become the interviewer! Have you found yourself in that hot seat starting off the interview in a determined fashion, keen to probe the skillset and talent and suddenly you find you are answering the questions instead? If so, take a moment and steer the meeting back towards your questioning.
Due to easy availability of interviewing for excellence material, acing an interview has become a formulaic process for candidates. Online tips, blogs and books all give the candidate the details they need to succeed in an interview. This means one has to be more
vigilant and methodical in the interview process. Here are a few key tips to help you get the best from your interview.
- Prepare for the meeting. Like all meetings the more prepared you are the more you will take from it. By simply ensuring you read the CV in detail the day before the interview, you will have the time to research any leading details.
- Understand The vacancy in detail. This includes the detail around the role and the type of person being sought.
What is that hiring manager like? What kind of person do they work well with? What do they thrive on and what do they not tolerate? It is common that the hiring manager will not give the time required to discuss the ideal candidate. You must insist on them doing so.
- Practice good competency-based interviewing.
You must be clear on the competencies you are looking for and prepare those questions around those key areas. Seek out previous actions and what the outcome was. Have a list of the core skills you are looking for and if you do not see those skills, then you do not make that hire.
- Probe, probe and probe again.
Too many times an interviewer can be swung by the charm of the interviewee. If the candidate is controlling the interview retake control by keeping the focus on what you need. If you ask a question and don’t get the right answer, tell the candidate exactly that. “Apologies, maybe I did not ask that question clearly enough - let me try again”. Be very persistent on obtaining the detail you need.
- Look out for questionable remarks and cross-examine them.
If at any stage they make a statement like: “That was someone else‘s responsibility and not mine”, take note and flag this for further inquiry. Question it until you are satisfied they are accountable. Or are they an individual who shirks responsibility and blames others? If so they are not your hire. Follow your instinct – it is often spot on.
Successfully striking the balance between retrieving the required information and representing the company as an employer of choice can be difficult. However the most important thing to remember is that you only have one, maybe two chances to get this right. Will they be a consistent hard worker, a positive thinker, an asset to your business? Have they a can-do attitude and are they a finisher? I would go as far as asking yourself; did you relate to the person, did you like them? If so it’s much easier to help them and bring them on in their role if you relate to them. Hiring the best people is the key to success, give it the time and effort and preparation it deserves and get it right.