Must DOs for Interviewers
Friday, March 25, 2022
Here are three must DOs for interviewers based on my recent interviewing experience with several companies.
1. Be Present
Presence is the most important behavior for an interviewer. Don’t distract yourself during the interview. The candidate would know when your eyes wander off to check an email or a message on your screen. When that happens, you break the communication flow. Don’t let this happen. Stay in the full-screen mode and disable notifications on all your devices. If you are taking notes, let them know.
Look, the candidate is giving you their time and attention. You also agreed to give yours to the candidate. The candidate must also have spent their time researching about you in addition to the company you work for. So, the least you can do is be present during the interview.
Further, do some homework to get to know the candidate before the interview. Most companies tell candidates to research about them prior to the interview. Reciprocate the same to the candidate even for a few minutes before the interview. That process will ease you into being present with the candidate.
Don’t jump into the interview with no time between your prior meeting and the interview. Declutter your mind, your screens, and devices, relax for a few minutes before the interview, and only then join the interview. Don’t start the interview with a “let me open your resume” and start reading while the candidate is waiting or speaking. Show your manners.
2. Be Personable
Attempt to connect with the candidate. Smile. You’re in the interview with them to know about them. Regardless of suitability, you and the candidate are fellow human beings, so start at that human level. Be personable.
There is no need to wear a cloak of smartness. You’re there to know about the candidate, but not show off how good you are. Candidates perform the best when they feel connected and respected. Don’t make yourself believe that interviews are about performance under stressful conditions and that you’re there to simulate such situations. Real-world stressful conditions differ vastly from interview conditions.
3. Be Curious
As an interviewer, you are in a position to judge the candidate. But don’t use the interview time to judge them. Judgement biases communication. Instead, be curious and explore the candidate during the interview, and defer judgment to a time after the interview.
When you begin to judge the candidate during the interview, your body language and tone will undoubtedly reflect your opinion. The candidate will likely feel your opinion subconsciously, influencing their subsequent behavior.
In essence, your judgment, mainly when unfavorable to the candidate, will affect the candidate’s behavior and eventually derail the outcome. Instead, a curious approach will let the candidate open up, be themselves, and play along with you so you can learn more about them.
Don’t make assumptions about things that the candidate has not told you. Ask them probing questions instead to establish facts as best as you can. Don’t jump to conclusions without probing.