Interviewing Tips

First impressions are very important but the hiring manager should recognize that the focus should be on the candidates’ accomplishments and performance, that which is quantifiable, and not just on presentation.  Train yourself not to judge, positively or negatively, for at least thirty minutes, and recognize your own preferences and biases.  This will give you time to assess initiative and ability to learn, which is a good predictor of future performance; confirm this with behavioral and character traits, especially those traits that fit in best with your company’s culture. The quality of one’s experience is more important that the quantity of one’s experience.  Has the candidate taken on assignments that stretched them?  Determine if the candidate has adequate technical experience coupled with the ability to learn the skills necessary to succeed.  Determine the complexity and sophistication of the candidates’ previous environments and how this compares to your company.  High performing candidates don’t want to perform the same duties in a different setting.   Interviewing is a two-way street:  the candidate is evaluating your company through the lens of the interview and it’s important not to move too quickly;  be specific about the opportunities and challenges the position offers, without placing limitations on his or her’s ability to make an impact.   The best candidates want to “earn” the opportunity to work with your company so remember not to come across as desperate or too hungry.   Try to measure self-esteem and ability to get things done by asking challenging questions.  Find candidates who complement you and don’t hire in your own image.  During this process, develop rapport, and show genuine interest, even if you ultimately decide to go in another direction.  Get to know the person without asking inappropriate questions.  It is important to the let candidate do the vast majority of the talking, approximately seventy-five percent of the interview. Even if you feel you found the person you want to hire, maintain control and test the candidate’s interest. Salary discussions should be delayed until the second interview.  During the offer phase, if at all possible, make the offer an event and let the recruiter “pre-close” so there are no surprises.   Be sensitive to the time element in the recruiting and assessment process.  If you move too quickly, the candidate will lose interest and, conversely, if the process is delayed, strong candidates will not be available.  These simple tips will greatly enhance your success in attracting the best possible candidates to your company.

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