The blogosphere is wrought full of great content on interview prep, but there is a heavy bias (understandably I suppose) to preparing the interviewee. What about the interviewer?
In an environment where rapid movement and high attrition is becoming the norm, where expertise is a commodity and employees can quickly ramp on new skills in hours, top candidates hold the power over employers; even in competitive fields.
It is crucial employers use interviews in the most effective way possible to fill their talent pipelines with candidates who will succeed in their unique organizations.
Here are four must-dos for all interviewers.
1) Be yourself at all costs – authenticity in interviews will breed employee success
Being your authentic self on the job is certainly important to your productivity and happiness – but this must start from the first interactions you have with candidates.
Being yourself at all costs does not mean to not be professional, but ensuring you don’t mask who you are. Candidates are assessing the environment they are getting into and by taking on a fake persona you risk them either seeing through you and not taking the job, or even worse they take the job under false pretenses.
2) Be consistent in approach – develop a “hiring formula”
Ask any top executive what their company’s most import asset is and they’ll invariably say it’s their people; ask them how they know they are hiring the people with the best chance to succeed in their organization and you won’t get a clear answer.
It’s important to be consistent in how you structure interviews for a particular position and what data points you are trying to elicit across candidates.
Harvard Business School lecturer, Mark Roberge – in his book “The Sales Acceleration Formula” – discusses what he calls a “hiring formula” and how he used it as CRO at HubSpot. The goal is to identify a set of core traits you assess candidates on, consistently score each on these traits, and update the set as you learn more about what leads to success within your organization. For example, Roberge learned after going through this process that candidates that scored highest on “coachability” ended up being most successful within his organization. They key in the process is being consistent.
3) Be prepared – your company’s success does truly depend on it
The Boy Scout motto “Be prepared” is a simple adage, but crucial for interviews. Hiring decisions are the most important part of building a solid company, and yet interviewers usually spend very little time in preparing for interviewers, too often feverishly scanning candidates’ LinkedIn profiles minutes before an interview. I remember one of my first interviews out of college at a large software company – everything was going great but the hiring manager fell asleep – literally eyes-closed-sleep – during my answers to his questions (well maybe my answers were boring… but still!). I did not take the job.
Begin every interview with the mindset this person could be the rock star that will change my company.
4) Be on time – just as you would if you were the interviewee
Don’t make your candidates feel they are in the doctor’s office, sitting in a cold room waiting you to arrive. This is the first impression the potential future game-changer at your company will have.
This piece was originally published on the SHRM blog here. It’s author, Prem Kumar, has held several roles in various spaces of the HR software industry, and loves building products that people love. Prem currently works as Lead Product Manager at TINYpulse. In his spare time he loves to stay active, cheer on Seattle sports teams, and support his favorite charities. Follow Prem on twitter @premkumartweets.