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Interviewing - are you up to it?

Posted by Lara Roche on 21 October 2015

Interviewing - are you up to it?

…because it’s a big responsibility you know? As an interviewer you hold tens of thousands of pounds of your organisation’s money in your hands – money your organisation will spend on the salary of the candidate you select, on their training to plug any gaps they have that become apparent, on the time their manager and team will spend bringing them up to speed. That’s if you get it right. If you get it wrong the cost becomes all this plus the money the organisation will lose through the incompetence of the unsuitable candidate that you have hired, before the money that they will spend re-embarking on the costly recruitment process once again. Daunted? Perhaps you should be, because this is a big responsibility. Skilled? You definitely should be because, I’ll say it again, this is a big responsibility. So where to start…?

Start at the beginning. Extract from the role profile you are recruiting for the essential skills the deal-breakers, and the desirable skills the nice-to-haves. From there, conduct a sifting exercise that successfully identifies those attributes and you are on the path to a high quality candidate pool to interview.

When it comes to the interview itself, preparation is key. Prepare ahead of time a best practice template for your interviews of both competency and values based questions. That way you will still have the mental capacity during your interviews to use the active listening and powerful questioning that make you confident that you can rate all of your candidate’s interviews fully and fairly.

The “fairly” in this is key here. To avoid becoming a victim of the biases that you - like all people - will hold, and therefore missing out on a gem of a candidate you need to strip discrimination completely from your interviewing. From how you do your sifting, through the way your interview questions are phrased, to how you score and rate your candidates, discrimination can be inherent in your interviewing even if you don’t want it to be. Learn how to eliminate it and your eyes will become opened to the candidate that is truly the best, rather than the one that may be best at fitting the mould.

There’s no doubt there is a lot to high quality interviewing. Even once you have learned the tools, techniques and skills involved it will take practice to become really adept at it. Much like driving a car at first it will seem complicated and at times exhausting. Over time though, much like driving a car, the skills will become second nature and you’ll find yourself able to successfully identify the ideal candidate for your role and your organisation. Is it worth it? Definitely – because interviewing, much like driving a car, is a big responsibility.

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