Interviewing - recruitment- the yellow spot- soft skills training company

As an interviewer, you hold great power. You are actually the person who decides who will be a part of your organization and contributes to its growth. However, with great power comes great responsibility. This means that you must conduct interviews in a way that helps you find the best fitment for every role and job.

Body Language during an interview - The Yellow Spot - soft skills training company

At The Yellow Spot, we believe that interviewing is a skill as well as an art. It can be learned, cultivated and sharpened over time. Let’s look at some key pointers that can help you improve your interviewing skills:

1. Understand the Role and the Job well

Ensure you speak to multiple stakeholders from the function/department. Also interact with existing job holders to understand the knowledge, skills and abilities required to do the job effectively. Identify behaviours and actions that differentiate an outstanding performer from an average performer. Read and understand the job and competencies required well. Clarify doubts, if any, with the respective stakeholders and ask for information which they may have missed out on.

2. Read and match the Resume with the Job Requirements

Ensure you read the resume of the interviewee again and again. Also, try to match it with the facts and insights gathered about the role to be played. Underline and highlight similarities and differences. Try to read between the lines. If you require a very specific experience or work exposure, give it a weightage as per the requirement.

Also remember, if there is less than a 60% match between the CV and the Job Description, you may want to rethink if you should be going ahead with the interview.

3. Prepare your Questions well in advance

Questions provide the interviewer with the answers he/she is looking for, to be able to decide if the interviewee fits the role or not.

Different types of interview questions help in getting different kinds of information from the interviewee. Therefore, questions must be well thought out to ensure the interviewer is able to get the maximum and most appropriate information from the interviewee in the available time.

Interviewing Skills - Questions - The Yellow spot - Top Corporate Training Company

Let’s look at a few examples of questions:

• Forward Looking Questions are asked to assess the capability of the incumbent for a role they may not have played in the past, but for which they are currently being assessed.
Say, currently they are a Senior Manager and are being assessed for the role of a VP in the new organisation.

E.g.: Imagine a situation where your Manager reaches the office late regularly and you need to put an end to it. What will you do? How will you go about it? What will you do if they do not change this behaviour?

• Backward Looking Questions are asked with relevance to the role currently or previously played by the incumbent. Backwards-looking questions are helpful in identifying if the interviewee has actual experience with the situations and capabilities you are looking at in the new role.
They also help in assessing if they actually possess the experience as claimed in their CV.

E.g.: Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with your Senior. What exactly happened? How did they behave? What emotions did you experience? How did you manage yourself? What did you do? What conversations did you have? How was your experience of this conversation? What was the outcome of this conflict?

• Leading Questions are questions where the interviewer leads the candidate in a particular direction.

E.g. Have you prepared for the interview? Do you like our Organisation? Would you want to work with our company? Were you a good leader? How are your communication skills?

These questions should ideally be avoided as they lead the interviewee to give answers on the track that the interviewee has led them on. Hence, they may not give enough information to decide or validate the truth of that answer. In fact, they often lead to closed-ended questions.

• Close Ended Questions are those where the interviewee will typically answer is, yes, no or just a word or two.
These questions should also be avoided as they do not add much additional information.

E.g. Which one do you prefer black or white? Did you fail while dealing with conflict? Are you a positive thinker?

The Behavioural Event Interviewing (BEI) questioning technique has proved to be one of the most effective interviewing techniques over the past few decades. It focuses on asking the candidate questions based on how they behaved during particular past events and situations or those they may encounter in the future. These could be forward-looking, backward looking or even hypothetical questions.

4. Practice the Interview

One way to prepare for an interview is to practice your conversations and questions in advance. You can also role-play the same with a colleague or discuss the questions with the manager to whom the interviewee will report to, if selected.

You can also record your practice sessions and reflect on the areas of improvement. It will help you sharpen your questions. It will also show you the mirror when it comes to your communication, etiquette, body language, voice, etc. Interviewing requires practice. This means doing it again and again with reflection and incremental changes to help you improve and eventually perfect it.

5. Just Before the Interview

Ensure you have the seating arrangement in place, good lighting, ventilation, water, tea/coffee, pen, writing pad, projector if need be, etc. in advance. Also have the required assessment material – CV of Candidate, prior round test results, etc. and paperwork like the Interview Assessment Form, JD, Competency Framework, information about your company, etc. in place.

Ensure you have informed your colleagues that you would not be available for a couple of hours. Keep your phone on silent. Also, remember that if more than one person is conducting the interview, ensure you clarify the roles each one of you will play. This helps in avoiding overlaps and confusion.

6. During the Interview

a. Give no Stress

Stress interviews are a matter of the past. The key to good interviewing is to help the candidate relax. If the interviewee is in stress, they will not be able to openly share their experiences, thoughts and feelings. If emotions have hijacked their rational thinking and their body is flooded with stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, you will never get a true picture of who they really are. That’s why we need to make them as comfortable as possible. The more comfortable they are, the more they will be able to share openly with you. And the more you will get to know about them and their fitment to the role.

b. Take Notes

A human being can only recollect between 8 to 10 words on average, at any instant in time. So, just think how difficult it would be for an interviewer to remember a 45-minute conversation! Unless you take notes, you cannot possibly recollect all the important information you have heard during an interview.

Also, typical interview assessment sheets contain ratings or small empty spaces for capturing the required data. This restricts the interviewer and is hence a poor way of capturing data. The best way to do it is to keep taking notes while conversing with the interviewee. You can write using short forms and noting down important words to make it faster. However, taking notes as the conversation takes place is a must.

c. Listen Actively:

Paying attention to what the candidate is saying and what they’re not saying is crucial to conducting an effective interview.

For example, if a candidate withdraws in his chair or looks away from you, understand that they are nervous or hesitant for some reason. Ask them if there’s anything they would like to ask you or if something is stopping them from sharing candidly.

Speaking less, practising pausing occasionally and learning to observe helps in reflecting on and understanding what the interviewee is sharing. Post that you can ask appropriate questions to clarify your understanding. This can give you some wonderful insights into the interviewee and their behaviour.

d. Ask questions and Acknowledge Answers

Articulate questions clearly and effectively based on the competencies you are looking for. Also, acknowledge the candidate’s responses. For example, if a candidate gives a particularly insightful response to a question, you could acknowledge their contribution and ask for more details. This encourages the candidate to share more, gives you deeper insights into the response provided and also ensures you have understood what he is sharing.

e. Recognize Emotions

Understanding and managing your own emotions, as well as recognizing and responding to the emotions of the candidate, can help you conduct more empathetic and effective interviews. The best way to identify emotions in others is through their facial gestures and body language. Giving them and yourself some time to settle down with emotions helps manage emotions. Pausing for a while and taking breaks if needed helps settle emotions on both sides.

f. Check if the Candidate Fits in

In addition to assessing the candidate’s skills and experience, it’s important to consider whether they’ll be a good fit for the organization’s culture and values. For example, if your organization values collaboration and teamwork, you could ask the candidate to describe a time when they worked effectively in a team. Understanding how he/she operates daily also can tell you if the person prefers to work independently or with others.

7) Closing the Interview

Closing the interview well is equally important as opening and preparation. A closing which is not done well leaves a sense of incompletion on both sides.

A few points to consider while closing:

• Have you answered all the questions the interviewee would have for you?
• Did you explain the subsequent steps you would take post the interview?
• Have you shared with the interviewee how they will be informed about the interview outcome?
• Has all the information you need been captured from the interviewee and recorded in a systematic manner?
• Have you filled in all the required documentation?
• Is there any question or information which is still left unexplored?

8) After the Interview

This is the last stage of the interview process and the most important.

Points to consider at this stage:

• How did the interview go?
• What went well?
• What could be improved for the next time?
• How were your questions?
• Were they able to draw out the information you require to take a decision?
• Did your notes record the information well enough for you to draw the information you require?
• How was your behaviour, etiquette, body language, emotions and overall attitude towards the interviewee?
• Is there any other information that you still require and need to get back to the interviewee for?

Finally, it’s the practice that makes you perfect. So go ahead and get as much as you can of it. There will be nothing that can stop you from choosing the best for your organisation!

We also found some more interviewing skills tips for interviewers which you can read here.

"Must Have Interviewing Skills in 2023" - By The Yellow Spot - - No Comments