Interviewing Skills Training

Interviewing skills training is extremely important for anyone and everyone who hires people. This famous quote from Harry Sullivan, a Neo-Freudian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst says it all:

I do not believe that I have had an interview with anybody in twenty-five years in which the person to whom I was talking was not annoyed during the early part of the interview by me asking stupid questions.”

The Interviewing process can be considered as one of the most critical yet cumberson processes for an organization as well as for the interviewee.

One of the key reasons being that any organization cannot be successful if they do not have the right human resources who possess the knowledge, skills and attitude required to do their job well. And we all know the cost of a bad hire!

On the other hand, no human being can have a good career or do their job well if they finds themselves a misfit in the organization they have just joined!

Hence a basic Interviewing skills training becomes very important for the interviewer. Most interviewers conduct interviews based on their own formulated methods over the years. They conduct these interviews without any formal interviewing skills training. This can lead to disasters; for themselves, their organisations and also the interviewee.

A basic interviewing skills training typically covers some of the below points:

Before the interview

Ensuring that you know the:

  • Key qualification criteria so that you don’t end up meeting too many candidates who do not meet the requirements

  • Job Description, role, cultural fit, knowledge, skills and abilities required for the employee to play the role well

  • Pros and cons of the job you are offering the candidate

  • Future for the incumbent in this role

  • Compensation structure you can offer and the maximum you can negotiate

  • Venue for the interview, selecting a place where there is no disturbance from people or technology

  • Schedule and mindset of the other interviewers for ensuring you are aligned with them on the design and process of the interview to avoid any duplication or conflict of interest

  • Questions you will ask the interviewee based on the need of the role

  • Resume of the interviewee well in advance and mark the areas you would want to know more about, remembering to carry a copy of it with you

During the interview

  • Being available before time for the interview

  • Ensuring you are fully focused in the interview and not distracted

  • Sharing the process of the interview with the interviewee

  • Creating a safe space for the interviewee to be able to open up and settle his/her anxiety

  • Following the 30:70 rule which means you speak 30 percent of the time and allow the interviewee to speak for 70 percent of the time

  • Asking specific questions which are past looking or future looking in terms of action the interviewee took or would take in such situations

  • Ensuring that you don’t allow the interview to turn into a stress interview. Stress interviews, although a part of most previous interviewing skills training, don’t let you see the true person. Throwing a question or two to see how they handle stress is fine. But conducting the entire interview as a stress interview is a complete no.

  • Keeping a note of the discussion on the interview sheet

  • Being aware of the body language of the interviewee

  • Sharing clearly what the role entails in the event the interviewee gets selected

  • Concluding with action points and the path forward, if any

After the interview

  • Reflecting on how the interview went and jotting down the pointers

  • Identifying the high and low points during the interview for yourself and the interviewee

  • Discussing the findings with the other interviewers

  • Connecting the dots with regards to the response given by the interviewee and identifying areas that match and those that don’t

  • Creating action points for how you will conduct the next interview differently based on your learnings of this interview

These are some of the important points covered in an interviewing skills training. Can you think of any that we may have missed out?

"Tips to Improve Interviewing Skills and make better hiring decisions" - By The Yellow Spot - - 1 Comments


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