“Dress to impress.”
These are some of the constant refrains given to folks coming in for a job interview.
But how about the interviewer?
Does he come and simply wing it, knowing that whatever happens, he’s not the one being put “on the spot” anyway?
No, not at all! An interviewer serves as a gatekeeper, filtering talent that comes to the organization. An interview, done right, can ascertain a candidate’s fit, interpersonal skills, problem-solving abilities, and potential to contribute to the company’s success.
In short, it is a chance to shape the future of the company by bringing in individuals who align with its values and vision. And so, it shouldn’t be taken lightly.
A well-conducted interview not only identifies the man or woman for the job but also fosters a positive experience that can, in the long run, impact a company’s reputation…and its ability to attract top talent.
If you want to build a thriving organization, never underestimate the interview process.
In this post, we’ll share some of the best tips and strategies interviewers can use to find rockstar employees.
#1 Set It Right
Create a comfortable environment where candidates feel like they’re talking to a trusted friend rather than facing an inquisitor.
An interview can easily feel like an artificial situation where applicants put their best foot forward, giving answers they think the interviewer will like or approve of. That’s understandable.
For an interview to be useful and support hiring decisions, an interviewer must be able to extract genuine responses that reflect how a candidate might perform on the job.
A long interview process, consisting of several rounds or sessions with various company officers won’t yield much if, in every one of them, only surface issues and motherhood statements are tackled.
For a genuine “getting to know” process, you need to set up an atmosphere that encourages open dialogue. This includes things like giving a warm welcome, small talk, building rapport, and asking probing questions.
Don’t make the candidate feel like he’s just one of the applicants you need to get through that day. If you want him to reveal himself to you, you need to make him feel like you genuinely want to know him as a person, and not just as a resume.
This really comes across to your interviewee.
#2 Reveal Yourself
It is human nature to reciprocate. If you reveal something about yourself, the person on the other side of the table is also likely to do so.
Say, you’re asking about a mistake the candidate committed in his past job. You wanted to know how he handled it and what lessons he learned from it. The candidate would be more likely to level with you (I mean really get into truly answering the question,) if you share first your own professional booboo.
This changes the dynamics of the situation. It ceases to become a dry Q&A, where superficial answers are given. It becomes a real conversation—one where you lead.
If you really want to “know” a candidate, you, the interviewer, have to reveal something about yourself first.
And I don’t mean that you turn it into your very own sob story. Do it to encourage candidates to open themselves up for a real interaction. (Because there’s no more defensive creature on this earth than somebody applying for a job and going for an interview.)
#3 Probe. (Assume that there’s always more information and insight behind the words.)
The candidate, days before coming in, will most likely have prepared for different types of questions. She may have called others who’ve gone through the process and asked what the interview is like.
Some may already have prepared answers…thanks to YouTube.
As an interviewer, you must cut through all these flowery words and prepared statements and get to the person.
You need to probe and not just accept answers at face value. Many interviewers know this but don’t actually like to probe–like they’re afraid to peek behind the curtain.
Probe to a point where it feels like you’re hearing something spontaneous and unrehearsed.
Say, you’re asking about what a candidate brings to the table, and she gives you some version of: “I bring a unique blend of skills, experiences, and qualities that I believe make me a valuable addition to your team. I have a track record of leadership and dedication, and have shown in the past that I can deliver…”
Probe into this by asking, for example, “When you say ‘dedication,’ what do you mean exactly? Care to elaborate on that?”
Keep on probing, be genuinely interested.
There comes a point when a candidate runs out of prepared statements and is forced to think on her feet and more importantly, be honest with you. That’s when the real interview begins. That’s also where the richest insights are.
#4 Silence Is Your Friend.
There’s power in silence. Embrace silence.
When an interviewee pauses to collect their thoughts or hesitates to answer a question, don’t rush to fill the void with more questions. Silence can be a powerful tool. Give the candidate the time to provide a thoughtful response.
Sometimes, the most valuable insights come from those thoughtful pauses.
And when the interviewee finishes off her answer, don’t immediately move on to the next point.
Hang in there. Wait a couple of seconds and maintain eye contact—as if you’re still waiting for the other person to talk some more.
The silence can often motivate the candidate to share more. (And what do you find? More data points for the hiring decision.)
#5 Focus On Soft Skills
I’m not saying hire for soft skills and just train for the technical part of the job.
Both are important.
With the whole world as your candidate base, you can hire individuals who have both soft skills and technical skills.
Companies who hire remote workers, for example, Filipino remote workers, have the luxury of getting professionals with technical expertise and also have the right attitude.
Technical skills are a must, especially for roles where technology is central. (And you might not have the time to train your guys.)
So yeah, technical skills are important. But they will most likely be assessed through some test or a trial task.
The traditional interview is uniquely suited to assess soft skills—communication, emotional intelligence, learning capacity, flexibility, adaptability, empathy, etc.
In a time of rapid change, the technical skills you’re hiring for may soon become obsolete. You may need to update them. But if you have people who know how to learn, adapt to change, and work well together, you have a team that’s ready for whatever the future brings.
And so that’s why the interview process is so important and should never be taken lightly. It’s your organization choosing the people you go to battle with.
Companies that hire remote workers trust Kinetic to find and vet Filipino remote workers who both have the technical and soft skills for the job.
With a candidate base of over 4 million remote professionals, Kinetic helps you hire for a wide range of roles, from software developers, network engineers, and data analysts, to lawyers, accountants, virtual assistants, and even HR.
(Speaking of which, you can browse the full catalogue of our Rockstar HR Candidates by clicking here.)
Companies who hire remote workers enjoy unprecedented savings in labour, amounting to around 70% of the usual costs.
If you want to explore this opportunity for your business, or if you have any questions, do not hesitate to get in touch with us and Kinetic will be your guide.
Kinetic Innovative Staffing has been providing hundreds of companies in the Asia Pacific, North America, the Middle East, and Europe with professionals working remotely from the Philippines since 2013. Get in touch to know more.