Interviewers are often the most important touchpoint that candidates have with a company. The interviewer skills that an interviewer has it’s really important for a candidate to have a great experience and want to work there.
If you’re an interviewer looking to brush up on your interviewer skills, here are three tips to do so:
1) Research the Candidate
This can seem obvious, but, in our own research, ⅓ of interviewers reported they didn’t have the time or resources to properly research a candidate before the interview. If you don’t know their background beforehand, you can’t ask them the proper questions!
What you should do: At least an hour before every interview, block off 30 minutes to read and annotate the candidate’s resume and look at their LinkedIn profile. Highlight experience that you think is relevant to the position that you’d like to ask them about further. Additionally, if you see that you went to the same school or have similar interests, make a note to reference that during the interview! Commonalities are one way to make candidates more comfortable during an interview.
2) Create Standardized Questions
Arguably one of the most important interviewer skills is asking the right questions. While there should definitely be questions that are unique to each candidate and are tailored to their experience, it’s also important to have standardized questions that all candidates are asked. This will help you and the hiring team fairly compare candidates.
What you should do: You, the other interviewers on your team, and the hiring manager should have a meeting to discuss what kinds of questions are important to ask of all candidates. Don’t try to be overly creative— the purpose of these questions, after all, is to create an opportunity for the candidate to showcase their experience.
3) Practice, Practice, Practice
Practice makes perfect, and this is especially true for honing your interviewer skills! If your organization doesn’t already, find opportunities for you to shadow an experienced interviewer during an interview. Make sure that you can then reverse shadow with that same interviewer so they can give you advice at the conclusion of the interview.
What you should do: Standardized, structured interviewer training is critical for a great candidate experience. Your team can either adopt a tool to automatically track where interviewers are in their training or manually track their progress through spreadsheets! With interviewer training, not only will your interviewer skills improve; your team will also have a larger pool of interviewers– which helps with load balancing!
Your interviewer skills are important for the future success of the company (no pressure!). Make sure you have the opportunities you need to further hone them and be the best interviewer you can be!