Is There Anything You Need to Learn about Interviewing?

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As an employer you inevitably have to do some interviewing to get the people you need for your team. But are you sure you know how to do it? Have you ever been trained to do it? Have you always picked the right people from your interviews or, if you’re like me, did you ever say, I don’t know what happened there, that person was great at the interview. As all knowing managers and bosses, it may come as a shock to know that most of us are ill prepared, and downright crap at interviewing ! So how do you get on top of your interviewing game ? Here’s a few tips: 1. Job Description I scream this at people every single day until they feel like beating me. Before you interview you need to know what you want. Three golden rules: What Result do you want from this person – how will you measure it What Tasks would this person need to be able to do to get you this result What Skills would the person need to have to do the tasks 2. Screening CV’s – Score them Before you look at any one’s CV you need to decide on a simple scoring system for the things that are important to you. An important point to note here is that any candidate who feels you unfairly interviewed them can come back and ask you for this, so make sure and be straight forward, fair and objective with this. Ask yourself questions about what’s not on the CV as well as what’s in it – sometimes great people are just plain bad at writing CVs- don’t hold it against them. 3. The interview – Relax them People have a tendency to be nervous at interviews and as a result you can form a wrong opinion about their ability to do your job on a whim. I always find it’s best to relax interviewees by thanking them for coming in and a little bit of small talk goes a long way. It’s also a good idea to get them to tell you a little bit about themselves, people love to talk about themselves as it’s the subject they know best, and they will tell you everything you need to know when they are relaxed. 4. Don’t get distracted Stick to the point, use your scoring sheet to find out relevant information without having to write copious notes when the interviewee answers a question. 5. Follow relevant comments with relevant questions If you are hiring a management accountant and they say they have experience with SAGE or whatever package you use, then ask them to tell you a little more about the experience they have, did they use it every day, was there a big volume of invoices, were they the only one responsible or did they shadow someone, you get the picture. 6. Above all , be nice – it costs nothing and means everything Remember, you never know where you will meet this person again, even if you don’t hire them. It’s a small world and that person could be the accountant in your clients office who will be responsible for paying you!! 7. Let them know Too often we don’t get back to the people we don’t want to hire to let them know – it’s horrible for them and they remember it. If you know they aren’t successful and there isn’t that many candidates, pick up the phone and thank them for their time and tell them simply that they weren’t successful. We run short afternoon training courses for free on interviewing skills, send us a mail if you would like to be included in the next one!

Gary