How to Conduct More Effective Interviews

Let’s face it: Interviews are hard for everyone. Assessing who is the best after talking to several well-rehearsed candidates can be difficult, but there are several techniques that can improve the quality of an interview.

Build Better Questions

While you may be tempted to pull clever-sounding or quirky questions, don’t forget that the goal of an interview is to evaluate performance potential and fit with your company. Use strategic questions to help you interview and evaluate the traits that matter the most for success in your company and with your team.

Choose questions to strategically evaluate:

  • MAP characteristics to understand the personal traits that impact performance and engagement
  • Core value alignment and other high performance characteristics
  • Skills, knowledge and experience

Train Your Team

Not all managers are good at evaluating candidates. Be sure to select and train a strong interviewing team. The better the interviewing team, the better the employee who gets hired.

Team Roles

  • A good rapport builder who helps set a welcoming tone to set the candidate at ease.
  • A great manager who is well-versed in the job duties and able to accurately evaluate skills.
  • A skilled listener who can focus on observing body language and other nuances in the verbal responses and take notes as needed.

Deliver open-ended questions that allow the candidate to tell you where they’ve failed or succeeded. Don’t ask, “Tell me about a time when you successfully navigated conflict on a team.” This invites your applicant to just talk about success. What if this person only successfully navigates conflict 10% of the time? This question will never uncover the failures. Leave the question open-ended to give them a chance to tell you their about the bad experiences along with the good. You can learn a lot about a person by hearing their stories.

Keep Score

Score interview answers to keep a standard of objective measurement. We grade responses based on an A,B,C,D grading scale and compile the entire team’s scores. Once the interview is over, the interview team discusses the overall grade and fit with the role and organization.

By picking a good interview team and calculating the aggregate score for each candidate, we can be sure to get the best candidate available based on the insights of a great team and an objective process.

Make Decisions

We’re looking for new hires who fit both our culture and the role at an A level. We work hard to avoid hiring talented terrors who are destructive to the work environment.

After evaluating all the factors - skills, knowledge, experience, culture fit, job fit, and reference feedback - we decide which person is the best candidate. Occasionally, it’s been difficult to find the right person, and we’ve had to go back to drawing board after interviewing several applicants.

Don’t be afraid to slow down a bit in the evaluation phase. If you get the right person hired, you’ll more than make up for that extra time. Rushing the hire may save time at the beginning, but eventually you’ll pay for your hasty decision through lost productivity in the team while you solve issues created by that person.

In Summary:

  • Build good questions centered around your company culture and team, and make sure to use them in the interview
  • Form a solid interview team to ensure a high-quality, productive, and informative interview.
  • Use an interview scoring scale in order to replace ambiguity with objectivity.

These techniques can help the hiring process run as smoothly and painlessly as possible. Interviews are always difficult, but with the right questions, interviewers and scoring system, they can ensure that you hire the right person for your company.