How To Prepare For The Interview
Now that your team has prepared great technical exercises for the candidates, its time to get yourself ready to lead the interview. During the interview you will have a lot to do in a short amount of time: Evaluating a candidate, following their train of thought, challenging their decisions, paying attention to their behavior, forming your opinion of this person Doing all of that in one hour requires strict concentration, which is much easier to achieve when you dont have to think about the algorithm or exercise on top of everything else.
A Note On Why This Matters
Everyone you interview is an opportunity, whether they are hired or not.
Interviews open a window into your companyone that carries much more authority than your marketing campaigns. Dont let what people see through that window be ugly. Talented engineers arent an exclusive club they have friends at every level of talent and you certainly wouldnt want to scare them away by mistreating their peers. Additionally, someone who doesnt meet your hiring bar today may very well meet it tomorrow, and when that happens you wouldnt want them to turn elsewhere because you made them feel unimportant.
The bottom line is that bad interviewers scare away good candidates.
With that in mind, here are a few tips you can start using to become a better technical interviewer.
What Does A Successful Interview Look Like
A successful interview includes proper communication right from the beginning. That starts with setting the stage for the interviewee.
Explain the interview process to them. Tell them:
- Who will be involved
- What are the various steps
- When each step takes place
- How theyll be kept in the loop
This sets the right tone for candidates, and will influence how your applicant will respond to the job interview process. It also reflects well on your company culture, adding credibility to your employer brand.
As a bonus, being candid with candidates helps reduce the frequency of applicant ghosting. It also opens up the line of communication, which can help the interviewee best prepare for questions and follow-ups.
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Realize Candidates Are Assessing You As Much As Youre Assessing Them
Some interviewers approach interviewing as if they hold all the cards and will treat candidates in ways theyd never treat, say, clients like starting the meeting very late, checking email and taking calls throughout, or being dismissive or even hostile. But good candidates have options, and theyll be assessing you right back. Theyll pay attention to things like how respectfully you treat them, whether youre focused or distracted, how interested you are in answering their questions , whether you can clearly describe how youll measure success in the role, and how they see you interact with colleagues during the hiring process. So, as youre deciding which candidate to choose, dont forget the candidate must choose you as well.
Choose The Right Candidates
Statistically, hiring managers receive way more applications than they are actually able to interview. To visualize their inboxes, think about that scene in Harry Potter where the owls flood the Dursleyâs home with letters. Itâs kind of like that.
Way before choosing the right candidate for the job, youâll have to make the decision as to who gets the actual interview. More often than not itâll be easy to determine based on skills, experience, or work samples.
But if you have a large pool of applications thereâs a few ways you can weed out candidates who are likely to be a poor fit for your organization anyway:
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Cultivate Curiosity The Dale Carnegie Approach
All of these techniques are tried and true, but they dont really work without one simple quality on the interviewers part: curiosity.
A true passion for learning more about those around you goes further than any trick or even the most polished communication skills. Take it from Gay Talese, one of the legendary founders of literary journalism:
I used to wander around. I never knew exactly what I was looking for. I knew vaguely what I hoped to find or I had some rough idea, but I was in the exploratory mode all the time Just go out and discover and youll find by chance, by accident some terrific stories, some terrific people you never thought you would meet.
You can cultivate curiosity in your daily life by noticing more details, delving deeply into the ideas that grab your interest and being alert to those around you and what makes them light up.
As Dale Carnegie famously explains, the beauty of curiosity is that it makes you nearly irresistible to everyone around you.
You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.
Of course wed all like to think of ourselves as attentive, curious students of the world, but one little thing gets in the way: our own egos.
How Does The Company Represent Its Core Values
Use this question to learn about the company’s culture, core values, and commitment to them. Be sure to research its values before your interview and consider prefacing this question by sharing what you understand about the company’s culture and values. The answer may help you learn how the company’s actions support its verbal claims and determine if their values align with yours.
Related:What Is Corporate Culture?
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Need More Tips For Interviewing Someone
The hiring process is hardly a walk in the park, and the job interview may very well be the trickiest part. But the good news is that you have an expert whos willing and ready to help. With Monster, you can get free access to cutting-edge hiring resources from interview insights to job market trends, and more to ensure that your business is attracting and hiring top-level talent.
How Can You Become A Better Interviewer
Interviewing is an art.
If you want to be a good interviewer, you need to learn how to select the best candidates not only for the job but also for the company. You need to ask the right questions in the right way, maintain the right demeanor and read your candidates body language.
Good interviewers are those who know how to select the best candidates AND provide a great candidate experience.
Being a good interviewer requires a lot of knowledge and practice. In this guide, I will share useful tips and tricks to help you conduct great interviews.
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Interview Tips For The Interviewer
So youve had a crazy day, with a million deadlines and a thousand small crises. Now you have to interview candidates for a critical position that you need to fill. If you dont have a human resources department to guide you along, here are some tips for interviewing someone and for conducting a job interview from the other side of the desk.
Prepare Food And Drinks
A small gesture such as preparing a glass of water and offering your candidates with cookies and tea or coffee can go a long way. Make sure to prepare everything you need in advance or have your colleague available to make and bring a tea or coffee for your candidate. Be a kind and considerate interviewer. 🙂
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Getting Ready To Interview
Wear appropriate interview attire. It can be awkward if you show up at a job interview overdressedor underdressed. Always dress appropriately for an interview, so you make the best first impression.
Go light on the perfume or cologne. Some people have sensitivities or allergies to fragrances. Others have strong reactions to scentsand not always positive ones. Make sure the interviewer can focus on your qualifications, not your perfume selection.
Avoid sweaty palms. Nobody wants to touch a slimy, wet hand. If you can visit the restroom on the way to the interview, wash and thoroughly dry your hands. When thats not possible, use a tissue to make sure your hands are dry.
How To Interview Candidates
Effective interviews expose potential red flags, reveal strengths, ensure that expectations fit with salary, compensation, and personality, and verify qualifications, skills, and abilities. They’re an essential part of the hiring process.
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Take The Time To Say Thank You After The Interview
Taking the time to say thank you after a job interview not only is good interview etiquette. It also reinforces your interest in the position and shows the interviewer that you have excellent follow-up skills. Use your thank you letter, as well, to address any issues and concerns that came up during the interview.
Inform Rejected Candidates About Your Decision
As soon as your selected candidates accept your job offer, contact all other candidates to inform them that they didnt get the job. It is crucial that you know how to say Sorry, you didnt get the job in a way to maintain a strong employer brand. Make sure you send only customized post-interview rejection emails and give a brief explanation of the main reason why they didnt get the job.
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What To Do During The Interview
When a candidate is in front of you, you have to be a welcoming presence so that the candidate has a good interviewing experience. As a representative of your company, you want to make sure that when candidates leave your office they have nothing but nice things to say about your company, whether they receive a job offer or not.
Turn off notifications
Just as every interviewee has learned to turn off their phones before heading into an interview, interviewers should do the same. Put all your computer and phone notifications on hold so rings and beeps dont interrupt the candidate or distract you. You want to be present and attentive. If you are focused on electronics, even just a quick peek, will make you seem rude to the candidate, reflecting badly on the company.
Be on time for the interview so you dont keep anyone waiting. Greet the candidate warmly with a smile so they feel welcome. You can offer them a drink if you wish to help them settle in. Introduce yourself, shake hands, ask them how they are, and then dive into describing the role theyre interviewing for. Overall, remember that interviews are nerve-racking for most candidates so you want be positive to get interviewees to relax. You want to see how they behave in their day-to-day life, not how they are when theyre nervous.
Ask follow up questions
Read The Candidate’s Resume
This should go without saying, but reading your intervieweeâs resume beforehand is very helpful at the preparation stage. This way youâll be able to ask situational questions that are relevant to specific candidates.
Youâll be able to dig a bit deeper once you have a general understanding of their experience. If you donât take the time to go over the resume, itâs just a wasted resource. Make sure you print a copyâor download it to your smart device if you work in a paperless officeâand bring it with you for reference during the interview.
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Ability To Read Body Language
During an interview, a job candidate is not just communicating with their words, but theyre also communicating with their body language. The way that theyre sitting, the way their head is tilted, and their mannerisms can all tell you something that their words are not. Being able to decipher these hidden messages is one of the important qualities of a good interviewer. Ultimately, this helps you to correctly identify your top candidate for the position.
And lets not forget your body language. Just as you want to make sure that the job candidate is not sending negative messages with the way they hold and conduct themselves, you should also be cognizant of the non-verbal message that youre sending, as well.
In The End Its Still A Crap Shoot
No matter how long you interview someone or how extensive a background check is or how many references you call, its still a crap shoot as to whether or not they will fit into your company. Dont be discouraged if you choose a candidate and they dont work out. It happens and its not the end of the world. Just remember to learn from it because that will make you a much better interviewer.
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Build A List Of Strong Structured Questions
The Society of Human Resource Management suggests that there are four main categories of interview questions to consider, regardless of industry: work history, strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, and insights into the role at hand. Choosing questions from these areas will help assess not just experience and skills but cultural fit. Furthermore, there should be a balance between questions with a specific intent or answer in mind and open-ended questions that give the interviewee space to improvise and elaborate.
How To Be A Good Interviewer: Improve Your Qualitative Interviewing In 5 Minutes
As learning professionals, its important for us to gather data learn about learning, if you will in order to grow our learning systems and confirm that were solving the right problems.
Being a good interviewer is an essential part of gathering feedback from users, learners, and partners. When done correctly, asking questions and listening helps build empathy with your audience while gathering valuable intelligence that can power your organization forward.
Weve summarized this article into a downloadable checklist for you
Seriously, you’ll want it the next time you interview someone.
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What Does The Training Or Onboarding Process Include
Ask this question to learn more about what you might expect when you begin working for this company. This may help you find out if the company provides you with formal training or a mentor when you start your position or if they will expect you to begin working independently immediately. The answer may help you better prepare for your potential first day or allow you to share the relevant experience you have that makes you qualified for the position.
Practice Flexible Listening Here Is How
What seems like the simplest part of holding a conversation or conducting an interview is often the trickiest. Its listening the right way.
Skilled interviewers become adept at listening not just to the words their subject is saying but also the tone in which the words are said, the pauses and nuances of the answer and whats being left unsaid.
This active, flexible listening lets them know when to move onto a new subject and when the moment is ripe to probe a little deeper with a follow-up question.
Off-the-cuff questions often yield the best answers but the opportunity only arises from deep, engaged listening. Take a lesson from Katie Couric and stay poised to change direction based on what happens in the conversation.
Nothing is worse for me as a viewer than to watch someone go down a laundry list of questions and not explore something with a little more depth after someone has answered a question I think you need to use your questions as sort of a template, but you have to be willing to listen and veer off in a totally different direction.
Worried about going down too many conversational rabbit-holes and forgetting to pick back up on an important point? Try the outrageous image technique from Dick Cavett.
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Tip#: Watch The Body Language
Good interviewers pay attention to candidates body language. Candidates body and face send many different nonverbal cues that can provide extremely useful insights. However, avoid making assumptions unless youve studied good practices for reading your candidates body language. Keep in mind that your body sends out signals as well!
Understand The Job Description And Requirements
As a hiring manager, your comprehension of the job youre filling will help guide questions and clarify any misunderstandings the applicant may have about the role. Remember that they will also have time to ask you follow-up questions, too. If they are job-related, youll need to have a good understanding of the work they will be doing.
Heres more on writing a clear and compelling job description.
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Do You Expect My Responsibilities Will Change In The Next Six Months In A Year
Use this question to learn about the company’s expectations for you and the role and opportunities for growth. Asking this question also demonstrates your desire to work for the organization long term. If you hope to advance to a leadership role, consider using the interviewer’s response as an opportunity to share your goals.
Good Questions To Ask During An Interview
There are different types of good questions to ask during your interview that may help you learn more about the organization or build your relationship with the interviewer. For example, you may ask questions about the specific role to determine if you have the experience required or if it’s something you would enjoy. You may ask questions about company culture to gauge how well you would fit within the organization. Asking questions about your interviewer’s interests and experience may help you make a better impression.
Here are some examples of good interview questions to ask:
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Now Go Get Some Amazing New Teammates
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Doing tech interviews has been a valuable experience for me because it is a unique way to see how other people think and solve problems and that is always an opportunity to learn something new and to mature as an engineer. If you had doubts before reading this article, I hope that you now feel confident that you have what it takes to become a great interviewer too. Remember that your candidate is probably as stressed out as you but they dont know that you are, so just go for it and try to have a good time.