Does The Interview Really Matter?

You are the manager, and it is time to hire your team.  Does the interview really matter?  As the boss, surely you can just talk to someone and know if they are qualified.  In a nutshell, no you can’t and, yes, the interview matters.

Remember the Motto and Be Prepared

Success in many things begins with preparation.  How will you interview?  Will you interview on the phone, via Skype, or in person?  Are you responsible for setting up interview times?  If not, does your assistant have your most current schedule and availability?  After interviews are set up, remember to give candidates the address and any necessary directions to the office.  Ideally, you should set up any technology you might need for the interview the day before to ensure it is operating properly.  This will give you time to troubleshoot, if necessary.  In addition to the interview itself, prepare yourself.  You are interviewing a candidate to work for you, but they will also be interviewing you to see if they want to!  Be professional and organized so they see you, and your company, as a place they want to be.

Introductions are Important

It is already nerve wracking being at an interview, so a friendly hello will put them at ease.  When meeting the candidate, introduce yourself and give them your title.  Shake their hand and repeat their name back to them.  “Hi Joe, my name is Mike, and I’m the General Manager here at our company.  I would like to discuss the open Associate position that we have.  Please come in and have a seat.”  Be informative and friendly.  Keep a pleasant smile on your face and speak clearly.

Need a Record?

In some cases, you may want to record or film the interview for training purposes.  Ask the candidate’s permission before you do so and clarify your reasons.  If they decline, accept it and move on.

Additional Things to Consider

Determine how much time you need to gather all necessary information during the interview.  The candidate will most likely have questions so have a time frame in mind for how long you will allow.  If you plan on taking the candidate on a tour of the facility or to meet other team members, consider that when determining the amount of time, you will allow for the interview.

Avoid These Things

Providing the questions to the candidates in advance may be convenient, but it prevents you from hearing their honest responses.  The candidate is giving you their time and attention, so be respectful and give them yours.  Also, group interviews are often stressful for a candidate.  When you determine a candidate is a good fit, you can consider a casual group meeting.

Be Natural and They Will Be Comfortable

People interviewing are naturally nervous so try to make them comfortable.  This will allow their true personality to come through.  Ask a general question as an icebreaker, and then listen to what they have to say.  Did their kid just play Beauty in a third-grade play?  At that moment, you are fascinated by that.  People love to talk about themselves and, get used it, they especially love talking about their kids.  This tends to help them relax because it is a comfortable topic of which they are confident.  It also gives you insight to them and shows they have compassion.  Once you give them a few minutes to brag on little Janie’s performance, move to the interview. Keep in mind you do not need to have a checklist and a clipboard, with a look of formality.  Interviews should be a natural conversation, giving both you and the candidate a feeling of ease.

And lastly…

Be friendly and enthusiastic.  This will encourage the candidate to express their personality, so you can determine if they will be a good fit.  You already know they are qualified on paper, the interview is really the time to see if they will gel with your team.  Be patient, interview those who are qualified, and make them comfortable.  It will not be long, and you will have your team in place.

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