Being a better Interviewer

We talk a lot about how one should prepare and then appear in interviews. But no one talks about what is expected from the interviewer to improve the overall interview experience.

Let's turn the tables today!

What should the interviewer do to make the interview better?

Here's what I learned and try to practice when I'm interviewing someone.

Be on time

Time matters to them as much as it matters to us!

When the interview is scheduled, add a reminder on your calendar for at least 2 hours before the interview. This way, you will have enough time to wrap up if you are working on anything important.

If the interview is online, try to find a peaceful corner before the schedule time and join the meeting on time.

But if the interview is in-person, make sure that you have a room booked before the interview time and follow your company's protocol to escort the interviewee to the interview room.

Introduction

Make them feel welcomed, and follow these initial steps:

  • Always start with a little introduction of yourself
  • Request them to introduce themselves and share their experiences & areas of strength
  • If they share something interesting or any of their achievements, compliment it properly

This will give them time to settle and get in a good rhythm.

Main Course

Better stick to the role requirements and/or what's in their resume. Don't under-ask or over-ask based on what you're looking for.

In my personal experience, I have been into situations where the interviewer got derailed towards discussions which were either not relevant to the job role or not in my past experience. These situations demotivated me big time during the interview.

When to dive deep?

Only dive deep into the core role requirements or when they speak really high about something.

For instance, if you are looking for an Angular developer, most of your interview time should be spent on topics related to Angular, and then HTML, CSS and other related stuff.

Or, if they express that they are really expert in something, and you have also good knowledge of that topic, you can dig deeper to see if they really know their strengths or not.

Timebox

Don't forget that you have limited time and you have to cover it all, and leave time for them to ask any questions they may have.

I generally keep interviews to one hour, and divide it like this:

  • Introduction - 5 minutes
  • Core Topic - 25 minutes
  • Related Topics - 25 minutes
  • Q&A - 5 minutes

Stay organized

Don't jump between topics while asking questions. Stay organized and assess role requirements one by one.

Take your short notes, if you think you can forget something.

Be empathetic

This is very, very important!

If they lack core knowledge required for the job, try conveying it in a constructive way. May be something like:

"You're good in other areas, but I'm afraid you'll need more time to learn this. Don't worry, it's not too difficult to learn."

If they lack knowledge of minor concepts, correct them right away. This way, you're actually helping them out to know and fix their weak areas.

Try to mentor them with tips and advices, so they can prepare better for their next attempt.

Don't ever disrespect or belittle anyone if they don't perform per your expectations. They might be in a situation we don't know.

And never ever let them feel in case you are not satisfied. Don't change your tone or the flow of the interview. Great advice by my friend Oliver Jumpertz.

What if it's a disaster from start?

Sometimes you might end up with someone who clearly does not fit the role. Still give them some time before you decide to end the interview earlier than expected.

I try asking a few questions from their resume, so they don't get a bad feeling.

Remember, empathy is important!

Ending

No matter how it went, give them some time to ask any questions they may have.

Try to answer all questions except the ones related to salary or outcome of the interview.

I always say something like this: "I will share my feedback with the recruitment team, and they'll take it up from there."

Close positively by wishing them luck.

Remember, you're representing your organization and YOU are the one who's looking for a good resource. You must present it in a way that it creates a good image of yourself and your organization.

These are all my opinions. I'll love to hear yours and may be correct myself too ๐Ÿ˜Š

Banner image by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

Oliver Jumpertz's photo

Love this article, Umair, awesome work! โค

Umair Hafeez's photo

Thank you so much for the appreciation brother ๐Ÿ™

Nafisat Tolulope's photo

Empathy go a long way towards making your interviewee relaxed and able to articulate their response. Great article๐Ÿ‘Œ

Umair Hafeez's photo

Very true! Empathy goes a long way in any domain of life.

Thank you so much ๐Ÿ™