A lot has been said about the interviewee and now it’s time to look at the interviewee don’t you think? They too have a part to play in an interview. After all, an interview involves two parties.
Now let’s look at the party that sits on the other side of the table. These are the ones who summons the procedures of the interview. Here are tips for them to help bring the best out of each interviewee they shortlist.
♦ Give them a few minutes to relax.
Everyone is a victim of anxiety. We feel butterflies in our stomach whenever something other than the usual is about to happen to us.
Do not call them in when they have just arrived ( unless they are late). Give the interviewee time to calm down and collect composure before they come into your office.
This helps them to perform better.
♦ Say something when they get to the door.
Do you know that the first few seconds and silence when they walk from the door to the chair can be an excruciating walk of shame?
Say something to break the ice and put them at ease.
You can either say welcome and say their name or say something from a topic which can be of mutual interest.
♦Give them a comfortable seat.
The emphasis on the benefits of a comfortable chair was done the benefits are well known.
Give them that and see them perform well.
♦ Create a comfortable atmosphere.
Do you know that even the arrangement of furniture can draw close or push away someone? The desk between you can be a barrier which can negatively impact on the performance of the person on the other side of the desk. It constantly reminds them that the other person is superior and I am inferior although it might be or might not be true.
Other companies prefer to have an interview on an L-shaped couch where each person is at 45 degrees’ turn towards the other rather than face to face which is antagonistic and imposing.
Your body language can also invite or push away. Do not cross your arms on your chest, it mentally closes that other person from you.
♦ Break the ice
Bring up a topic other than the ones in your interview and talk about it first so that both of you can relax and loosen the tongue.
Ask them to tell you more about themselves, their hobby or anything apart from sensitive topics like sexual orientation, religion or politics.
♦ Avoid colloquial and sexist language.
South Africa has a wide range of slang codes and these vary in meaning and depth according to the state which one comes from.
Shun away from these in order to avoid offending the other party or sounding stupid.
Replace sexist language with other gender-neutral terms such as salesperson and chairperson.
Stick to the professional way of communication.
♦ Be open.
Do not be afraid to come clean as to why you fired the other guy, why or how this position has risen or how the company is falling short and the reason you want the person to fill in.
Be open to the interviewee on the qualities you want and responsibilities to be put on your chosen nominee.
Honesty goes a long way. Do it and the other person will be obliged to return the favour.
Being open can save you time.
♦On the questions
Ask questions which are relevant to the interview as well as the job that you want to offer to this candidate.
Ask questions that will show that you respect the other person and you value their time as well as yours
♦ On asking questions
Ask questions that are open-ended questions. Questions like where, why and how.
These questions give room for the other person to express themselves beyond yes or no. it also gives you the leeway to get to know them through their expressions.
♦ Remember you call the shots
You are the custodian of the time and you know what else you need to do after this interview.
To interrupt them, cut then and redirect them to the questions you want to be answered. Some people have a tendency to talk about the question rather than answer it. Be on alert and guard your time jealously, lest it gets wasted.
♦ Yet do not antagonize them.
Nobody wants to be patronized. Humans do not want to be pushed around.
Remember you are on the same team. This interview is proof of that, otherwise, why would you call them if you do not want to hear from them.
Make them want to work for or with you. Remember you are looking for reasons to hire not to fire them.
♦ Take back control of the conversation.
Some people are naturally like that. They quickly take control of the conversation from you.
No sooner than you can imagine you can find yourself answering questions instead of asking questions.
If that happens find a way to politely take back the control of the conversation and move on.
♦ Don’t judge them too quickly
-In this day and age, street smarts equal book smarts, be guided accordingly.
– do not undermine or overrate them according to their qualifications, experience or performance. Look for other solid reasons why you should hire them.
♦ Give them room to ask a question.
In this way, you will get to know how they are wired. What concerns them and if they have your company at heart or other issues.
Their question’s direction and depth will uncover certain aspects of them that you probably would have missed.
♦ Do not keep them longer than necessary.
Untimed interviews can take longer than necessary. If you feel you have had enough, do not be afraid to terminate the engagement.
End it with skill and style of professionalism.
♦ Give feedback.
If you have decided not to hire them, do not give them false hopes. Find a way to tell them….professionally.
If you have to consider something first, or if the decision to hire them is not entirely yours, tell them you will get back to them within a stipulated timeframe.
Remember to get back to them.