Perhaps you were promoted recently or have someone on your team who was,and will now be conducting interviews and hiring for the first time. You want to ensure that you are compliant, yet you also want to ensure you have a process which allows you to select the best candidate for your opening.
Here are the Top 10 Interview Tips and Techniques for New Managers:
1. Start with a list of suggested questions which have been “blessed” by the Human Resources team.
2. Add your own questions to the list, but ensure that the additional questions have been reviewed/approved by HR.
3. Focus interview questions on the position for which you are conducting the interview and steer clear of obscure questions or hypothetical scenarios. Focus on the candidate’s previous performance and problem solving skills based on current challenges the person in this role will face.
4. Team up with an interviewing veteran and interview in tandem. This practice gives new managers a chance to see a veteran in action and pick up on both the subtle and overt techniques that are used. An additional advantage to a tandem interview is that one person can focus on candidate behavior and non-verbal cues during the interview while the other takes notes.
5. Probe for additional information when candidates answer questions. Ask probing questions like, “tell me more about that situation; to what do you attribute your success on that project; who else was on the team and what was their role; what was the timeframe of that project; what were the lessons you learned from that situation; etc.” Be sure that you feel comfortable digging for more information from candidates.
6. All candidates interviewed for a role should be asked the same questions, which should all be tied to the bona fide skills, qualifications and credentials of the role.
7. We live in a diverse and multi-cultural society and while it should go without saying, it is critical that during the interview process you never directly or indirectly discuss a person’s race/ethnicity, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, or disability. If a candidate should bring up something related to one or more of these topics, defer to your tandem partner (if you have one) to address it. If you are interviewing solo, let the candidate know you will speak with HR and ask them to follow up directly with the candidate on the matter. Then change the subject back to job-related questions and topics. After the interview, be sure to alert HR and ask them to debrief you about how to handle this scenario in the future.
8. Make sure you use some sort of scorecard which is created in advance of starting the interview process. It should include the areas in which you will rate each candidate. Complete the scorecard immediately after the interview (while the information is fresh) and indicate the recommended status of the candidate (i.e., hire/no hire, include in next round of interviews, etc.).
9. Be sure you have a coach or mentor with whom to interview for your first few times at minimum.
10. Get feedback from your tandem partner or coach after each interview. Find out what you did well and what you can do better. Utilize the feedback to improve your techniques with each successive interview.
By following these tips and techniques, you will get off to a great start on hiring successfully!