7 Tips for the Advanced Interviewer

by | Nov 20, 2021 | Interviewing, Recruitment

As a recruiter or hiring manager, the responsibility that falls on your shoulders is immense.

Not only have you been entrusted with finding the perfect fit for any given position, but you are also expected to choose wisely, factoring in a candidate’s potential staying power and ability to develop with the company.

Expertise is key to feeling confident in your recruitment decisions and it’s never too late to learn new techniques – even for the most seasoned interviewer.

Here are 7 top tips that will take your interview game to the next level.

Be prepared

If you’re going to do something, do it well – and preparation is key to this. While statistics suggest it takes a recruiter an average of 6-8 seconds to sum up a resume, a more research-driven approach is a safer bet.

Give yourself the best shot at hiring a perfect match for the role, by reading and re-reading the candidate’s resume, checking out their LinkedIn profile, taking notes on things that jump out at you, and tailoring your questions based on the information at hand.

Conducting in-house research is also advisable. Speak to the manager of the hiring department. Find out what vital qualities they are looking for in a candidate and the type of personality they feel is best suited to the role.

This information will be paramount to you inevitably making the right hiring decision.

Learn how to read the candidate

Reading about the candidate’s credentials is one thing; reading their body language is a whole other ballgame.

Learn how to assess a candidate based on their behaviour and communications skills. Are they fidgety, avoiding eye contact, displaying a slumped posture? These signs all point to a lack of confidence and potentially, a lack of belief in their capability to fulfil the role. On the other hand, a relaxed, enthusiastic, well-presented interviewee gives the impression of someone who is prepared and ready to showcase what they’re made of.

Fluid communication – both physical and verbal – are also integral character traits for those working in many positions within the localisation industry, so the absence of these in an interview should not be taken lightly.

Build a rapport

Being a great interviewer means possessing the ability to get the best out of the candidate sitting in front of you. This can be achieved by building a rapport from the very start, creating a welcoming environment, and immediately making the interviewee feel at ease with a friendly demeanour and warm facial expressions.

Maintaining eye contact throughout, nodding at their responses to show your interest, and giving adequate time to respond to questions will all enhance their experience. Don’t be afraid to leave silences after they seemingly finish a response; their need to fill the space might encourage them to keep talking, allowing them to open up more and giving you a deeper insight into their personality.

Displaying effective leadership qualities when guiding the interview will also make the candidate more relaxed and confident in your professional ability to ask the right questions and provide enough scope for them to showcase their strengths.

Adopt behavioural interview techniques

Behavioural interview questions are nifty tools for assessing a candidate’s ability to cope with the job at hand, while showcasing their potential to become a valued member of the team. The reason for this is that behaviour-led questions give an interviewee the opportunity to answer on what is likely an unrehearsed subject, encouraging them to call upon real experiences and perhaps open up a little more than they otherwise would.

Questions that are typical of this style include those that open with ‘Tell me abut a time when…’ or ‘Explain a past situation where…’. This interview strategy is not designed to trip the candidate up in any way; rather, it gives them an opportunity to shine by referencing their previous positive actions, enabling you to delve deeper into their character and potential for the role you’re hoping to fill.

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Adjust your strategy for virtual interviews

Behavioural interview techniques are not only useful in a traditional setting, but they also paint a more thorough picture of a candidate’s emotional intelligence when applied during a virtual interview – a practice that has become mainstream as we continue to grapple with the effects of the pandemic. It can be difficult to pick up on such nuances during remote interviews, which increases the risk of recruiters making bad decisions. Thus, being armed with effective strategies is more important than ever in this context.

While undoubtedly more convenient in a logistical sense for both the hiring party and the candidate, virtual interviews can turn out to be a draining experience for the former, especially with the temptation to book in several consecutive interviews that can be carried out without having to leave your chair. Tempting? Yes. Advisable? Certainly not. Taking a ten-minute breather between back-to-back interviews can be a valuable exercise, allowing you to reflect on the previous candidate, pinpointing their strong points and making mental notes of moments that either impressed or presented a potential red flag.

Be open-minded

There are strong arguments for and against virtual interviews, but one that sits firmly on the ‘pro’ list is the ability to widen the talent pool when adopting a remote strategy, both in interview and recruitment terms.

However, exposing yourself to a broader scope of potential candidates requires a large dollop of open-mindedness if you are aiming to tick all the important boxes – both in the context of virtual and traditional interview settings.

Perhaps you will find a candidate who lacks experience but oozes the potential and enthusiasm required for the role. Maybe you will come face-to-face (or screen-to-screen) with the ideal candidate to fill the position – who can only work on a remote basis.

Taking an open-minded approach during the interview process will actively remove the blinkers, enabling you to see the bigger picture and tweak role requirements if and when necessary. Not only will it be a step towards addressing the skills shortage within the localisation industry, but it could be the difference between taking a risk on a rare gem or settling for a candidate who is the best of a mediocre bunch.

Also, make sure to check out this recent article that touches on how remote workers present an opportunity for companies to expand in terms of diversity – Are you losing out on top talent due to a lack of diversity?

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Consider yourself a candidate

This piece of advice is not as much about putting yourself in the candidate’s shoes to inspire empathy, but rather to serve as a reminder that during the recruitment process, you are also being interviewed.

It is likely that for every dozen applicants you interview, there will be a select few that will impress at every turn. These are the candidates you want on your team, and to deter them from snapping up offers from competing companies, you will need to represent your business in the best light possible – particularly given that 38 percent of candidates are more likely to accept a job offer after a positive interview experience.

Calling on many of the above strategies – preparedness, building a rapport, creating a relaxed environment, displaying leadership qualities – will help you to make a positive impression, both in a personal and professional sense and inevitably, sell the company you represent as an attractive prospect.

With an exceptional reputation and over 20 years’ experience providing premium level recruitment solutions for many of the world’s leading companies who are expanding on the global stage, International Achievers Group are recruitment professionals who aim to go beyond expectations for both clients and candidates. Contact us today to find out how we can help your growing company secure the most promising talent.