The days have come to build out your company from a small, flexible core to a more robust traditional structure that will stand the test of time. You need a team of high level decision makers who can help ease the decision making burden carried by the CEO and coordinate your teams to carry out the strategy you’ve decided for the company.
While your Executive Search firm has provided an excellent array of candidates, the only way you can make a final decision is by interview. Conducting an interview so you get the information you need to make a job offer to the best candidate is a skill and not one you get the chance to practise often. Here are some of the secrets of the interview process that will get advanced insights into your candidates!
Put Them At Ease
Interviews should be a conversation, not an interrogation. It’s intimidating enough to visit an unfamiliar place to submit yourself to the judgement of strangers. Try not to compound this feeling. Make sure candidates are greeted by someone who’s open and friendly and have a few minutes to compose themselves before being thrown into the interview. A cup of tea or coffee, or water, and access to a toilet are vital to ensure candidates basic needs are met before you start questioning them.
Let Them Prepare
While it’s not best practise to share your list of interview questions in advance, make sure candidates have some idea of what you expect. The job description you posted should cover the same skills and areas you are interviewing about so candidates can arrive ready with relevant examples of how they can help you, rather than find themselves blindsided by your requirements.
If you’ve provided a thorough job descriptions and your interviewee is still not ready to produce examples for you of how they fit it, it’s a good sign they’re not a good fit for you.
Go After Specifics
The most important thing is pin your candidates down on their most important claims. Broad, sweeping statements about their abilities are worth nothing unless they can back them up with projects they’ve worked on, and results they can show you.
Keep point one in mind as you do this. Don’t turn the interview hostile, just steer the conversation so you can burrow down into the details of what your candidates say. If you practice the skill of being genuinely interested in people it will be second nature to follow up on their points and get to the bottom of every claim without intimidating them into clamming up.
About the author
Mohit Tater is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.