There are many articles that provide help and tips for job candidates to prepare for job interviews. But it is also vital to know that interviewers face challenges too. Be it an entry-level position or an executive position, we all have obstacles.
It’s important to find out how to overcome these obstacles because hiring mistakes can be expensive to any organisation. The interview is usually the last step before making an offer and the final chance to collect information about the interviewee before making the decision.
There are three common obstacles that interviewers face during interviews:
Problem: Difficulty in staying on topic and redirecting conversations
It is common for candidates to go off topic or not answering the question. A structured interview includes questions that are intended to assess for specific skills and competencies, if the candidate or the interviewer cannot stay on topic, it will be tough to accurately assess for competencies.
1. Give an interview overview so the interviewee knows what to expect.
Give the candidates an overview of how long the interview will be and tell the candidate that you may need to redirect the conversation due to time constraints. This gives the candidates a heads up that you may need to interrupt to stay on your task.
Since you already told them the overview of the interview, you don’t need to feel uncomfortable by asking the candidate to stay on track
2. Ask two questions per competency
The interviewee may go off topic on the first question, but by preparing a second question, you will have another chance to collect information about the competency
Problem: Not sure if candidate is being honest or telling the full story
Most hiring managers have experienced this.They hire a candidate based on a successful interview, only to realise that they were not a good fit for the organisation or they quit within a few months. The candidate might have indicated that they had experience and skills, but once they’re on the job, they are found to be lacking in those important areas.
Solution: Ask probing questions to past behaviour questions
Past behaviour questions are the best types of questions to ask during an interview because past behaviour predicts future behaviour. Additionally, it’s helpful to prepare probing questions, this will help you determine if the candidate is being dishonest or not.
Probing questions will help you to search for more details about a specific situation. From a candidate perspective, it’s hard to lie when being asked about specific details around a particular situation. By asking about the specific details, you will be able to make a better judgement about their competency.
Problem: It’s hard to take notes during the interview
It can be very difficult to write notes while handling an interview, especially when you try to figure out which information is important. When you interview so many candidates in a short timeframe, taking notes is essential to make sure you can get an accurate picture of the interview.
Solution: Only write down job relevant information and abbreviate
It’s is vital to know that you do not need to write down every single thing a candidate tells you during the interview. In fact, you should only write down job-relevant information. It is recommended to only write down enough information to recall the candidate’s response.
One last thing that interviewers need is to be consistent. Consistency is very important especially in the hiring process. To be consistent, you should ask all candidates the same questions around the same competencies. By doing this, you are measuring candidates against the same criteria and therefore keeping your process legally defensible. Check this article How to Identify High-Potential Employees
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This article is adapted from Interview Training Tips to Tackle 3 Common Hiring Challenges by Rachel Reid