Most people hate having interviews, but it’s also important to realise that those conducting the interviews probably feel the same!
Whether the person in front of you is the HR Manager on his/her 10th interview of the day or the manager or department head who has been dragged away from, what seems like a far more important or pressing task, they most probably would rather do anything else but conduct your interview at that moment.
The ever more complex nature of the work environment means that managers are increasingly time poor. In addition, they may lack the management or social skills to conduct well planned and skilful interviews and are often as nervous as the candidates. This is a recipe for poor recruitment outcomes which can create long term harm to the business through poor service and guest complaints.
So when the interviewer sits down opposite you for that all important meeting and subjects you to endless and pointless questioning, what is really going through their head? It’s pretty simple really, they want to know the following: –
- Can you do the job?
- Will you fit in?
- Will you love this job?
Can this candidate do the job?
This is the key focus in most interviews. Does the candidate have the technical skills, background and experience to do a great job? Do they have the right personal characteristics? Do they have the management and leadership skills? If anything is lacking, is it a deal breaker or are we able to train, guide or mentor them to reach the required level in an appropriate time? So much of an interview is taken up trying to find out this information and frequently this is not fully established due to poor interview technique.
Will they fit in?
Firstly, the manager/interviewer hiring will ask “can I work with this person?” Does the manner and personality of this candidate match someone I can get on with or are we just going to clash? If the answer is no, then no matter how good the candidate, it is unlikely they will be selected. Secondly, will they fit in with the current team? Harmony is one thing, but does this person have the characteristics required in the current team. Good managers ensure balance in the management team – both in relation to the skills and personality types required.
Will they love this job?
People who love their job will find a way to be successful in it. They will have the drive and enthusiasm to go that extra mile that the unmotivated never will. They find ways to get through challenging situations, be happier and have a positive aura that will impact on other team members. This can be the one of the most difficult things to assess at an interview when you have just met and have limited time.
So, as you approach your next interview, keep these simple thoughts in mind – address them successfully and you are already part way to your next career opportunity.
And, if you are the time-poor interviewer also keep these key points in mind, as they may help to confirm any decision you may make about the candidate and save you pain and embarrassment down the track.