Interviewing Techniques for Managers
Interviewing Techniques for Managers
These interviewing techniques for managers will make your life easier. Most of the managers I have met do not know how to hire the best of the right candidates.
This is very unfortunate because hiring the wrong applicant can be waaay too expensive.
FACT: Hiring excellent employees is not difficult
Here are ten simple steps to help you find the best of the right candidates:
The first interviewing technique is SO obvious—yet, I have seen countless occasions where managers don't think about this:
Make sure the position you want to fill is 100% aligned with your strategy.
This is another interviewing technique that tens to be omitted.
Since the market conditions change, your business strategy changes accordingly. Hence, you must make sure your position and its corresponding job description is updated.
The job description must clearly explain its essential functions.
The essential functions are the fundamental tasks that are critical for successful performance on the job—for that specific position.
Once you have the job’s essential functions, make explicit BOTH the corresponding hard competencies and the corresponding soft competencies.
For example: A hard competency is having the ability to make spreadsheets using excel. A soft competency is thriving under pressure.
Translate both the hard competencies and the soft competencies into observable behaviors.
I call these observable behaviors the “Selection Criteria.”
A Selection Criterion is not a Selection Criterion if it is not an observable behavior.
All behaviors are observable, measurable, and objective.
Out of the thousands of managers I have personally worked with, don't have a clue about how to "translate" a soft competency into an observable behavior.
This interviewing technique for managers is critical IF you want to find the right candidate.
For example, if one of your soft competencies were making out of conflict a positive force, what behaviors would you observe—on the job—that would tell you an employee has this competency?
Once you identify three behaviors for this competency, each one of these behaviors would a Selection Criterion.
Design the questions you are going to ask the applicants, and design your interview using both your Selection Criteria and the Behavioral Interview Principle that says:
“The best way to predict the candidate’s future on the job behavior is knowing his/her past behavior in similar situations”
In other words:
In similar circumstances, it is very likely that we will behave in the future as we have behaved in the past.
Nobody can predict the future, but this principle has proved extremely useful in finding the best of the right candidates.
This sixth step is another foundational interviewing technique for managers—I cannot stress this enough.
Use useful interview questions, such as open-ended questions, connecting questions, closed questions if appropriate, etc.
Do not ever use useless questions such as …
Leading questions. A leading question is when you put the answer in your candidate’s mouth.
For example: “Surely you worked at such company because it has extremely good reputation, didn’t you?”
Theoretical questions. A theoretical question is when you give the candidate the opportunity to tell you what s/he would do (hence the name, “theoretical”).
For example: “How would you do this?”
One thing is to know how to do something, and another totally different thing is what you actually do—especially if you are under extreme pressure.
Both types of useless questions (leading and theoretical) are very common mistakes managers make during the interview—in other words, most managers don't know about this seventh interviewing technique.
Have a second interviewer with you, to help you keep your feet on the ground, and to be as objective as possible.
Use an objective evaluation system that integrates your Selection Criteria with an evaluation scale you are familiar with, such as “Below expectations / Within expectations / Exceeds expectations”
Be aware about your unintentional prejudges and preferences, so that they do not interfere in your evaluation by adding subjectivity to your selection process.
This last interviewing technique for managers is critical, yet people don't think much about it because it tends to be an unconscious mistake.
Follow this process, and it will not be difficult to find excellent employees ever again.
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