On the Other Side of the Table, Interviewers Face Pressure Too

Interviewer Prep Blog

Interviewer.  Noun. Person who interviews someone.  Or, in other words, the person who holds all the cards.

In theory, yes, an interviewer has the power at the interview table.  He/she already has a good job.  He/she gets to choose.

But anyone who has ever been an interviewer will tell you that there is pressure there too—to pick the right candidate, to land sought-after interviewees, and to uncover costly red flags.

Interviewing pressure: it’s not just for interviewees.

Interviewers Know That Bad Hires are Costly

A bad hiring decision can be a big financial burden to a company, especially when onboarding, HR, and training costs are considered, but even more concerning can be the change in morale of current employees.  HR Daily Advisor’s Bridget Miller explains: “Bad hires increase stress. Stress can be introduced into the work culture when a bad employee is in the organization, lowering other employees’ productivity, too.”

And if the new hire leads to termination, this can cost the company further by being at risk for unlawful termination claims or discrimination claims, Miller states. To avoid this, an interviewer must be prepared.

Interviewers Must Understand Desired Skill Sets

One of the biggest mistakes interviewers make is not taking the time to fully research and understand a posted position.  Time must be spent reaching out to other employees who will be working with the new hire, asking about the day-to-day role, and thinking through the qualities of an ideal candidate.

What will this candidate contribute to determine success in this role in 30, 60, or 90 days?  To meet this need, what does the interviewer need to find out about a candidate beyond the resume? Which interview questions will get the answers you need?

Interviewers Need to Market Their Job to Highly-Desired Candidates

When interviewing highly-desired candidates, interviewers must market the company and position to the candidate.  Caroline Banton of Chron explains: “A desirable candidate will be in demand, and a wise interviewer will attempt to win over the candidate, while making sure she has all the information she needs to make an informed decision. It is important to let the candidate know how your company can benefit her in terms of salary, benefits and career advancement.”

An interviewer’s own tone towards the company can make a huge difference. If the interviewer him or herself seems miserable, a candidate will not be impressed.   The interviewer can explain why they like working there. The more details and facts about the success and direction of the company, the better.

How to Determine if a Candidate Fits Company Culture

 To get to know if a candidate is a culture fit, interviewers should try to put candidates at ease.  Be aware body language and smile.  Then purposefully ask questions that reveal an employee’s work personality.  Consulting firm Robert Half recommends questions such as: “How do you respond to change?”, “Can you describe the best boss you ever had?” and “What kind of management style allows you to do your best work?”  Also, what was most difficult about your previous role? Was management not supportive enough? Were the timelines too tight?”

Be sure not to rush through an interview.  Make sure to allow enough time for the candidate to get comfortable.  Knowing there is a clock ticking can lead to stressed answers.

Ways Interviewers Can Prepare

Indeed’s Career Guide lists many ways interviewer can be prepare—these include knowing the candidate, having a structure and rating system, listening, and even practicing questions on coworkers ahead of time.  It’s also a good idea to team up with someone else when conducting an interview.  And be aware of your own implicit bias.

Artemis Consultants helps companies and clients prepare for interviews.  Some questions we find valuable in addition to the ones above include:

  • What attracted you to this position and how does your prior work experience relate?
  • How do you describe your management style? Give an example.
  • How would your boss and coworkers describe you?
  • What professional achievement are you the proudest?
  • What motivates you?

Interviewers, we understand the pressures you face.  Choose Artemis to help you identify, interview, and hire candidates who are the best fit for your company.

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