14 Interviewing Tips for Hiring Managers
According to the Harvard Business Review, organizations are hiring recruits more aggressively, spending more money on it, and still doing a poorer job now than they were before.
Several surveys found that employers are becoming more selective about the candidates they hire and looking for more external recruits than offering lateral promotions. Since companies are hiring people from competitors, employee retention rates are declining and voluntary turnover is increasing steadily.
A crucial hiring tip for managers in this case? Change the interview process.
Employees are looking for career growth and want the next best opportunity which leaves hiring managers in the hot seat. They have to find the best candidate and beat other companies to it.
The interview is a game-changer and hiring managers need to be on their toes to avoid the don’ts of interviewing candidates. We’ve outlined some of the best interviewing tips for hiring managers to help them get the best candidates.
But before we proceed to the hiring tips for managers, let’s understand the difference between a hiring manager and a recruiter.
Hiring manager vs recruiter
Hiring managers are looking for candidates that will fulfill roles for their respective teams. It’s their job to define and scope the role by listing the qualifications and skills the new hire needs to have. They also lay down the broader objectives the recruit will meet along with other milestones they should achieve along the way.
They create a job description for the recruiter or ask them to make one before a recruiter begins their search for a candidate. Once the recruiter shortlists the most ideal candidate based on the criteria, the hiring managers go through their resumes and selects the most promising ones to hire. Even if other employees in the department are looped in to conduct a panel interview, it’s ultimately the hiring manager who makes the final decision.
Tip #1 for hiring managers: Align your goals with the recruiter
This brings us to the most important hiring tip for managers: collaborate with the recruitment officer at all costs! A smooth hiring process will only result from the recruiter and managers aligning their goals and objectives.
Here are a few ways you can do that:
1. Hold a thorough intake to set the right expectations from your recruiter. Describe in detail the qualifications and experience you need so the recruiter can narrow their search and set a timeline for themselves.
2. Make sure you’re selling your company and your culture throughout the hiring process because a prospective candidate turns out to be a prospective client sometimes.
3. Communicate with the recruiter constantly to discuss the interview after it’s done. Regular feedback helps improve the scheduling process for them and fasten the hiring decision and onboarding experience.
Tip #2 for hiring managers: Don’t be combative during the interview
Stress interviews are a thing of the past and for good reason. While it’s important to test a candidate’s ability to perform under pressure and their presence of mind, it doesn’t help to provoke candidates.
As an organization, you want to bring someone on board who feels like they will be able to work well with your team and add value to their productivity. Interviews are stressful anyway, for both hiring managers and interviewees so you don’t want to scare a candidate off by creating a hostile environment.
If you want to test how well a candidate can handle pressure, assign them a task before the interview and give them a deadline. Or give them a different high-stakes scenario and ask them how they would respond in that situation.
Tip #3 for hiring managers: Speak less, ask more
Even if you’re passionate about your job and love your work, try to remember that the interview is not as much about your role in the company but assessing the candidate. An interview gives you limited interaction time to decide if the candidate’s personality will fit in well with your company culture.
You should try to make them feel as comfortable as possible and provide all the relevant information but refrain from cutting them off or taking over the conversation entirely without allowing them to talk.
Listen to their responses and ask thoughtful follow-up questions. Keep it conversational and natural but make sure to focus entirely on the candidate. Losing focus could potentially cost you a valuable candidate.
Tip #4 for hiring managers: Prepare notes for yourself
Make sure you collect your thoughts post-interview so you list down your feedback on each candidate. Jot down any interesting responses that stood out to you and brainstorm solutions and other ideas you’d want to follow up on later.
This will be very useful when you want to get back to candidates who made it to the next round of interviews and even those who didn’t. It’s also useful to get all your thoughts on paper immediately, irrespective of how disorganized they are. This lets you start fresh with each candidate and adjust your questions as well.
Tip #5 for hiring managers: Ask more interesting questions
An interview gives the candidate insight into what the company is like, the nature of the work, and how likable the atmosphere is. The kind of questions you ask sets the tone for what they can expect and also puts you in a favorable position for candidates because they would want to work with you.
Boring or run-of-the-mill questions like: “where do you see yourself in five years?” hold you back from getting to know your candidate well. Plus, this is a question they probably prepared for which means you’re not getting a sincere or candid response. It also shows that you put little thought into preparing for the interview.
Structure your interview questions well so you extract the most valuable information out of the candidate as possible. For example, interviews for tech or IT jobs tend to be monotonous. It’s very rare for hiring managers to go beyond the realm of basic questions and innovate original and creative questions that illicit more comprehensive responses.
Some examples of problem-solving questions to ask include:
1. “Can you let us know your planning process for a new project?”
2. “Tell me about a time when you had to resolve a conflict/overcome a hurdle in your work experience.”
3. “What are your long-term career goals?”
As talent advocates, our team works closely with hiring managers to find the best recruits for your company. Get in touch with us today and we’ll optimize the talent acquisition process for you.