FRESHTEAM | August 14, 2020
“Death will be a great relief. No more interviews.”
Katharine Hepburn, the renowned American actor, might not have been talking about the same kind of interviews as we are today, but the remark still applies.
Interviews are grueling, tough, and any other word for “difficult” you can find in the dictionary. And that’s not just for the candidate. As an interviewer, you are expected to find the measure of a person in a short period of time, decide if they’ll perform their role well, and assess their fit with your organization’s culture.
If not guided properly, interviewers might give a bad impression of the company to the candidate (“Are they not taking me seriously?”) or draw incorrect conclusions from the interview (“We had a fun conversation, so we should hire him”).
This tip sheet is no substitute for on-the-job experience or hands-on training, but it’s meant to help you feel more confident when you’re on the other side of the table.
Here is the secret: The interview doesn’t begin and end with the scheduled slot. Just like a candidate prepares to make a good impression, there is a lot of pre- and post-interview work to be done to provide a good candidate experience.
1. Write Yourself a Question Bank
A good rule of thumb is to make sure to have a section for every major skill/requirement you have. A question bank helps in two ways:
- It provides the interview with a structure. With the questions written down, you guide the candidate through a path and make sure you have covered all the subjects you need to. HR software like Freshteam by Freshworks helps you structure your interview by determining what skills you are assessing for.
- Structured questions also ensure that every candidate faces a standard interview with the same questions. The interview scorecard that Freshteam provides comes in very handy here to compare candidates on various skills.
Also, make sure to check with someone to see if your questions are appropriate and are phrased in a friendly manner. Asking about a candidate’s age, marital status, race, or religion is illegal and can have serious repercussions.
2. Prepare for the Interview
Read the candidate’s resume, go through their past experience, and go into the interview with more than an inkling of who they are. Being prepared sets a good tone for the interview and assures the candidate that you are, indeed, taking them seriously.
No time to prepare? Not to worry. Resume screening features like the one in Freshteam make your job a whole lot easier by parsing resumes and giving you the candidate highlights so you don’t have to spend time reading resumes manually.
3. Use the Interview to Discuss Approach, Not to Solve Problems
If you want someone to solve a problem, take a test, or write something, don’t do it during the interview. Pre-employment assessment test providers such as HackerEarth, HackerRank, and Codility help with quick, unbiased tests that can be provided prior to the interview to prescreen candidates. Freshteam integrates with various pre-employment assessment test providers to offer a seamless interview experience so you can spend your interview time more effectively. Focus more on how the candidate approaches a problem, rather than spending time on viewing the candidate’s work samples during the interview.
During the Interview
4. Use Small Talk to Put the Candidate at Ease
Give them some time to get used to you by just chatting for a bit.
5. Clearly Explain the Role
Make sure everyone is on the same page by describing the role clearly to the candidate. Sell them the role and remind them why they applied. Get them excited to do a good job.
6. Take Notes
You can use a physical feedback form or use the interview notes feature on apps like Freshteam, which is visible only to you.
7. Give the Candidate Time to Ask Questions
End the interview with this, as you can use this as a chance to assure the candidate about the job and company. Interviews are meant for convincing the company about the candidate and vice versa.
Once the interview ends, the most important part is still ahead of you: interview feedback submission time.
8. Ask for an Interview Scorecard
It’s time to translate your interview notes to formal feedback on the candidate. An interview scorecard helps avoid any unconscious bias for or against a candidate when you rate them on specific criteria. The Freshteam interview scorecard does this by asking you to rate every skill out of five stars and recommend the candidate for hire or not.
9. Give Your Whole Impression of the Candidate
When filling out the interview scorecard, list everything you can remember from the meeting. Freshteam enables you to do this either as side notes for every skill assessed or as comments to the other interviewers. This helps a great deal in collaborating with other interviewers since they have easy access to your opinions. It also helps the hiring manager and the recruiter have all the information they need to make the right decision.
10. Don’t Sweat It
If you are a novice interviewer, it can be a nerve-racking experience. Try to relax. Yes, you have a question bank, but that doesn’t mean you have to read out the questions word for word. Don’t feel pressured to fill the silence. Practice a warm smile. Remember, the person on the other side of the table is more nervous than you are. The interview is about them, not you. Your job is just to observe and participate.
Freshteam by Freshworks has all the tools and features needed to ensure that you have a hassle-free experience, even if you are a first-time interviewer. Freshteam can streamline your interview experience and make it smoother for the candidates and for your company. You can check it out for yourself for free here.
Good luck interviewing!