• Rahul

Interviewer v/s Interviewee

Anxious, worried, perspiring and fearful – a common phenomenon on every candidate’s face before the interview but if we look carefully the anxiety feeling is even higher on the face of the interviewer.

Such feelings are mutual before an interview, both the interviewer and the interviewee are as much fearful. The interviewer is wondering whether he will be able to assess the interviewee and make the right selection while the candidate is trying hard to project his experience such that he/she is selected. If you notice, the objective is common at both ends – to select and get selected. However, the approach is generally contradictory as if there’s a war – one is questioning every piece of information while the other works hard to project it emphatically.  

 With all this time and effort put in, there exists a probability of your decision getting questioned in the future. Selecting the right candidate for a role is a tough job as you are trying to predict the future. You don’t have a crystal ball which will help you predict whether it will all work. You need to solely rely on your analytical and judgement skills in making this decision.

There are four possible outcomes –Looks right and is right, Looks wrong and is wrong, Looks right and is wrong and finally looks wrong and is right.  

The looks wrong and is right is most lethal one you are unknowingly feeding the competition. It is a Rejection error, which you wont know most of the times unless you track the candidate. Social Media sites can help track this though.  

I recommend to start with these two steps -

  1.   Build hiring manager interviewing capability

  2. Combine other selecting methods with Interviewing method

Did you know - 87% of interviewers know if the candidate will be a good fit for the position within the first 15 minutes of an interview. And as high as 58% of interviewers report having either no interviewer skills training or relying on their instincts.

I am not surprised with the above data. Recently, I was asked to observe a live interview for a pharma organization. It was a panel interview which lasted about 25 mins. I was quite disappointed to see that the interviewer spent first 20 mins in asking the candidate to draw a molecular chart for a chemical process which is factual knowledge and rest of the 5 mins were spent in quizzing the candidate on that.

  In our recent study we found that no. 1 reason for hiring mistakes is because of overreliance of hiring manager evaluation.  The interviews tends to be very generic wherein the candidate shares what they have done( same thing that is mentioned in the CV) and what they can do (their own thought) and the interviewer is trying to make sense of this information and in the end the person who can confidently communicates gets an edge over others which does not necessarily translate into high impact when reality strikes.  

  So what can you to increase the likelihood of success? Well, the answer is to change the stance of the interviewer. Interview should be like a meaningful dialogue, win-win conversation such that you can clearly understand the person abilities and motivation in the context of the role.

  1. Build rapport with the participants. Very often, it is said you need to make the  candidate most uncomfortable to get to know one’s worst side. Rather I would say make him most comfortable to get the best out of the person such that they feel the environment is non-threatening to share both their strength and weaknesses

  2. Past behavior predicts future behavior – this principle is most tried and tested therefore, interviewers should focus on asking questions that triggers instances and examples of candidate’s past experiences

  3. Turn the candidates generic information into seeking specific examples using simple structure known as STAR. Situation/Task is the why, Action is the how and Results are the outcome. This helps in understanding context, repeatable behavior which can be compared to competencies and attributes required of the role and the impact of candidate’s behavior.

  4. Following these guidelines will help the interviewer to take better control of the interview and ascertain the likelihood of fitment for the role in the context of the job requirement.

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