There are five secrets to being a great interviewer. These keys empower you to maximize your effectiveness in hiring the right people for the right roles.

There are five secrets to being a great interviewer.  These keys empower you to maximize your effectiveness in hiring the right people for the right roles.

The first secret

Know what you want before you start the interview. Understand the role that you’re interviewing for, the purpose of the role, and the intended outcomes the role is required to produce for the organization. Understand the core functions of the role, who the ideal candidate needs to be, what competencies the ideal candidate needs to have, and what the right experience is for this kind of position


The second secret

Use an interviewing guide. Either use a work history interviewing guide that gives you all the questions that you need to answer – like a template or a format – or use a values-based behavioral interviewing guide.

Even after all the years I’ve been in recruiting, I prepare for interviews so I ensure that I ask all the right questions to make a conscious choice.  I’ll be honest, there are times I’ve found myself on autopilot and I immediately reschedule the interview, or get access to my interview questions so I can get back on track.


The third secret

Get yourself mentally prepped to be in an interview. Many of us are doing 15 things in an hour, and then we rush and do an interview. Or we do an interview on the run or in our car or a coffee shop.  We’re not present and we’re not listening, so we either have a superficial conversation and make a decision based on a few things we’ve heard and many things we didn’t hear or didn’t want to hear; then after we regret it. So it’s important to be present. It’s important to Be in a quiet place, It’s important to be in a frame of mind to be ready to listen and most importantly ready to hear.


The fourth secret

Listen from a place of curiosity and open-mindedness. You’ve already defined the role, you know what the core functions are and what the ultimate purpose of the role is. Now you listen from: “Does this person have the core competencies, the values, the work history, the attitude, the belief system, and the skills that your company needs for them to do this job?”

What’s most important to listen for is who the person is, what they can do and what they want to do.

You don’t need to hear yes to everything. With 50 million millennials coming into the workforce, in most cases they’ll need some level of training, specifically in skills and experience.  So, what you’re really listen for are core competencies, values, attitudes, and beliefs about themselves and about work.  Sure, some of the EcoBoomers need training in people readiness and that’s also something you’re listening for.

The key is in listening: 70% of the interview is you listening. If you’re talking more than 30%, you’re not interviewing.


The fifth secret

At the end of the interview, let the candidate know that you’ll get back to them in a specific period of time with an answer or next steps. Go through a checklist and debrief within an hour, so you don’t forget anything that was really important.  Spend ten minutes reflecting on how you experienced the candidate’s answers as compared to what you need.


To recap, the five secrets to being a great interviewer are:

5 secrets to being a great interviewer (4)