The style and skill that your interviewers have directly affects what kinds of people get added to your organization. True, the supervisors and managers that you send out for interviewing might be great at their jobs, but that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that they’ll be good interviewers too. While interviewing comes naturally to some people, for most it doesn’t. And that is why it is important to train the people who conduct interviews, especially in the light of the known biases and pitfalls that interviewers are vulnerable to. For example, there is the “Similar to me” bias which predisposes the interviewer (sub-consciously, of course) to see a candidate in favourable light, just because the latter’s interests and personality is similar to the former. Or the “First impression” bias, which increases the chances of selection of an otherwise unsuitable candidate because he/she made a good first impression on the interviewer. It is important for your interviewers to learn to get past these biases and be able to make the right selection.
One of the basic principles guiding the interview process is that past behaviour is the key to predicting future performance; popularly known as the behavioural style of interviewing. A little bit of training and guidance can polish the skills of your interviewers and equip them to ask specific questions to unearth particular attributes of candidates.
An interviewer elearning module can be designed to teach the essentials of structured interviews, such as common interviewing mistakes, predicting future performance, tips on taking notes, asking effective questions and avoiding unacceptable/illegal ones, assigning motivational fit ratings and combining all ratings to determine the overall score for each candidate. These topics can be divided into interactive, self-guided modules that learners can have access to whenever they want. The modules can contain short videos that elaborate on the fine details of interviewing techniques- from the interviewer’s body language to finding out candidates’ weaknesses by wrapping them in subtle behavioural questions to getting past cliched questions like “Tell me about yourself”, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” or “How would your seniors/boss describe you in 3 words?”- to all of which, candidates have fabricated answers ready. The trick is to wrap these into questions that are indirect and target the behaviour/personality of the candidate based on his/her past performance. Not just this, the elearning course should also direct interviewers to be prepared when candidates ask them questions.
Though interviewing isn’t rocket science, yet training interviewers once in a while makes them confident and better at making the right choices for your organization, besides keeping them abreast of the trends in this function.
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