Interviewing

How do you do it?

I’ve conducted a fair number of interviews over the past few years, not a huge amount but definitely into double figures. Some have been good, some not so good, and some just embarassing.

I recently read about an interview that was more like a planning meeting, outlining the job in terms of the issue that was being addressed, discussing requirements and asking for ideas. As a way to evaluate how a prospective employee works, and how they would fit into your organisation or team, it makes some sense. I’d still use the more traditional question and response session as well, but this has gotten me thinking.

Are there other, better ways, to conduct an interview?

Just for kicks, here is my typical interview routine:

  1. Meet and greet with a firm handshake and set the tone with a friendly enquiry. Check that the formalities have been dealt with (interviewee has signed in and has a pass).
  2. Take them to the location of the interview, usually one of our meeting rooms.
  3. Outline the interview process to them.
  4. Give them a tour of the building, and talk a little about the history of the company, and point out some ‘how we work’ stuff.
  5. Back to the interview room, offer them a drink (coffee, tea and water will already be there).
  6. Then chat with them through their CV, asking them to explain and expand on certain points. I do ask for examples of work as well.
  7. I’ll then expand a little on the role they are interviewing for, and go over some of the employment terms.
  8. Then it’s final questions and we’re done.

It’s point 7 that could be expanded to be more of a scenario based discussion, and whilst I do use that approach on a small scale when I’m asking them questions, it might be interesting to outline a larger scenario and see how they handle that.

I’m always looking for better ways to do these things, as interviews can be hit or miss for both participants, so anything that would help keep it interesting and engaging would be beneficial.

Do you interview when hiring new staff? Any favoured approaches?

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