4 Interview Tips For Both Sides of the Hiring Equation

4 Interview Tips For Both Sides of the Hiring Equation

We’ve been in the midst of a hiring surge—the natural forces of growth, effort, and interest have converged in a recruiting tsunami forcing waves of new members to flood the offices, and folks, it is showing NO sign of calming down anytime soon.

 

But we’ve learned a lot in the process and wanted to share some tips from both sides of the hiring tidal wave…er… equation (OK, done with the ocean puns).

 

FOR INTERVIEWERS

 

Make it conversational.

 

Rapid-fire lists of questions are WEIRD. They just are. We don’t talk to our families that way or our friends, and I don’t know about you, but never in my career have I seen successful individuals speak in a hyper-formal, socially-void manner. Because cultural fit MUST be a value when bringing someone in for an interview, see how they vibe with your organization’s ways by carrying them into the interview itself. Also, it helps cut some of the nervous tension for the interviewee, and you’ll get a more accurate sense of them.

Vary the kinds of questions you ask them. If you can spare to have more than one interviewer present, switch up who asks questions and strive to blend the specific questions into the conversation. Think of how to respond to your applicant’s answers and transition them to the next question.

 

Think outside the questions.

 

Asking questions isn’t the only way to interview someone. In fact, you’ll often get responses based on what they think you want to hear or what they think the role calls for. By going outside the typical question-answer format, you’ll not only throw them off some (an excellent way for us to see how adaptable prospective hires are), but it makes it fun for both parties.

Think of creative activities that would be pertinent to the role you’re hiring for. Try a rapid-fire round of This Or That?. Offer a riddle or word problem to be solved. Create a simulation of the primary requirements.

 

FOR INTERVIEWEES

 

Don’t wear a tux or heels you can’t walk in.

 

If you’re uncomfortable, we’re uncomfortable. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met someone wearing a long-sleeved dress shirt and sweating through it or a pair of high heels that they apparently weren’t used to wearing—it makes me wince just thinking of it!

Now, we’re a casual environment for sure, and I understand that not every workplace is as lax as we are, but you shouldn’t wear something wildly professional or stuffy just to “impress” your potential employer especially at the risk of the outfit wearing you! Trust me, I’ve never been dinged in a job interview because I wasn’t wearing heels and a pencil skirt/blazer combo—I’m tall and prefer pants.

Seek to look like the most polished version of yourself. Find your happy medium and go with it!

 

Always have a question or three for the company you’re interviewing.

 

You’ve smiled and joked and dazzled the interviewers, and you’re feeling super confident as things feel like they’re wrapping up. Then Karen from HR says, “So do you have any questions for us?” You freeze because your nerves leading up to the interview kept you from preparing anything to ask them. And just like that, your chances plummet, your efforts all for naught.

 

DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!

 

Come with questions for the person/company you’re interviewing with. A few to get you started:

What are some essential characteristics of those who’ve been most successful as a [position]?

What are some of the main challenges for this position?

What does professional development look like at [company name]?

What gets you most excited about [company name]’s future?

 

You’re welcome.

Amanda Reid
areid@commonthreadco.com

Amanda Reid likes to consider herself a walking encyclopedia of classic rock music trivia. She's a copywriter-turned-HR-Specialist at Common Thread Collective, and she is driven to serve and support our team and yours.

2 Comments
  • Thanks Amanda! Oh to have a chance for an interview🙏🏽

    July 31, 2018 at 1:31 pm
  • This is great timing! Our animal hospital is about 8 months into a deep dive on our culture and part of that has to do with our hiring practices. Just yesterday, we held an interview with a prospective and hopeful new hire and after our group interview we held with her, I (the Office Manager) talked a bit with her about how that process was for her. Clearly, she has been doing some of the “old school” (and still normal for many businesses) interviews right now. She was excited about the way we handled all of it here and said it was such a great way for her to get a feel for what the people here are like, as well, and gave her a stronger sense of how she would think she’s fit in with our team.

    Sometimes it’s tough for employers to remember that this is absolutely a two-way street and just because WE feel like an individual is right for the job, doesn’t mean that they feel the same way after their interview.

    Thanks for sharing this!

    August 1, 2018 at 8:18 am

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