Monday, 9 march 2020 | Redacción CEU
They can be tense, informal, conventional or original, but interviews are usually the previous step to get a job. Precisely because it is something that professionals are usually familiar with, some of them tend to underestimate the work that exists behind an interview, coming to the conclusion that this is a simple task, like any other. Nothing is further from the truth, since a company’s expectations and objectives depend, to a large extend, on how these interviews are carried out. Consequently, interviews require that recruiters do more work than just planning a series of questions. Thus, what advice should they follow to conduct a good interview? What do they have to consider when looking for the ideal candidate?
The ideal candidate is the one who is eager to work and shows enthusiasm, has the potential to help achieve the short-term and long-term company goals and adapts and believes in the values and culture of the organization. Do these candidates really exist? Of course, they do. Nevertheless, we must not forget that, without the appropriate prior work, the company may not find the best candidates for the job that it offers. Before reaching the decisive moment of the interview, it is necessary to deploy a good recruitment strategy: having a coordinated and effective work team, designing strategic plans on communication and talent attraction, anticipating recruiting needs to avoid making rash decisions, informing the employees about vacant positions, having the support of the right tools, etc.
Just as they have to pay attention to the applicant selection, they should also do so to the interviewer selection. The person in charge of interviewing the candidate must be a professional who adequately represents the values of the brand, as in an interview a candidate is introduced to the company and vice versa. In turn, interviewers must have good communication skills that enable them to conduct interviews with confidence and to interpret the candidates' responses and behaviors better. It is also important that they know the hidden details of the jobs. Otherwise, they can always resort to a collaborator who does have this expertise.
Once the interviewer has been chosen, what should they take into account? How should they prepare the interview?
Interviewers usually face meetings without studying candidates first, in other words, without reading their resumes. This is a serious mistake. There is no worse introduction for a company that looking unprofessional, and this is the impression interviewers make when they limit themselves to improvising. CVs not only serve to contrast applicants' experience; they also offer interesting clues about who professionals really are. Social networking sites might also be good resources to gather information about candidates, especially Linkedin.
Small details hide a lot of information, for example, crossed arms, forced smiles and body tension are negative signs. Body language is also useful for recognizing transversal soft skills such as empathy, friendliness, proactivity and eloquence. There are also other aspects to assess like punctuality, neatness and manners. It is important to take into account that, to perform a good job as an interviewer, it is essential to practice active listening during the whole interview.
In stress interviews, candidates are tested to see how they react to pressure. However, it is when candidates relax, that they show their true colors. Therefore, in an ideal interview, the conversation flows, and applicants express themselves freely. To create this atmosphere, it is advisable to ask short and open questions and show interest in the opinion the candidates have about the proposal, the firm and even the selection process.
A good way to discover if an applicant is the right one is to contrast the information they offer in the interview. Interviewers should notice the possible inconsistencies in candidates' speeches. If they find some, they must ask them about them. They can also ask their favorite candidates for two or three references. Whenever possible, it is advisable to organize a second meeting to make sure that they are making a wise choice.
An interviewer should not look for the perfect aspirant, but rather the one who fits perfectly for the vacant position. What does this mean? There are skills and virtues that are equally or more important than some knowledge. One of them is honesty. Honest professionals do not always agree, they dissent but give arguments. When others avoid a difficult issue, they address it. This is the kind of professional that adds value to a company. On the other hand, the company must be consistent and ask for what it gives, that is, they also have to be honest with candidates.
To have a good reputation as an employer brand, it is not only necessary to offer a value proposal for employees, but also to take care of the applicants' experience in the selection process. Neglecting the treatment of professionals, even if they are not part of the company yet, is never a good idea.
The CEU IAM Business School offers an Executive Master’s Degree in Human Resources 4.0 that provides its students with the latest trends in people management inspired by the development of technology. It is a training course which is taught by HR professionals and managers from prestigious firms that share their experiences and concerns in an eminently practical way. Do you want to specialize in people management and in the development of managerial skills with high digital innovation? Contact us and ask for further information with no obligation on your part!