How to improve your interviewer skills

Posted in Sales team management.

Finding the right talent, at the right time, for the right job can sometimes be a difficult task. However, it’s small businesses in particular that are really feeling the brunt of recruitment issues. It’s reported that more than half of small businesses find it challenging to find the right employee. Why? What’s the problem?

Right now, there is a strong focus on the skills gap, and this is an important aspect to take into account. At a time when the needs of growing businesses are changing at a faster rate than the skills of the talent pool, it’s natural that there may be some disconnect between what a business needs, and what’s available to them. However, is it unfair to place all of the blame upon the skills of the candidates?

In addition to considering the skills gap, it’s also important to turn the tables and take a look at the ability of the interviewer. In small businesses especially, where there may not be a dedicated and experienced HR team, interviewer skill could be a significant driver of the recruitment challenge.

How to Boost Your Interviewer Skills

Being a good interviewer means two things. Firstly, it means fully understanding what your business needs, and what it is looking for. This can help you to ask the right questions and obtain valuable answers that can help with the decision making process. Secondly, it means fully understanding what the candidate is looking for from the interview, and working to ensure a positive candidate experience.

Here are 3 ways to improve your interviewer skills to make the recruitment process more effective:

1. Personalise Your Approach

Most candidates want a personalised experience, so it’s always best to tailor your approach to each individual candidate. Businesses will often prioritise personalisation in aspects such as marketing and sales, and yet this is something that remains largely overlooked in recruitment. However, it can be hugely beneficial, especially at a time when more and more businesses are placing less importance on qualifications, and more importance on cultural fit.

2. Prioritise Company Culture

We’ve already briefly touched on hiring for fit, not just for qualifications, but this is still something that isn’t often discussed openly in interviews. But it should be if this is something that’s important to the business. Hiring for cultural fit can be valuable, but it’s one of the top challenges for recruiters who often need a little help in this area. Ask questions that go beyond qualifications, such as ‘what environment do you work best in?’, ‘do you prefer working alone or as part of a team?’, and ‘how do you handle conflict?’.

3. Have a Plan… and Stick to it

If you’re personalising your approach, and asking questions that delve deeper than what’s on a candidate’s CV, then it can be easy to lose your path from A to B. That’s why it’s important to plan the format and stages of your interview process, and try to stick to it as closely as possible. Candidates want this too; research by Glassdoor shows that one of the biggest frustrations for candidates is not having clear information on the style or stages of the interview, so communication with candidates is key.