Making the Most of Job Interviews

interviewsIn today’s workplace, interviews are inevitably a must for both the employer and potential employee. Why then, have interviews come to have such a “scary” connotation associated with them? Interviews should be exciting for both parties involved. It gives the candidate an opportunity to see their potential future workplace – a new step in their journey, while allowing the employer to meet their future teammate. Naturally, candidates are nervous because they want to perform their best so it’s all about how the employer sets the stage for creating a professional yet comfortable environment.

Have you ever been to a party with just one other person? Probably not. Think about it, though. Say you were at a party and you were responsible for doing all of the talking; keeping the other person entertained the whole time. Chances are you’re going to get tired trying to keep the conversation going and lose insight into details that the person is responding with. Same holds true for interviews.

A method of interviewing, which if implemented correctly can yield effective results, is round robin interviewing.  Just like organizing a party, a hiring manager gathers a team of colleagues who would be collaborating the most with this potential new hire. Smaller groups such as 3-5 team members typically work the best. It’s a large enough group to have fair representation from the work team or different departments, but not too large that it intimidates the candidate. Help to prepare the candidate prior to the interview by letting he or she know who will be in the meeting room. For the candidate, this style can allow them to better see the company culture since their future coworkers are interacting with each other.

Typically the hiring manager can kick off the interview. General questions such as “tell me about yourself,” can help the candidate get acclimated to the interview. At the same time, how the candidate answers this question can give insight into the candidate’s personality.  Have the team members take turns asking questions. This allows everyone on the team to hear the candidate’s response. Additionally, while one person thinks of another question to ask, another team member can ask a question to keep the process moving smoothly.  Taking notes is a lot easier as well since you have time during pauses to jot down ideas rather than continue talking.

Time is money for both the candidate and hiring team. Round robin interviews help to eliminate the half-day-long interview where the candidate gets shuffled around to multiple people and the same questions get asked and answered.  Most teams want to ensure that the candidate they select is a good fit and that there is a general consensus on who the hire will be.  With hectic work schedules, getting the group together to meet and discuss post interview can sometimes take a while to organize. However, after a group interview takes place, the hiring manager can escort the candidate back to the lobby and then return to recap with the group. This can help the group come to a faster decision and know which direction they are going in while in the same time being courteous and providing the candidate with a faster turn-around time for a decision.

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