Potential Goodness in an Interview Process for Interviewers and Interviewees
How an Interviewee walks away from an interview tells a lot about the Interviewer and the interviewing organization. Well, that’s the primary focus of this article while there are take away aspects for interviewee too. Purely based on my experiences and how as an individual I would like the interview process be to help both interviewer and interviewee.
Many of us would have been on both sides of the table and I also have done both and I have had my own experiences being at both ends on different occasions. And by the way, we are in the boundaries of an employment interview, in this article’s context.
Let’s take a look at why the interview first or even what is an interview.
An interview is a process where an interviewer asks questions and an interviewee gives answers, as a general definition, to help one decide whether the candidate is a good fit for the job or not (One would find in a google search). But if I can put it in a better way, here’s how I would put it.
An interview is a process where an interviewer seeks perspectives, insights, thoughts from the experiences of an interviewee and interviewee does not only provide answers, but shares what he/she knows, understands, or has experienced so far about the topic.
Is that any better and if only both interviewer and interview has better understanding about that, the experience both parties would go through would be any better?!
Well, one may ask, what is it to do with better experience and why is it after all need to be cared.
Let me share.
What’s the most fundamental aspect in an interaction where two parties are involved. If there is any expectation that both parties have, would it be that basic “respect” and probably “empathy” in the interaction, given that both are meeting for the first time?
And how that can be brought out through the process, is only when both parties come prepared a bit especially from a view that, more than hiring or getting hired, we are hear to understand the interviewee holistically and see the fitment for the given JD and nothing else.
If it was only about some direct questions and answers in an expected and a very predefined way, even robots could do that?!
Lets take a look at the possible scenarios on why an interviewee may be looking for a job
- Has a job already but looking out for better opportunity
- Maybe is not working currently and looking out to get hired as soon as possible
- Was in a break for personal or other reasons and returning to work now
If the interviewer could be cognizant about the factors above, how useful it would be, to create that respect and empathy for the candidate naturally and consciously?
It would be very useful because it will show respect and empathy for the interviewee and at the end of the interview, interviewee may walk away feeling good about the interviewer and the interviewing organisation, even if he / she does not get hired. Maybe who knows the interviewee may also decide whether or not to ever come back to this organization based on what he/she experiences in the interview. And on the other side, with good experiences that the interviewer can offer, the interviewee could gain more confidence and understand gaps enabling him/her to get hired sooner or later in another company, potentially? Now, how good is that?
Now, let’s take a look at what all interviewer could potentially do to make the interview process more effective and a good experience
- Go through the resume well to understand candidate’s experience and expertise, with respect to the JD in hand. This can potentially help the interviewer to identify areas that must be discussed in the interview to clarify if or if not, the candidate has related/required experiences.
- If possible, see candidate’s profile in any social medias like LinkedIn, as available, to understand the candidate holistically? After all, we hire people, not just only for their skills and expertise, but for their attitude and other traits/attributes as well, holistically.
- It would always be great to do video call to get that personal touch in the interview process than just doing audio call.
- At times, it may also help if the assessment can be done to see if the interviewee could do things that he/she may not have done in the past and how’s the learn-and-do appetite with the candidate
- If the candidate struggles to provide an answer, see if asking the question differently helps.
Now let’s take a look at what all interviewee could potentially do to make the interview process smoother and a great experience
- Be Available a bit early so there is no loss of time in starting the interview
- If possible, connect with colleagues who might be working in the organization and get to learn about the organization or the division hiring a bit more and if possible about the interviewer as well. Sometimes Glassdoor kind of portals are handy to learn a bit about the organization
- Ask questions about the job, organization and responsibilities at the end of the interview, to understand the job well
- Since it would be harder to pull from your experiences on the fly, with respect to behavioral or scenario based questions, go well prepared with what you would like to share for those type of questions.
Coming to some “don’t” list for both the parties.
- You are not weighing the candidate’s expertise against you but you are assessing the candidate’s fitment for the JD given. So it would be best to ask relevant questions and seek to understand the potentials in the candidates, than just considering only the past of the candidate.
- Your questions should enable the candidate share best of his/her experiences. Allow ample time for especially behavioral questions.
- Duration of the interview could also be looked at. Too short also comes in the way of a quality interview or makes it a very robotic process.
- Never be late for an interview and time is critical for everyone
- Never try to be very direct in giving answers, try to share your perspectives even when you have a direct answer
- Never hesitate to ask for clarifications if the question is not clear
My intent was not to be prescriptive in this article, but to provide just a high level direction for how the interview process should be approached (have provided some bullet points)and definitely, the list of things in every category above, could be much more wider from several aspects.
The world is changing fast and ways of working is changing tremendously. That means, we need to be more human than a robot to make it worthwhile for human evolution in every single aspect.
Being respectful and empathetic are too most important things and when people have that, it reflects in what all we do be it an interviewer or an interviewee, to make it effective and meaningful.