Hiring managers who hear all the right answers from a candidate often walk out of the interview feeling optimistic, even accomplished. After all, they’ve just found exactly who they were looking for. What could go wrong?
Interviewers who only look for the right answers from the candidate, however, miss a key opportunity that could cost them great talent. Rather than merely looking for the right answers, hiring managers must take the opportunity to sell the job to the candidate.
Here’s how to craft an interview approach that both seek important information and helps the candidate understand the job and its demands:
1. Focus on your follow-ups.
Follow-up questions often get ignored during the interview preparation process, leaving an unparalleled opportunity to understand a candidate on the table. By preparing and asking thoughtful follow-ups, however, a hiring manager can better understand a candidate’s approach – and communicate the details of this job more effectively.
For instance, when asking candidates to describe a major accomplishment, consider asking follow-ups about the composition of their team, the team’s objectives and timeframes, and the experience of working with that particular team. You can use the candidate’s answers as a springboard to discussing the work they would do in the role you seek to fill.
2. Explain the situation you’re in.
Often, candidates succeeded in previous positions, but those positions differ from the job you’re offering in some key ways. Here, asking questions that emphasize the particulars of your situation can help both you and the candidate evaluate the candidate’s fit.
For example, if the candidate has a track record of success in an established company but you’re interviewing for a fast-growing startup or rapidly-expanding department, consider framing one or more questions with “Our teams are changing quickly, both in size and in composition. Have you managed teams in this type of environment before, and if so, can you describe the situation and the results you achieved?”
3. Work with other professionals.
When choosing the right candidate from a sea of applicants, you don’t have to go it alone. An experienced recruiter who specializes in placing professionals in your field and industry can help you find qualified talent, allowing you to focus your interview efforts more precisely.
At SMR Group, our recruiters connect clients in the medical device, biotech and pharmaceutical industries to some of the best available sales and marketing talent. We screen candidates so you can focus on interviewing top talent. Talk to us today to learn more.