I have been interviewing for almost 10 yrs now. I have seen the candidates in various forms – the nervous ones, the confident ones, the showy ones, the earthy ones, I have seen them all. More than the candidates, what has attracted me is the mindset of the person taking the interview.
The interviewer needn’t be the person who knows it all, but he/she needs to know the answers to the questions he/she is asking. Having been a candidate myself and in many occasions, when I didn’t know the answer, I had in turn asked the interviewer for the answers. It helped me a lot to understand where I need to improve and improvise.
Off late, I had a chance to take interviews with others and what baffled me was the kind of questions the candidates had to answer. Most of the topics that were asked weren’t even used during the day to day official work. Then why are the questions being asked? Is it because the interviewer wanted to show his/her skill set? Is it to enhance his/her ego?
Recently I was discussing about interviews with a friend of mine. He was telling me about the interviews he had attended lately wherein he was asked about skills which were not even mentioned in his resume. He had a valid argument which I found quite amusing. His argument - “If I don’t have a skill, say A, over a period of time, in the new job, I can acquire it. There are other skills which I am good at”.
Coming back to being an interviewer, I remember the day I was asked to take an interview. My manager had called my friend and me to his cabin. He asked us to prepare few questions which we will ask during the interview. My friend and I, being the first time interviewers, did an extensive googling and found the toughest questions. We went back to our manager and proudly presented our questions. Our manager made us realize that it was not the complicated or complex ones that make an interview tough, it is basically, the true basics of the subjects that the candidates claim to be the experts. That realization continues to play a pivotal role when I don the interviewing hat.
Firstly, explain to the candidate about the job profile. In case, it doesn’t match with his long term career goals, you needn’t take an interview at all. So, SEEK OUT for the right candidate.
So, a good interviewer should skim through the candidates profile and ask the basic questions. In this era, where in we can solve complex problems but find it difficult to handle simple ones, one suggestion is to make the interview SIMPLE.
Thirdly, check the profile for which the candidate is attending the interview for. Ask questions related to job profile as I have seen many candidates being disappointed once they take up the offer. They have claimed that “I was asked about X, Y and Z and nowhere it is being used!” So, test the right SKILLS.
Fourthly, don’t make the interview quite long and elaborate. In the first few minutes, you get an idea about the candidate and most of the times, your initial judgment is right. So, make the interview SHORT.
Last but not the least, interviewer shouldn’t conduct an interview for boosting his/her morale. He/she is doing it to pick the right candidate so that his/her burden can be reduced as well. So, keep aside your SUPERIORITY complex.
With right sets of “S” in place, make the interview easy and effective. Remember, you too were a candidate before and can be in the future too!