Monday, July 15, 2013

Hiring Managers: Don't interview on auto pilot!

Our industry is intense, our schedules are packed and we are always juggling multiple priorities.  We do many things during the work day on auto pilot.  As a hiring manager when I had interviews squeezed into an already tight schedule I admit…I did some on auto pilot.  Racing into my office two minutes before the candidate, glancing at the resume and hoping it wouldn’t take the full 45 minutes because I had to get ready for a business review.

Here are some thoughts on how to get the most out of an interview.  First, realize this is a person who has taken time out of their life to explore an opportunity within your organization.  They are not a product to review and edit or adopt to the line.  If you have 45 minutes of your day scheduled to interview….then have the mind set to find out everything you possibly can about their capabilities in that 45 minutes. 

Clear your mind, desk and silence your email and phone.   This human being deserves your full attention and you will get more out of the dialog.  Some companies have a set list of interview questions for candidates.  This is great and creates consistency, however it is a good idea to review the resume and prepare some questions specific to their experience.   If they show 15% comps over last year in dresses ask them how they accomplished this, who did they collaborate with and what were the obstacles.

If they show career progression ask them about their promotions.   If there are moves between companies ask them to tell you why they moved from one brand to another.

Whatever the question, truly LISTEN to the answer.  Often we know what we want the candidate to say and if they start out differently we tune them out and move on in our own minds.  LISTEN with an open mind and they may end up surprising you.  Make sure you are not so focused on filtering for your brand that you miss someone who could make a significant contribution.  Create an interview environment where they can share their successes.

Treat candidates with warmth and respect.  If you want to attract top talent to your brand you have to have a stellar reputation.  This means treating candidates that you do not hire as well as those that you do.  Candidates talk about their experiences and you want them to say positive things. 

Have you conducted interviews on auto pilot?  Do you make up your mind before the interview is over?  What would candidates who have interviewed with you say about their experience? 

You can always see what opportunities we are interviewing candidates for at

No comments:

Post a Comment