Interview Tips for Hiring Managers

Interview Tips for Hiring Managers

Asking the standard interview questions doesn’t cut it anymore. The cost of a bad hire can range anywhere from $750 for an entry-level hire to almost $3,800 for an executive cost, and that’s just from a financial perspective. The best hiring managers know that it takes a great deal of time and energy to find quality talent. Nowadays, it’s not only about if a candidate can actually perform the job, but if the person fits into the company culture. Here are five strategies to help you get to know a candidate’s personality traits and skill set to ensure you’re making the right long-term hire.


Ask the right questions

Asking questions solely about the applicant’s job functions, projects, or individual tasks, won’t help you understand the candidate’s character. The most effective way to see past the resume is to ask open-ended questions that will reveal their attitudes, interests and, of course, their personality. Remember, interviews serve as an opportunity to identify if a candidate will add value to your company. For instance, if you ask a candidate why they left their previous job and they place blame on external forces, that’s a red-flag.

Here are a few other questions that will help you determine if a candidate is right for the job and company.

  • From everything you’ve learned about this role, our company and me, tell me what you’d contribute to our company.
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Why did you decide to apply for this particular job at this particular company?
  • Describe the best boss you’ve ever had.
  • Describe the worst boss you’ve ever had.
  • Why are you leaving your current job?
  • What has been the most fulfilling part of your current or most recent job?
  • What news stories are most intriguing to you right now?
  • What motivates you?
  • What frustrates you?
  • What are your ultimate long- and short-term goals?


It’s not all about you

It is equally important for the candidate to feel as though the company and position is a good fit for them. Many candidates want to know what a typical day looks like, so it’s critical that the hiring managers give them open and honest answers. Encouraging the candidate to ask the interviewers questions also gives insight about how serious they are about the position. And if they don’t ask you questions, it’s pretty clear they didn’t take the time to prepare or applied on a whim.


Have the candidate interview with other staff

Each person the candidate interacts with has a different interview style, so it’s key to have a minimum of two to three people interview the candidate separately. Make sure each employee is asking a different set of questions, as it can be annoying to the interviewee to be asked the same series of questions repeatedly. This will help extract additional information about the candidate and eliminate any potential biases. It’s important to make sure the candidate is prepared to do the job and will fit in with the current team. Having the candidate meet with multiple people will achieve that goal. Remember, you want to hire someone that will excel in the role and get along with your staff. Fostering a cohesive environment is vital for employee productivity – you don’t want to hire someone who might threaten that.


Trust your instincts

Just like any decision in life, if something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. The same concept holds true for making the right hiring decision. If the candidate fits all of the requirements on paper, but something seems off—they arrived late to the interview without taking responsibility, they’re not dressed appropriately for the interview, they seem flippant when answering questions, etc.—trust your gut and continue interviewing other candidates, even if it feels like you needed someone in the role last week. How you feel about a candidate can be a key indicator of how they will fit into your office setting and even their performance. If you’re hesitant but still want to give the candidate a chance, investigate further, have other employees interview them and call their references (at the very least) before inviting them for a second interview.


Make sure you’re prepared

Even if you’re extremely busy running from interview to interview—show your respect for the candidates by preparing for each interview. Take five minutes to review the candidate’s resume and write down specific questions for each interviewee. Having a few questions in mind about their previous experience without having to think them up on the spot during the interview shows the candidate you’re serious and boosts the overall interview experience for both the hiring manager and the person on the other side of the table.

While the interview process can take a great deal of time and energy for hiring managers, by asking the right questions and preparing in advance, hiring managers can ensure they’re inviting the right candidate’s to join their company.