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How to make your interviews more engaging & effective

The real purpose of an interview is to go beyond the resume and beyond the prepared responses to understand someone on a deeper, personal level - helping you determine whether they will be the best fit for the role, your team and company.

If you’re willing to take a step outside the usual interview questions - “what are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?” - and ask more interesting, engaging questions, you can get a better sense of the real person you are interviewing and what it would be like to work together. 

On the other hand, poorly conducted interviews can lead to poor results — you may hire someone who doesn’t work out or reject someone with star potential. 

Here are 4 key ways to make your interviews more engaging and effective:

  1. Plan and Prepare

A lack of preparation can mean ineffective questioning and discussions to reveal adequate information about a candidate's skills, competencies, characteristics and behaviours. 

First determine the core skills and competencies required for the role, then prepare some  questions based around assessing each of these areas.

Avoid too many easy-to-practice typical interview questions such as “why are you the best candidate for the role?”. Too much reliance on programmed questioning is likely to feel rigid for the candidate and lead to stereotyped answers that have a low predictive value on how a candidate will perform in a role.

How can you make a judgement as to whether an applicant will do the job and fit in well? It has long been established that a person’s past behaviour is the surest guide to future performance. What has the candidate done in the past to meet the requirements of this role? Ask them to demonstrate their skills with an example.

According to Elon Musk, asking a candidate to use a personal story to illustrate their experience in solving a problem is key to understanding the candidate on a deeper level, and identify any potential warning signs. “If someone was really the person that solved a problem, they’ll be able to answer the question on multiple levels,” he says. “Anyone who really solves a problem never forgets it”, says Musk.

  1. Build rapport

Putting the candidate at ease and building rapport minimises communication barriers and opens up the conversation. The key to a great interview is engaging the candidate in conversion. Non-verbal communication is equally significant, with signs such as nodding providing support and reassurance to put the candidate at ease. 

  1. Include interesting questions

It’s time to rethink your interview questions to not only include job-specific questions, but also ask interesting, thoughtful questions. Questions outside the standard interview questions help you assess how the candidate thinks on their feet, as well as helps to assess cultural fit.

Reimagine Talent Founder, Tabitha, has compiled a list of ‘Interesting Interview Questions’ you can use - download it here.

  1. Listen

Learning how to ask, watch and really listen is a vital skill in effective interviewing. We hear at a rate of 110 - 140 words per minute, yet our thinking rate is approximately seven times this figure. Which means a surplus of thinking over listening. This can lead to unconscious bias, stereotyping and role perceptions, contributing to selective perception. 

Research also shows that most hiring decisions are made within 15 seconds, so you must consciously avoid any judgments until the interview is at least 50% completed.

Interviews are tough to get right. Alongside effective interviewing, we use Talogy profiling assessment as part of our recruiting process. 

Why do we use Talogy profiling assessment to screen all our candidates?

According to research, even structured interviews are only 26% reliable at predicting a candidates success once hired. Talogy:

  1. provides rigorous, insightful and scientifically driven data to screen candidates and identify those who possess the competencies and skills to succeed in a specific role

  2. assesses cognitive ability, personality, values, situational judgement, and technical skills, helping to identify the best candidate

  3. provides the business hiring recommended interview questions based on the candidates assessment, manager recommendations on areas for improvement, and provides the candidate with a professional development report 

  4. the candidates Talogy report also provides recommended interview questions based on their assessment, and manager recommendations on areas for improvement if you were to bring them on board.

To learn more about our unique recruitment process and how Talogy profiling assessment can improve the quality of your next hire, contact Tabitha.

For further recruitment support, the team at Reimagine Talent are always here to assist you in your recruitment process, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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