This past term, there were a couple of class members who
participated actively in class discussions, took leadership
and made their teams more effective. They did mock interviews
as interview participants and, significantly, interviewed
other class members. So, not only was the candidate’s
performance reviewed, but also the interviewer’s was
The incentive is that, as happened to me, recent hires
can be asked to interview and be on interview teams
within their first year. So it is good to gain some insight
and experience interviewing others.
Despite the fact that hiring mistakes can cost
a firm in many ways, training individuals to know how to
conduct effective interviews and evaluate people’s future
performance based on a highly stylized resume (with
many corrections and adaptations) and a short, pressure-
packed encounter is often over looked. It is observed
that some places assume anyone can conduct a good
interview, following their own instincts and looking
for similar tendencies.
I believe it takes some experience to develop a
style (assisting the interviewee to relax and perform at
his/her best), an approach (revealing the organization’s
culture), an observant eye and listening ear to be an effective
Training does help, like specialized training in Behavioral
based interviewing or embodying specific organizations
Just like conducting a win-win conversation, it gets off on
the “right foot” with a welcoming and prepared introduction
offering a confident and purposeful track (people know and
understand what they are to do) allowing equal participation.
The interviewer needs to know and avoid illegal topics.
The interviewer should consider examining
- if and where the candidate is interviewing elsewhere
- if the candidate would accept an offer, if offered (looking for
- if the candidate has thought or developed a career plan and
how the present position fits
- if the candidate works well with others with different backgrounds
- if the candidate communicates pertinent technical information
to different audiences well.
- if the candidate has any questions (showing research and
interest in the position)
At the end of the interview, the interviewer should capture:
1 what the candidate is good at, where it fits with needs
2 what the candidate is limited at
3 accomplishments and comparisons from previous bosses
4 enthusiasm and
5 will I like working with this person.
Red flags to watch for:
a does not admit failure or weaknesses
b takes credit for others efforts, insights or accomplishments
c tries hard to be “the” expert
d more interested in salary and benefits.