“Listen, go interview that candidate in my place please!”

It’s a grand day when your manager tells you to take some interviews in his or her place. Of course, he or she will not say anything more on how to do this. Most people think of interviewing as a dirty chore and try and get it done and over with or at best delegate it to someone else. Often, you are left figuring out how to ask questions or how you should score someone. It’s a lot of power and the organisation thinks it’s okay for you to take such a decision.

If you select and pass it on to someone else to take a further decision, it is a safer option because the sword on the candidate’s future is in someone else’s hands but you may be questioned why you made such a decision. If you reject the candidate, you most probably will feel awkward about whether you did the right thing.

What should you be doing?

  1. Use data beyond the CV.
  2. Leverage your recruitment team’s knowledge on the job to form your idea of the job market or candidate.
  3. Understand the building blocks of skills that will help the person do their job and assess with practical questions that the candidate can expect while on the job. Do not use Google!
  4. Learn how to find the candidates’ strengths and look for fitment.
  5. If possible, shadow an experienced interviewer and ask them questions after the interview to find out more.
  6. Be warm and approachable.
  7. Capture lots of notes to help in decision-making.
  8. Don’t rely only on your instincts. Discuss your observations with someone before making a conclusion.
  9. Respond to candidates’ concerns by being empathetic.
  10. Keep it simple.

At the end of the day, not only are you a decision-maker, you are also an ambassador for your company. Candidates carry and spread their impression about the organisation based on their interview experience, so it would make sense to make it a positive one. As an interviewer, you play a key role.

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