Interview Tips for Hiring Managers

As recruiters, we often publish tips to help candidates land their dream job, but we sometimes forget about our HR and Hiring Managers.  It may surprise you that we see just as many hiring managers make mistakes during the interview process as we do with candidates.  I recently had a CIO refer to his employee as “that girl” during a phone interview with my candidate.  My candidate was female and the comment rubbed her the wrong way.  While that wasn’t the only contributing factor, she ultimately removed herself from consideration for the position.   Remember that how you (as a hiring authority) come across in the interview plays a large role in whether or not the candidate accepts the job.

Top tips for Clients:

This is just as much an interview for you as it is for your candidates.
Unless the person you are interviewing is out of work and desperate, they need to be just as impressed with you and your organization as you are with them.  Always assume they have multiple interviews.

Don’t talk badly about previous employees.
Just as you don’t want candidates who bash their former employer, candidates don’t want employers who bash their former employee!  Keep any comments professional and above board.  If you have any issues to bring up about a former employee, you should also discuss how you worked with that employee to try to resolve those issues.

Set expectations for a decision and give timely feedback.
Many of my clients fail to do this.  At the interview, you should always wrap up with “we have __ number of interviews left and should be back to you with a decision either way by  ______.”  If you want to find more people to interview, then please cut the other candidates loose.  If you really wanted to hire them, you probably already would have so stop stringing them along, and put him/her, and your recruiter (eh hem) out of their misery!

Give a good description of what you are looking for, and what the job entails.  I have had candidates comment after an interview that they were not given much information about the job and they were left scratching their head as to whether or not they were a good fit.  Many times interviewers are so focused on asking candidates questions that they do not adequately describe the job.  It’s a good idea to talk about the job in detail, give reasons why you are asking certain questions and how that pertains to the job, and make sure the candidate has ample opportunity to ask questions. 

The bottom line – An interview is not an opportunity for a Manager to “grill” a perspective employee.  It is an opportunity for a hiring authority to meet a candidate, and for both sides to determine whether or not there is a good fit. 

If you are looking for your next great employee contact Wendy Johnson at and let her hiring knowledge help you find the perfect fit.

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