The Psychology of Interviewing

Even after the candidate has been selected and hired the ‘honeymoon’ period and training means that the employee is not fully adding to the business for a while. This means that employee engagement and retention is extremely important, but not if based on hiring the wrong person in the first place.

The amount of people working in companies who quite frankly should not be there is considerable and highly damaging to business. What is the point of hiring someone who lacks commitment and is utterly miserable? No one wins.

To address this problem we have to start at the interview stage to make sure we choose the best person for the job.

The first thing to consider is what are our business objectives, whom do we need to help the business move forward and how will they fit with the rest of the team? These are the preliminary things to consider. Many interviews begin with little preparation from the employer so it’s vital to be prepared.

For instance, does the role require other attributes beyond those on the job spec, such as leadership qualities, team building or being a natural motivator? How about someone who has an eye for detail, loves research or is a good organizer. These considerations are all part of the pre-interview process.

The next step is to make sure we have really scrutinized the CV and thoroughly followed up on references. Have we checked up on their qualifications? Many lie on their CV, so it’s important not to waste time on those with little integrity.

When the interview begins, putting the candidate at their ease by being both friendly and professional will build rapport and help us see the person beyond that of a nervous, wanting to impress individual.

Keep the conversation valid and open and taking notes whilst listening carefully is of course, necessary but sometimes over looked.

If we are interviewing more than one candidate, make sure that all the interviews are consistent in terms of questions asked, office used etc. We can’t hope to compare people properly if we interview each of them differently.

The last point to make here is to only use the best type of questions. What is the best type? They are open questions that are not manipulative. It is pointless asking leading questions if we are looking for an honest answer. Of course, we all know what not to ask don’t we? I’m sure no one these days would ask, “how old are you?”; “do you follow a religion?”; “do you have any illnesses?”; “where were you born?”; “are you married?” and so on.

All this seems logical, but in our fast paced world where we seem to have little time, it’s worth being reminded and making sure we don’t make expensive mistakes.