12 Tips to be a Better Interviewer

1. Stay organized

When you’re hiring for multiple positions and evaluating many candidates, it can be complicated to juggle the input from various sources. Keep all of your data well organized so that you can eliminate confusion and keep everyone on the same page.

With a company of 140 employees across five countries and growing fast, Sarah Tait’s People Ops team at Branch needs to be extremely coordinated when conducting candidate interviews. To do that, Branch emphasizes communication through pre-interview huddles with the hiring committee and post-interview recaps (after all data has been entered into their ATS, to maintain objectivity).

“The bigger that we got, the more variability existed,” says Sarah Tait, Head of People Ops. In response, her team created interviewing guides with example questions, and concrete grading rubrics for evaluating applicants for technical jobs, like computer engineers. A prepared interview evaluation form can help you stay organized and maintain a uniform framework throughout the interview process.

An ATS should serve as your single source of truth — capturing candidate information across the entire applicant lifecycle, as well as enabling your interviewers and hiring managers to submit feedback seamlessly.

2. Align the stakeholders

Before you bring in a candidate for an interview, ensure that all internal stakeholders at your company are on the same page about the role. This can prevent major problems later on in the process. William Uranga, Director of Talent Acquisition at Spokeo, points out, “It’s a lot of effort to screen someone, interview them, and then have them die on the table because nobody can agree what they’re looking for (the role), or looking at (the candidate).”

At the beginning of the hiring process, discuss the position with potential supervisors and coworkers. Why does this role exist? What traits and skills do they think the new hire will need? What sort of person would thrive in the role? You want to make sure that everyone agrees on the purpose of the position and the qualities a good candidate should possess before you’ve started interviewing candidates. Otherwise, debate later in the hiring process can cause unnecessary delays and possibly losing out on a stellar candidate.

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