Candidate Care

Good Interviewer Behavior

good interviewer behavior


Following are a few key qualities of skilled interviewers.

  1. They understand their real needs.

Identify your real business need and determine what successfully meeting that need looks like because that defines the skills and attributes required for success in the role. Think about cultural fit and tailor the interview, and everything included in the hiring process, to find the right person to solve your most important needs.

  1. They ensure candidates come prepared.

All candidates should know what to expect: when, where, and who will be conducting the interviews. Great interviewers ensure candidates don’t have to deal with surprises or uncertainty. Remember also that a new employee’s first day isn’t the first official day as an FTE. The first day is the day they first engage in your hiring process because that’s when their experience with your company really starts.

  1. They do their research on the candidate.

When you research the candidate, you can ask more intelligent questions and foster a more compelling conversation. Start with the resume which should offer details on jobs and qualifications, and may reveal information about the candidates interests and goals. By reviewing their roles, responsibilities and promotions, you can begin to assess their career path.

Great interviewers learn to read between the lines to get a sense of the candidate’s real successes, failures and long-term interests.

  1. They make the interview a conversation, rather than an examination.

The best interviews are a great conversation, not an interrogation. This point also reinforces the last point because the more you know about the candidate ahead of time, the more you can ask questions that give the candidate room for introspection and self-analysis.

  1. They help shy or nervous candidates to relax and feel more comfortable.

Although it’s not typical, it is possible to have a great candidate who doesn’t interview well. He or she may simply be nervous because they haven’t interviewed in a long time. To help a nervous candidate to relax, compliment a few of his or her accomplishments, or ask a question about a hobby or outside interests.

  1. They are aware when to go off script.

While you should follow a plan and progress through your interview questions, the best questions are often follow-up questions. Follow-up questions take you past the rehearsed responses and into the details, both positive and negative. If a comment or answer sparks your interest, then follow your intuition and talk about it. Ask questions. This will help you to get past the rehearsed responses, and you’ll also learn more details which the candidate may not have thought to share. The real superstars tend to reveal themselves in the details, and it’s a skilled interviewer’s job to get to those details.

  1. They never dominate the flow of conversation.

Great interviewers know how to make the conversation mostly about the candidate. This is your most efficient way to gain the necessary intelligence to assess fit.

  1. They thoroughly describe the next steps.

Practice good candidate care and explain your company’s interview process. Share what you will do, and when you plan to do it. By doing so, you can start to build trust, which will help to motivate interest.

  1. They never rely on checklists.

Experienced interviewers go beyond simply asking a list of questions. Skilled interviewers are selective about the people they hire; and great search consultants excel because they are very discriminating about the candidates they place. In the life sciences industry, clients don’t engage headhunters just to hire a good candidate. They use search to hire a great candidate who will serve as a leader to advance the business plan.

  1. They provide closure to every candidate.

We believe strongly that developing and practicing good candidate care programs can be a differentiator, and a competitive advantage for hiring companies and talent acquisition leaders.

Candidates pay your business a compliment when they demonstrate an interest to work with you. Once candidates invest themselves to get to know you and your business, would you rather have them complimenting you, or complaining about you to other candidates, to potential investors, and the market in general?

Describe next steps, follow through on those steps, contact candidates if the process gets delayed, and provide closure to every candidate.