As part of my job, I sometimes have to interview candidates who want to work at our company. I find it quite difficult. And the reason I think is because the candidate is usually tense and nervous and the interviewer is usually reading from a bank of questions that they got from the HR department. I don’t think that’s the best approach. The candidate has prepared for the typical questions. They know what you’re going to ask and they have rehearsed an answer. From the candidates’ point of view, preparation is essential. But as an interviewer, I believe this approach is flawed because you don’t get under the skin of the candidate. You don’t get to know who they really are. They are telling you what they think you want to hear.
So I think the approach should be:
- Read the prepared questions
- Read the candidate’s CV
- Write down as many questions as you can based on the CV and the question bank
- Throw the questions away. Talk to candidate. Get to know them.
If approached this way, I think the candidate will relax. They will open up. And it’s more enjoyable for both parties.
The further you can get from the script, the better your questions will become. And the quality of the answers is in direct proportion to the quality of the question. So ask a better questions.