Are you qualified to interview? How a hire can go horribly wrong if you don’t have the skills to skilfully interview

Hiring isn’t easy. The pressure to find the right person for the right role and, crucially, at the right time has arguably never been more intense than it is right now. So, we shouldn’t be too surprised when reading some of the latest statistics bemoaning the cost of a bad hire.

Depending on which source is cited, the average cost to the company of taking someone on who doesn’t work out within the first six months is around £30,000 according to various sources. However, for senior and executive roles, that number quickly rises to anywhere between five and 15 times that person’s annual salary. These are frighteningly high numbers, so how can this be avoided?

Making the right hiring decision is critical to the success of any business. Yet, irrespective to time-served doing the job, a significant number of hiring managers underestimate the significance of having sound interview skills. Over the next few minutes we will reveal the core attributes required to become a successful interviewer. And it all starts with preparation.

Be prepared

Before the interview, do ensure that you thoroughly review the candidate’s CV and any insights shared about them by your chosen recruitment partner. Use this intelligence to identify the competencies where the candidate seems to be a great fit for the role and your organisation’s culture. Equally, consider where there may be gaps in your knowledge of them and use this to inform your questions.

Talk less, listen more

Perhaps the greatest skills that all great interviewers have is the ability to actively listen. If you have found yourself in the past speaking for more than 50% of the time in an interview that you have conducted, you are talking too much. Yes, your job is to challenge the candidate to establish a suitable match for the role that you are recruiting for but if you are not listening enough, you risk missing key information that could be vital to determining their ultimate success or failure in the process. Show interest in what they have to say, allow them to express themselves fully, and keep a look out for subtle cues that might not be evident on paper.

Ditch the template

Try to be less regimented in the structure of the interview. No two candidates are alike. Each has their own personality and ways in which they communicate, so seek to play to their strengths by ditching the formulaic and identikit interview structure. Adhering to a set of predetermined questions may very well prevent you from being able to dig a little deeper into a candidate’s potential.

Be open

On the subject of questions, how open are you? See what we did there? We asked an open-ended question that didn’t allow for a simple Yes or No. This is critical to any conversation – ask questions that entice candidates to elaborate on their experience, expertise and thought processes; thereby, revealing more of themselves and providing you with greater clarity on their suitability for the position.

Interviewers are in our view the most important people within the organisation. The hiring decisions they make directly influence and impact the fortunes of the business itself. Getting these decisions wrong can be detrimental to the bottom line of the organisation, damage its reputation, and even lead to an exodus of great and previously loyal talent. But getting it right has the reverse effect and will see the organisation achieve and likely exceed its strategic objectives.

So, take the time to hone your interview skills and reduce – or even eliminate – the ‘cost of a bad hire’ from your organisation’s lexicon. Maranello Executive Search has provided strategic counsel to hiring organisations for over 20 years. If you need support, get in touch with us today.



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