We often come across articles and blog posts giving tips and sound advice on how to ace an interview. The widely accepted consensus is that the interviewee is akin to Atlas holding up the sky. This can’t be farther from the truth. Sure, it may seem like the interviewee has more to lose but what we tend to overlook is that the interviewer has an equal part to play in this intricate game of wit, perseverance, and confidence. The company has a lot to lose if the interviewer is slack and doesn’t stay abreast with the latest and effective trends in conducting interviews. Traditional interviews, where an interviewer tries to gauge the suitability of a candidate through his/her skills and experience, no longer cuts it. Old-school interviewing is ineffective and has a number of defects. According to the Global Recruiting Trends 2018 report, traditional interviews are bad at assessing soft skills and other weaknesses. When competition is at an all-time high, you can’t afford to lose the right candidate due to obsolete interviewing skills! You need to stay updated so that your competitor doesn’t snatch the perfect applicant from right under your nose!

Staying ahead of your peers will make the applicants think that your company has a modern, futuristic outlook and the best place for them to work at. So here are a few tips to raise your game.

Selecting the Environment

Selecting where you conduct the interview is crucial. It’s important not to make the candidate feel uncomfortable if it can be avoided. If the interview is being conducted in the office, make sure that a room is booked in advance. You don’t want to run around looking for a vacant room with the candidate trailing behind you uncertainly. It sets the wrong tone and indicates a sense of disorganization at an institutional level.

Nowadays, casual settings are gaining more popularity. It doesn’t require any planning or any additional cost to the company. Talking to the candidate over a meal or in a public place instead of staring at each other across a desk has a lot of benefits. The candidate will be at ease and you will get a better insight into their personality and social mannerisms. You will be able to make a more informed decision on whether the candidate will be a good fit for your company. In fact, Charles Schwab’s CEO has a unique way of interviewing applicants. He takes them out for a meal and has the waiter intentionally mess up their order to see how they react! People usually tend to let their guard down in casual settings. That’s where you swoop in and actually get to know the person. This decreases your chances of hiring the wrong person and makes the candidate feel better!

Use tools which will effectively assess soft skills accurately and in a timely manner

Let’s be honest, interviews take time and the 15 20 minutes or so that you spend on a person isn’t enough to evaluate all the skills needed. That’s where tools like Koru and Pymetrics come into play. This is an effective way of assessing soft skills like teamwork, flexibility, communication, leadership, and problem-solving. Wouldn’t it be better if 100 people took a 20-minute test that would tell you where each individual stood skill-wise? It would save you some time and you get a detailed report on each candidate. You could even broaden your search and include people with diverse backgrounds. You wouldn’t have to limit your talent pool which means better chances of finding the perfect candidate. Soft skills are very essential and something that recruiters look at closely while hiring candidates.

Conduct Job Auditions

Wouldn’t it be nice to actually know how well a candidate can perform the job? Job auditions are an innovative interviewing technique which lets you accurately discern a person’s skills. You get to see the skills in action rather than just hear about them! You can get as creative as you like; bring in the candidate for a day’s work, conduct a hackathon, invite them to participate in a brainstorming session with your team or make them work for a trial period. This way you can be sure that you made the right choice and the person is the right fit for the job. This is beneficial for the candidate as well as they get a sense of the kind of work the job involves and if they’re up for it. It’s always better to try on clothes before we buy them and now we can do the same with jobs!

Incorporate Virtual Reality into your interview process

Virtual Reality (VR) is making waves and is even being used in the recruiting process. It is a fun way to analyze candidates’ natural strengths and behavior. Navigating a maze may not seem like it has anything to do with acing an interview but these tests are conducted to evaluate skills like decision-making, problem-solving, and perseverance. Companies are always looking to incorporate better technologies and attract the young crowd. Organizations like Lloyds Banking and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) have started using VR in their recruitment process. In Lloyds Banking Group’s recruitment drive, 400 candidates used Virtual Reality. Using VR will help you make informed decisions regarding how best to use a candidate’s skill set and if they are the right fit for the job and your company.

Planning is the key to success

Planning is the key to conducting successful interviews and making the right decisions. You can’t just walk in with zero preparation and the attitude that you’ll just ‘know’ if a candidate is the right fit. This will prove disastrous. With no clear line of questioning, the candidate may not be able to showcase his/her skills and you might end up losing real talent. Study the CVs and decide how you want to conduct the interview. Be thorough with the job specifications and the skill set that you are looking for. Look beyond the rehearsed answers and probe further to get a better understanding of the person. Be creative and test the candidate’s skills ( decision-making, problem-solving or any other relevant skill) by giving them hypothetical scenarios. Words aren’t the only ways to analyze a person. Focus on their body language, facial expressions, and hand movements. Albert Mehrabian famously quoted from his research that when a person is talking about their feelings or attitudes, body language and tone of voice account for 55% and 38% respectively while words make up a mere 7%. That’ll give you a better picture. Most people aren’t as talented as Oscarwinning actors!

There is a saying ‘Old is Gold’. These are wise words. But it would be foolish to stick to obsolete, ineffective ways. The interviewing techniques listed above will help you better analyze a person’s skills and make the right decisions. Recruitment is a costly and time consuming process. Choosing the right candidate for your company is imperative if you don’t want to repeat the whole process. Adopting the latest developments will also make you look better in the applicant’s eyes. Everyone wants to work for a company which is modern and progressive. Remember that the candidate is also analyzing if your company is the right fit. The best candidate will likely have options and you don’t want to lose them! Adopting innovative, effective techniques is the way forward.