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The rules of interviews

12 October, 2015

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Date of Publication: 12 October, 2015
Sometimes it happens: whatever the reason, as a manager you get to interview people in place of the HR department. This may either be due to a lack of structural organization in your company, or because the hiring process needs to be rushed and the urgency calls for “extreme” measures. But here you are, with a bunch of CV in your hands and a series of appointments you need to fit in your daily schedule.

You are probably the right person to describe the job and are you perfectly aware of what you’re looking for, but it is safe to say that you’re not the person in charge to assess or discuss the economics, establish a defined date to communicate the interview result and so on. Even if your company has provided you with all the data, there’s always something in the hiring process that seems to fail the grasp of human understanding. And the emergency you’re facing at the moment will reveal itself as something that takes a couple of months to be solved (and this is especially true when you’re working in a multinational company and the final decision lays in the hands of someone else in another office in some other location).

Rule #1 Be balanced

You’re meeting the perfect candidate, a person you just know who will handle the job perfectly. Keep your enthusiasm for the time you’ll have to discuss him or her with your employers. Let the person know that you’re interested and give him or her all the positive feedback you feel they deserve, but neither make promises nor appear too eager: you never know what could go wrong in the process and you don’t want to promise something that might be beyond your control.

Rule #2 Never explain, never complain

Remember the time when you went through your own interviews. Every time a person told you: “you’ll hear something by the 12th” or something along those lines, there was always something that got in the way and left you feeling let down, even when the outcome ended up being positive. The hiring process plays a substantial role on the candidate’s perception of the companyand it’s the first step for him or her to build a working attitude. Salaries, dates and any other matters you are not entirely sure about should never be discussed so as to avoid future complaints. Furthermore, if you accidentally make promises your company cannot uphold, the person eventually hired will no longer perceive you as someone who is altogether trustworthy.

Rule #3 If it was up to me…

Remember you’re the face of the company and you have to act like one. Try not to discuss topics you don’t agree with or at least try not to make your personal opinions on processes lead the interviews. If the candidate is the right one, you’ll have plenty of time to express your views. You would do well to refrain from saying “if it was up to me, your salary would be higher and your workday shorter…”, or: “the hiring team is having issues so that is why they haven’t yet made up their minds”. Commenting on the hiring process is beyond the realm of your responsibilities and nor is it in the candidate’s best interest to know. It would be rather pointless to throw your company under an oncoming bus, so to speak.

Rule #4 Make sure your candidate knows who you are.

Tidy up your LinkedIn. It’s only normal and fair for a candidate to google you up, in order to understand who’s going to face and why, what’s your role in the company and what you did to achieve it.

Interviews can be a rather time consuming activity, and when you’re not properly suited to the task, you might even feel the need to rush them. Indeed, as time goes on, you might find it increasingly difficult to manage them successfully without having them encroach on other scheduled meetings or duties. By finding time to study the bios and CVs in advance, you will begin to feel free to narrow down actual interview times to suit your work routine.

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