Many hiring managers think they have the upper hand when it comes to hiring – that they have the final vote in whether a job candidate comes to work for the company. Actually, job candidates have an equal vote in the process; the job interview is as much about determining whether a job candidate wants you as it is for you to determine if you want him or her.
There was a time, more in our industrial age, when managers truly had the power in the hiring relationship. But in today’s intellectual workplace, the job interview is as much for the candidate to hear what is true about the job and to use that information to determine whether the job fits his abilities, skills, experience, plans for growth, development and future plans. To really understand this, let step back a minute and ask the all-important question – Why do we interview?
The goal of the interview, as I coach my clients, is not to hire. Rather, it is to create an environment that provides enough of the right information to determine whether to hire. And it works in the same way for the job candidate. The interview is the place where today’s job candidates gather enough information to determine whether the potential employer and role are the right fit.
So to be ready for this new shared responsibility for the right outcome, here are 4 critical questions hiring managers should ask themselves in preparation of the interview to be clear enough about what the role does, who fits it, and why it is a great thing to work for their company – in other words, to help a job candidate answer the question, “Why should I work for you?”
Consider these questions as you prepare to host any interview:
- Why would great people be interested in this job – what does it do and how does it add value and make a difference in the organization?
- How will this job use the employee’s unique and best abilities, and how will it help the employee develop and grow?
- What workplace culture will this employee work in and how is it different and better than others?
- What do others who work here love about their jobs and working for us?
Great interviews are information-gathering sessions. Both sides have information the other side needs in order to make both a sound hiring and job decision. Neither side has all the power. In fact, power is not helpful in an environment that is looking for an open and honest commentary about how things really are in the job and workplace, and what the job candidate’s unique abilities are, and how they have added value and made a difference in other workplaces.
Be sure you step into the shoes of the job applicant to see what will matter to someone in this role. Share what makes the role, company and opportunity great. Be honest. Be accurate. This gives the job applicant enough of the right information to assess “fit” from his or her perspective. Then, having created an easy, open and meaningful conversation about the role, ask your talent and behavioral questions and notice more open and honest responses from the candidate.
With a mutual commitment to job fit, the interview takes on an entirely different tone. Information is more openly shared. In my experience, this change in mindset by the hiring manager – one that sees the interview as a mutual sharing event committed to connecting the right job opportunity to the right person – changes how job candidates show up in their interviews. And when both parties have a personal stake in the decisions process, all parties are more honest, more involved and more committed to the right outcome. Before you start the interview be ready to see the role from the employee’s perspective, and have an answer for his or her question, “Why should I work for you?”
Contact me for more information on hosting powerful talent-based interviews, and to learn how to build the talent-profile needed to source people who are a good fit in each of your jobs. Also see the tools on FireUpYourEmployees.com.