Interview sessions have become extremely boring and generic! When a candidate attends several interviews (at different firms/organisations) they are asked the same generic questions over and over and over again. Questions like; “Tell me about yourself,” “Where did you school and why did you study a particular course?” “Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?” are generic questions, which I suggest are meant to be examples of questions which should be asked in an interview (not necessarily compulsory). Every interview should be different and unique as we have different candidates from various backgrounds.
WHO IS AN INTERVIEWER?
Interviewers tend to ride the high horse during interviews and most see themselves as better individuals once interviews are ongoing, but the truth remains; as an interviewer, can you answer (confidently) questions that you ask your candidates? An interviewer is a professional who is assigned the responsibility of ensuring a candidate has the right Skills, Experience, Knowledge, Personality and Attitude for an available vacancy. Interviews should not be interrogative sessions, rather they should be expressive and entertaining for both candidates and interviewers.
RIGHT FOR THE JOB?
I have come to realise that not all successful candidates are the best employees; passing an interview does not necessarily mean a candidate will produce good results on the job. I see an interview session as a chance to have private interactions with each candidate, as interviews are meant to reveal the Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities of candidates and not an acting performance of a candidate; a job is not a movie. Also, interviews are meant to reveal an employer’s goals, vision and mission to the candidate for better understanding of the job role/requirements, and the firm’s stand point. How do you, as an interviewer, know when a candidate is pretending/ lying during an interview if all generic questions are answered with finesse? With the exception of top notch HR professionals who have extensive/practical knowledge in psychology and human behaviour, it is very difficult to tell when a candidate, who answers all interview questions “correctly,” is lying.
Interview sessions should be more of a discussion between an interviewer (employer) and an interviewee (potential employee); a discussion held to identify the strengths and weaknesses of both sides, to identify the behavioural pattern of both parties, and to evaluate suitability of both parties working together to achieve the employer and employee’s goals.
HOW TO IMPROVE INTERVIEW SESSIONS
Prior to carrying out an interview, candidates should have been shortlisted by the recruitment unit. Once concluded, interviewers are to do the following:
- READ THROUGH ALL SHORTLISTED RESUMES: Interviewers should resist from asking candidates questions that have glaring answers on the candidates CV, it lacks professionalism as most Interviewers may NOT have read through a candidates CV.
Let us conduct our interviews right for the best results.
- CREATE A COMFORTABLE AND WELCOMING ENVIRONMENT FOR CANDIDATES: Candidates should be made comfortable during interviews. It helps a firms’ brand image as well, and creates a relaxed session for both interviewer and interviewee.
- MANAGE YOUR TIME WELL/NO AFRICAN TIME: Keeping to time and schedule is highly important: When an interview is scheduled for 10AM both parties must ensure that they keep to time.
- HOLD INTERACTIVE CONVERSATIONS: An interview should not be about asking questions alone, discussions should be encouraged during interviews. An example can be “an interviewer discussing an issue (and the solution to the issue) which occurred during an official assignment,” this can also be used to determine if the candidate is qualified to solve similar problems.
- Lastly, a panel of judges is not necessary. 2- 3 employees (HR, Departmental head, and Supervisor) can interview a candidate.
- Candidates can also be offered refreshments.
By Nathaniel Orungbe Ayotunde