When talking about hiring and interviews you always hear tips for the interviewee, but not the interviewer. Things like “Do your research and know the company background”, or “Make sure your body language is consistent with what you are trying to portray”. What about for those of us who are on the other side of the interview though? No one seems to talk as much about the approach we should take and things to look for. Here are some thoughts I have gathered after having a role on both sides of the interview table.
A big pet peeve of mine is when hiring managers get ‘turned off’ when they call to set up an interview and the applicant doesn’t recall all the job details right away. I once had a hiring manager come up to me and say ‘Well, I called him and he couldn’t tell me about the job description.’ First off, if someone is looking for a job they are likely applying to multiple places. In this case the applicant was a recent college graduate and he made a full time job out of applying for jobs. If someone is applying to several companies there is a good chance they won’t recall every detail of the job, but at the very least they will recognize the company name. Be gracious and understand your position likely isn’t the only one they put in for.
Think Long Term
One of my favorite things about my place of work is we are constantly lifting each other up and thinking of ways to maximize potential. We bring in great people and as a result those individuals who shine get moved through different departments and take on more responsibility. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing great employees get recognized and challenged to grow even more. When you are going through the hiring process think long term. Where could that person be in a year or two? You might just be looking to fill a customer service role, but could this person take on more? Inspire to grow and challenge and make sure you don’t bring someone on who can’t meet those requirements.
Education Isn’t Always Everything
While there are some jobs that definitely do require a degree in order to fully function within the role, others may not be necessary. I challenge you to comb through your job descriptions and pick out the ones that require a Bachelor’s Degree, or even an Associate’s. Once you have your pile begin going through each one and try to think about why that specific degree is required. If you find yourself struggling to answer this question then it would be very difficult to convince an applicant they would not be qualified otherwise. This isn’t to say education isn’t important, I just think sometimes it overshadows talent and disqualifies candidates that would a good fit for the job.
In the past few years I have experienced both sides of the table. Being the interviewer and the interviewee within such a short time span has given me some insight I wouldn’t have otherwise had and changed my own perception of job seekers.