Thursday, February 13, 2014

Putting “Heart” into Your Interviews Part 1

Most of the time when I talk about interviews I am referring to hiring interviews but from a management stand point, during the course of employment, there can be all kinds.

Examples are:

  • Applicant Interviews (sometimes 2nd and 3rd ones) 
  • Job analysis interviews 
  • Performance interviews 
  • Investigative interviews 
  • Disciplinary interviews 
  • Employee Satisfaction interview 
  • Succession planning interviews 
  • Exit interviews 

Depending on the size of your organization you may not have cause to use all of these, but there are some common themes among them all. Today in part one, we’ll be talking about asking the right questions and doing more listening than talking.

All interviews require good, open ended questions. Remember, the goal of any interview is to gather information and you can’t get the information you need if the questions you are asking are irrelevant or even stupid. I will never forget the time early on in my career when I was asked if I squeezed the toothpaste from the middle or the top. What that had to do with my computer or accounting skills I still haven’t figured out. For applicant interviews, questions need to focus on the job requirements. For disciplinary interviews they need to focus on what occurred and how it relates to your policies, procedures and expectations. For exit interview questions, they should focus on what the company can change and improve upon for the current employees and future ones.

All interviews require a good amount of listening. I lost count of the number of different types of interviews I have sat in on with managers and supervisors that controlled the conversation by doing the majority of the talking. In each of these situations, the true goal is to solicit enough information to make a decision. You don’t get good information if you are the one doing all the talking. Listening to what the person is telling you and taking it to heart while equally weighing the facts adds up to a good employment decision.

Look for Part 2 next week about being clear on the outcome and follow-up with your interviews.

If you want to find out how much “heart” your organization has in interview situations, give me a call.

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