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Interview Techniques for Employers

Written by: Wilson College   •  Jan 18, 2024
A hiring manager shakes hands with a candidate during a job interview.

Interview Techniques for Employers

Different organizations have different interview processes, and hiring timelines can vary. Get Hired by LinkedIn News reports that the average length of the hiring process is three to six weeks.

Employers can benefit from interview techniques that maximize their time and improve their hiring outcomes. For example, behavioral-based and virtual interviews can be effective tools for evaluating candidates. Professionals can learn effective techniques through experience and by pursuing an advanced education, which can help them make the right hires, build effective teams, and become better leaders.

5 Interview Techniques for Employers

The job market remains tight thanks to an unemployment rate that has changed little in the past year. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate was 3.9% as of October 2023. In this competitive job market, employers need to use effective interview techniques that will help them identify and hire the right candidates. The following five interview techniques for employers can help organizations improve the success rate of their recruiting and hiring.

1. Behavioral-Based Interviews

Employers want to know how candidates will handle certain situations. Behavioral-based interviews focus on a candidate’s past behavior as an indicator of their future performance. In a behavioral-based interview, an employer may ask a candidate for real-life examples to assess their skills and suitability.

2. Competency-Based Interviews

Organizations use competency-based interviews to check whether candidates have the qualifications and skills for the role. In this interview approach, the employer asks the candidate questions to assess their skills in specific areas, such as problem-solving, leadership, communication, and teamwork skills.

3. Group Interviews

Group interviews are a type of interview technique for employers that involves multiple candidates being assessed simultaneously. Employers can watch how candidates interact with others, which shows their teamwork and interpersonal skills. It also reveals how they communicate and handle pressure.

4. Panel Interviews

Panel interviews include a group of interviewers from different departments or levels in the company. This can be an intimidating approach for a candidate who prefers a one-on-one interview method. For the employer, however, it creates an opportunity to quickly get different views on the candidate’s suitability for a specific role.

5. Virtual Interviews

Virtual interviews are conducted remotely, often using video conferencing tools. Employers can assess candidates from anywhere. Employers use virtual interviews because they provide a more flexible and efficient interview process. To have a successful virtual interview, the employer’s setup needs to look professional.

5 Strategies for Effective Interviews-

For an interview to be effective, the employer must consider a candidate’s experience, from the initial screening to the final meeting. The employer also needs to leave a good impression on the candidate, even if they’re not the perfect fit. The following strategies can help employers maximize the effectiveness of their interviews.

1. Prepare

Before the interview, the employer should thoroughly research the candidate’s background, including their resume and portfolio. Understanding the job description and preparing relevant questions is a key to effectively assessing the candidate’s skills and fit for the role.

2. Break the Ice

An important interview technique for employers is to create a comfortable environment for the candidate. Breaking the ice can be simple, like starting the interview with a friendly introduction. This helps to reduce the candidate’s stress and allows the candidate to relax. It also enables a more natural and open conversation.

3. Develop Questions Using the STAR Method

The employer can use the STAR (situation, task, action, result) method to structure behavioral questions. This approach helps the employer learn how the candidate has handled specific situations in the past. This insight reveals the candidate’s problem-solving and decision-making skills.

4. Guide the Conversation

When the employer steers the interview so the candidate can easily communicate and demonstrate their skills and experience, the conversation flows naturally. When discussing the role, the employer should stay on topic, while leaving room for the candidate to express themselves. This can provide insight into the potential fit of the candidate.

5. Practice Active Listening

Engaging in active listening by maintaining eye contact, nodding, and providing verbal cues shows the candidate that the employer is attentive. This helps the employer build rapport with the candidate while gaining insight from the way the candidate responds to questions.

Pitfalls to Avoid

During interviews, employers need to be aware of cognitive biases that can affect their judgment and interview outcomes. No matter the effectiveness of the interview techniques employers use during a conversation, these pitfalls can hamper the success of any interview. By avoiding these pitfalls, employers eliminate bias in their judgments and provide clarity for candidates, leading employers to make better hiring decisions. Here are four common pitfalls to avoid.

1. Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias occurs when an employer seeks to confirm their beliefs about a candidate. They only look for information that supports their view. This often leads to ignoring any opposing evidence. Employers should approach each interview with an open mind and remain receptive to all information presented.

2. Halo Effect

The halo effect happens when one good thing about a candidate makes an employer ignore other important things. Employers need to be careful not to let one impressive skill or trait affect their overall view of a candidate. Objectivity is key to making a proper assessment of a candidate.

3. Affect Heuristic

The affect heuristic refers to the way we often make decisions based on our emotions instead of objective analysis. Employers should focus on tangible evidence and qualifications when assessing candidates, instead of being influenced by their emotions.

4. Social Comparison Bias

Social comparison bias happens when employers compare one candidate to another. An employer’s decision is influenced by this comparison rather than the set criteria for the job. To make the best decision, employers should consider each candidate’s unique qualifications and fitness for the role.

Gain Applicable Skills to Become a Strategic Leader

Individuals looking to help organizations build talented teams can enroll in a graduate program to gain essential leadership skills. For instance, Wilson College Online offers a Master of Organizational Leadership degree program that covers subjects like business, social psychology, and liberal arts.

This program can equip you with the necessary skills to become a forward-thinking strategic leader in any organization. The curriculum includes core courses in strategic management, interpersonal dynamics, leadership styles, and empathy. Students can also choose additional coursework based on their specialization interests, such as labor/employee relations, organizational behaviors, or human resource management. 

Discover how earning Wilson College Online’s Master of Organizational Leadership degree can empower you to become a workplace leader.

Recommended Readings

Master’s in Organizational Leadership vs. MBA

How to Get Funding for a Startup

Sources:

BetterUp, “35 Behavioral Interview Questions to Ask in Your Next Interview”

Get Hired by LinkedIn News, “How Long Does It Take to Get Hired?”

Paychex, “Essential Interview Tips for Employers”

Recruitee, “Interview Techniques for Employers: A Comprehensive Guide”

Reed, “15 Foolproof Interviewing Techniques”

SHRM, “Interviewing Candidates for Employment”

SHRM, “Recruiting 101: 5 Tips for Better Interviews” 

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “The Employment Situation—October 2023”

Workable, “Interview Techniques From Experienced Interviewers”

Zety, “How to Use the STAR Method to Nail That Job Interview”

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