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Interview tips for first time hiring managers

22 Oct 09:00 By Vanessa Dolan

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Remember the first job interview you ever attended? Remember how nervous you felt? Well, what about the person on the other side of the desk conducting the interview? The interview process can be just as nerve-racking for the hiring manager as it is for the candidate, especially if it’s their first time.


A hiring manager needs to make sure their first time is a successful one. Here are some tips to give yourself the best chance to find the right person.


1. Know what you are looking for - write down your key attributes you want to see in the candidates and make it clear what you won’t match your needs or what you are not looking for.


2. Call on colleagues - colleagues that will work directly with the potential candidate will help you narrow down your shortlist for the interview. And they should be able to provide honest judgements on whether or not the applicant would be a good cultural fit.


3. Slow and steady wins the (interview) race - don’t rush your interviews, pay attention to the candidate's communications style and also consider body language.


4. Always be prepared - it is essential to ask the same set of questions to all the candidates, so make sure you have that list ready when the fist interview comes up. This will also allow you not to get off track.


5. Ask the right questions - open-ended but direct questions are the best. For example “How do you organise and manage your time?” or “What did you love about your last job?”. Then behavioural or competency-based questions for digging deeper could be “Describe a time where you had to work with various stakeholders to manage a large project”.


6. Take down notes - it sounds simple, but this is very easy not to do if you are having a great conversation. So make sure you do write notes to jog your memory and for when you need to debrief.


7. Be quick to move - while interviewing other candidates and weighing up your options, do keep candidates updated. If they don’t hear from you they will think you are not interested and you may lose them altogether. Remember they are on the market for a new role.


8. The art of negotiation - do be prepared for candidates to negotiate - deciding beforehand how high you are willing to go, as well as non-monetary perks will put you in control.


Once you have done this process a few times, you will get through it smoothly and easily and know exactly who will make the best applicant.


I would love to get feedback if these tips were useful.