Monday, October 7, 2013

4 Types of Interview Styles & How To Prepare Your Candidates For Them

There are 4 main types of interview styles.  By preparing your candidate for the interview style of the person they meet with you will increase their effectiveness in the interview.  How do you know what kind of interviewer your client is?  You get this information when you debrief the first candidate you send in to interview.  They are your Guinea pig that sets you up to prepare everyone else extremely well.

This is the interviewer who will ask very detailed questions on what is on the candidate's resume as well as what is not on the resume.  This is also the interviewer who asks detailed questions based on the answers to other questions.  Behavioral Based interviewers fall into this category.  They listen intently, don't miss much and quickly recognize conflicting information or answers that don't make sense.

The way to prepare a candidate for them is to let them know to be prepared to talk specifics about their experience.  Where there are accomplishments or awards noted on their resume, the candidate should be prepared to explain how they did what they did - in detail.

This is the interviewer who may start off the interview with "So, tell me about yourself."  They are very comfortable to talk to, are very friendly and open...and candidates will often find themselves opening up and sharing details that they never intended to or wanted just seems like such an open conversation between friends.

The best way to prepare a candidate for this type of interview is to explain that they are very friendly and open and have a way of getting candidates to open up.  Make sure that the candidate knows to make sure the details they are opening up about pertain to their career, accomplishments and experience.

Negative interviewers feel that they need tell you about every possible negative thing you may encounter about the company and job.  These people aren't always negative people, they just believe that if you are going to work there you should have full discloser on everything that could be negative.  They will say things like: "So, how do you feel about working 80 hour work weeks with no feedback?" or "Here you will be exposed to a great deal of swearing and inappropriate behavior, are you OK with that?" or is could be a simple as constant comments like "We are slow to make decisions, are you a patient person?"

The way to mitigate the impact of a negative interview is to let the candidate know this is what they will experience in advance.  Failure to do this will cause the candidate to want to run out of the interview as quickly as possible.  The approach can be as simple as "Timmy believes that he owes it to people he likes to tell them everything negative they might experience.  He does this not to scare you but is in the spirit of telling you everything - don't let it scare you."

This is the person who doesn't interview much, has never done one, or just doesn't care what is appropriate.  They will ask inappropriate and sometime illegal questions. "So, got any kids....are you married?"  It may be as simple as swearing in the interview or not knowing what questions to ask and they end up asking questions that never allow a candidate to explain their qualifications or experience.

The best way to prepare a candidate for this type of interview is to let them know that the person doing the interview doesn't do them often and may spend their time asking questions that don't have anything to do with the job.  Let the candidate know to quickly answer the interviewers question in as simple and appropriate way as possible THEN follow up with a comment about the job and how their experience will allow them to excel.  It might sound something like this:  "On the weekends, I like to ice fish.  I notice on your job description that they main thing you are looking for is someone that can take care of your purchasing of raw materials, I have 100 years of experience doing this and have developed procedures that allow me to minimize the cost paid and maximize credit terms.  What do you currently use for purchasing software?" 

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