How To Train Managers To Interview

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How To Train Managers To Interview

Gallup recently posted an article titled, Why are Great Managers so Rare in which they made the observation companies fail to choose the candidate with the right talent for the job 82% of the time. The article also stated that managers are responsible for an almost 70% variance in employee engagement. As the old saying goes, "...employees don't leave companies, they leave managers." Managers are not only the final decision-makers when it comes to a candidate's future with a company, they're also pivotal figures in the day-to-day operational oversight of the team. This means they will have a huge impact on team dynamics, productivity, and overall success.

In this pivotal role, it's no wonder that training managers to interview is mission-critical for companies looking to hire the best talent. Without great training, employee engagement can lag (up to 70% lower according to Gallup), and the wrong talent is chosen for the role. This makes equipping your managers central to your long-term growth strategy.

How to Train Hiring Managers to Interview

Let's hone in on the topic of interviews- specifically, how to train managers to interview. Hiring manager interview training should encompass the core aspects of interviewing, such as understanding interview goals, evaluating candidates' skills and talents effectively, and creating a positive candidate experience, using structured interviews and unbiased questions to reach an objective conclusion on the best candidate for the role.

Understanding Interview Goals

The first step in training managers to interview is helping them understand the goals of the interview process. What are they trying to accomplish with each step? At the end of an interview, the outcome should be very clear to both the candidate and the interviewer- making hiring decisions simple.

Effective Evaluation of Candidates

Another important aspect of training managers to interview is teaching them how to evaluate candidates effectively and objectively. This includes understanding the job requirements and key competencies needed, as well as utilizing structured interviews and unbiased questions to gather relevant information- as tools like interview intelligence get even smarter, interviewers can focus more and more on building relationships with candidates and less on the tasks surrounding the interview process.

Creating a Positive Candidate Experience

A positive candidate experience (CX) is key in the world of transparency we find ourselves in today. A positive CX is vital for a company's reputation and its ability to attract top talent. Therefore, training managers to create a positive candidate experience should be a top priority. This includes teaching them how to communicate effectively with candidates before and after the interview, providing timely feedback, and treating candidates with respect and professionalism throughout the process.

Avoiding Biases

Lastly, training managers to interview also involves teaching them how to avoid biases during the process. Unconscious biases can often lead hiring managers to make snap judgments based on a candidate's gender, race, or ethnicity. There's a great FREE test you can take before interviewing by Project Implicit and in conjunction with Harvard University that will set a baseline on biases interviewers may bring into the interview process.

How To Train Managers To Interview Online

As much of the workforce has moved online, so too has the need to train managers to interview online. This starts with using the right tools. Creating an effective recruitment tech stack is paramount to building an effective recruitment process. In today's world, scheduling alone can cost a hiring manager or HR professional up to four hours per role. Thankfully, there are tools available that can streamline this process. An effective tech stack usually starts with the applicant tracking system (ATS) as a foundation and includes digital sourcing software, interview scheduling software, and interview intelligence to ensure the proper assessment of a candidate's skills. If you'd like to learn more, check out "How to Create the Best Recruitment Tech Stack," our free guide on the tools we prefer to increase efficiency.

How to Train Managers To Interview, Questions and Answers

Once the right tech stack is in place, now let's focus on the interview. Before conducting an interview, thorough preparation is key. This includes everything from understanding the job role to having the right questions ready for candidates. Speaking of interview questions, if you'd like a custom interview guide tailored to your next interview, click this link, put in your job description, and we'll email you a personalized interview guide including structured interview questions. Structured interviews are proven to be 3 times more effective than unstructured interviews.

Now that you have a framework, it's time to focus on the interview. Teaching how to interview, especially how to interview remotely is crucial in today's world. Here are some best practices for remote interviews:

  • Make sure to have a stable internet connection - no one wants the anxiety of getting cut off 15 minutes into the interview.
  • Test all equipment before the interview to avoid any technical difficulties - this is especially necessary with headphones. Ensure the batteries are charged and noise canceling is turned on to create the clearest line of communication.
  • Create a quiet and professional setting for the interview.
  • Use video interview tools that allow screen sharing and recording of interviews - things like Pillar's interview intelligence (our shameless plug).
  • Clearly communicate expectations and instructions for the interview beforehand - usually in your intro email and then again in your interview introduction.
  • Be attentive, listen actively, and take notes during the interview.
  • Provide clear and timely feedback after the interview.

By sticking to best practices and always offering training and support, managers are going to feel more confident and skilled at conducting interviews. This means they'll make better hiring choices and end up with a more engaged team.

Best Practices During The Interview Process

In the last section, we gave a brief list of best practices to use during the interview process. In this section, we'll go deeper into how each one will give you the best chance at making a great hiring decision from the screening to post-interview analysis & decision-making. There are some role-specific interview strategies that will help you gain a competitive edge in today's talent market, but there are also some unique touches that you can use to show that each individual is more than just a number.

When candidates show interest in the role and are added to the applicant pool, the shorter their journey from initial interest to a final hiring decision, the better candidate you'll get according to Career Group Companies. To ensure a short time-to-hire, here are some unique best practices you may not see elsewhere online.

  1. Personalized Communication: From the moment a candidate applies, ensure every piece of communication is personalized. It's truly amazing how much personalization AI can do for you, but ensure that you go beyond just inserting their name in emails. Target communication to reflect the role they applied for, comment on specific experiences they mentioned in their application and make it clear you've paid attention to their details. This level of personalization makes candidates feel valued from the start.
  2. Transparent Timeline: Provide an expected timeline for the interview process in the initial communication and adhere to it. Update the candidate promptly if any changes occur. This transparency fosters trust and respect, engaging candidates more effectively.
  3. Candidate-Centric Interview Scheduling: If possible, use interview scheduling software that allows candidates to pick their interview times within predefined windows. This not only respects the candidate's time but also reduces the back-and-forth often associated with scheduling interviews and saves HR hours per role.
  4. Real-World Simulation: Instead of relying solely on traditional interviews, incorporate real-world job simulations, case studies, or tasks that offer insight into the candidate's ability to perform specific job functions. This gives a clearer picture of how they would operate within your organization and allows the candidate to demonstrate their skills practically.
  5. Continuous Feedback Loop: Give constructive feedback after every interview round, whether a candidate progresses or not. This is beneficial for their professional growth and boosts your company's image by making candidates feel respected and valued.
  6. In-Depth Reference Checks: Don't just stick to checking employment details with references. Dig a bit deeper. Ask about how the candidate works, what they're good at, where they might struggle, and what they've achieved using open-ended questions. You'll uncover insights you can't always get just from interviews.
  7. Consensus Building in Hiring Decisions: Facilitate a structured discussion among all interviewers to gather diverse perspectives before making a hiring decision. This approach minimizes biases and ensures a well-rounded view of each candidate.
  8. Closing the Loop: For candidates not selected, offer feedback, even a quick call if necessary to discuss their interview performance and help them improve.
  9. Onboarding Begins at Acceptance: Once a candidate accepts an offer, immediately begin the onboarding process. Send them company swag, engage them in pre-onboarding activities, and connect them with their future team. This builds excitement and integration even before their official start date.

Implementing these unique best practices will set you apart from the competition and give you an edge when competing for top talent. By making your interview processes more transparent, efficient, and engaging, and showing a true value for the candidate and their time, you set yourself up for success in the hiring process.

If you're struggling to create a hiring process that gets the desired results, book a demo of Pillar today. We'd love to show you how interview intelligence can save your team 12-14 hours per hire while also driving meaningful metrics across your team.