I remember when I first started recruiting. I clung to interview questions for dear life scared if I let go I would fall into the bad recruiter’s abyss. I also recall that I didn’t learn much about the candidate until I was comfortable enough to take off the training wheels.
Slowly I moved away from the guide. I leaned on the guide, but ended my interviews just speaking with the candidate. I learned to speak with the candidates more & more, only glancing at the guide as if peaking back at my old reliable mentor for reassurance. “Look Ma! No hands!”
A few years ago my company developed an interview guide for new management recruiters. I actually was one of the few that developed it. Good questions. I was then asked by our VP of HR to actually use it. UHHHHHH! I was victim of my own creation! I recall making an ever so professional nauseated face at him. He smiled and said, “Try.” He clearly understood my strength as a recruiter was not based on a piece of paper. He was compassionate and I am sure happy that as one of the top performer was not dependant on a stencil. I did try to use it. I got through 2 questions and had to toss it in the trash I felt powerless and disengaged. Funny how only about 6 years before I depended on a very similar tool with every in of my life.
I am not slamming interview guides, and once again, I am not trying to offend…Use them, they are great tools. I do keep a few old interview guides that I acquired and/ or developed over the years. I like to look back on them on occasion and reincorporate points in my interviews so I do not get stale. I interview hundreds of different types of candidates a year mostly for the same positions; I have a lot of practice.
Just remember, you don’t have the same interview over & over, why should I have the same questions? Shake it up! Use a few different guides if necessary, or just speak with the candidate. You will be amazed what you can learn.
This post was inspired by Kris Dunn’s post, http://www.hrcapitalist.com
“Cut the B.S. and Evaluate Potential Hires With Just 2 Questions...”http://www.hrcapitalist.com/2007/10/cut-the-bs-and-.html