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Interviewing Techniques for Modern Candidates

The interview is still one of the most critical steps in the hiring cycle, but traditional methods don’t get the job done as well anymore. Have you thought about refreshing your interviewing techniques for today’s candidates? It could improve your hiring results.

Modernize Your Interviewing Techniques

Your interview has considerable impact on your candidates’ decision-making process. More than 8 in 10 active job seekers (83%) say the experience they have when interviewing for a job “matters a lot” in their decision about where to work. And, candidates in this digital age expect interviewing to be fast, simple and convenient. Get more from your interviews by making some of these adjustments:

Change Up Your Questions

  • Ask more follow up questions. Traditional, open-ended interview questions can result in rehearsed answers. You can’t eliminate them completely, but you can gain deeper insight by asking candidates for more details. Following up with why and how questions can reveal more about a candidate’s approach and ways of thinking. You can also say, “Could you give me more specifics?” Follow up questions are often a natural lead into, “What challenges did you run into, and how did you solve them?”     
  • Ask paradox questions. Typical paradox interview questions are, “Are you smart, or do you work hard?” and “Is it better to deliver great work late, or satisfactory work on time?” Though the best answer to paradox questions is both, the key is making it clear you expect candidates to go with only one. The choice your candidates make, and your follow up with “Why did you choose that direction?” reveals a lot about their personality. Paradox questions can be as general as the examples above. You can also craft them to be specific to the role and your organization.
  • Integrate questions relevant to Millennials and Gen Z.  Older question sets weren’t designed for today’s younger candidates. Their perspectives on work and life priorities are often different. Including questions that are relevant to Millennials and Gen Z will create twice the value in your interview: They’ll help reveal more about these candidates, and they’ll also show young candidates you’re a company that gets them. Consider topics such as their preferred ways to communicate, their expectations for feedback, and their interests in volunteer work.

Shift Your Format

Modern candidates want to understand you as an employer before they’ll accept your job offer. The following adjustments to your interview format can satisfy their desire for insight while also generating key information your hiring team needs for decision-making.

  • Try informal group interviews. Hiring today is a team sport. If you’re collaborating on hiring for a role, try a team interview that is more relaxed than a traditional panel format. Picture your team and candidate sitting around a table talking about the role and department, and asking questions that will help everyone, including the candidate, assess his or her fit. The group dynamics can reveal a lot about the candidate’s interpersonal skills. To make it work, be sure you get all of your interviewers on the same page about the key attributes needed for the role, and ways they should sell the role and your company. Include a potential colleague in the group to make this even more effective.
  • Talk about the short-term. Modern candidates are keen to make an immediate impact at work. Plan on time during the interview to describe some of the things they’ll be doing on the job right away. Try not to wait until the end of the conversation to do it — grab their attention with this information early on and help them see themselves as part of your team.

Update Your Technology

Today’s video interviewing software offers you many different options for modernizing your interview experience. Explore:

  • Job auditions with on-demand video interviews. These interviews let you craft real job challenges for candidates to solve. The on-demand format is highly convenient for candidates, who can complete it on their smartphone on their own time. It’s convenient for recruiters as well — you receive the recorded responses instantly, and can easily forward the most qualified candidates to hiring managers, accelerating your speed to hire.
  • Assessments integrated with interviews.  The combined interview-assessment experience in video interviewing software helps you quickly identify right-fit candidates and provides a better candidate experience since there are fewer steps and different technologies.

How can I improve the interview experience for candidates?

As you’re refreshing your interviewing techniques, keep a consistent eye on ways you can enhance your candidate experience. Many of the adjustments above will help you make a positive impression on modern candidates.

One final tip: Provide plenty of opportunities for candidates to showcase their skills and experience for the specific role. TalentBoard 2017 research indicates that the more candidates are able to present themselves as the best candidate for that particular job, the higher their overall satisfaction is with your hiring experience.