Sales Recruitment Insight: How to be a great interviewer

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Key things for an interviewer to remember

First time interviewing someone? Finding yourself more nervous than even the candidate?

Interviewing is quite the art form. It’s more than just asking a few questions. You need to listen, understand, perceive, read body language, make notes, and answer questions, all at the same time.

The Saleslogic team have put together some key things to remember when you’re starting out as an interviewer- keep these in mind and you’ll be a great interviewer in no time!

Remember, you’re representing the company

You are often the first person a candidate is going to be meeting at the company. Make sure you represent the company well. Be professional and set the tone for what the candidate could expect if they get to work there too. Smile and make the candidate feel welcome. This will help them to relax as well.

Remember the point of an interview

An interview is a conversation, not an interrogation. You’re not trying to get secrets from a spy, so no flashing exposed light bulbs in candidate’s faces.

Absolutely make sure you have notes of the questions you want to ask, but try not to read it like a script. Let the conversation flow.

Don’t forget though, you set the tone for the interview. Do you want it to be formal, or more casual?

Don’t do all the talking

This can happen easily: you start out talking about you, your role, the company, the company’s history, the company’s goals, the role and what you’re looking for in the ideal candidate. Before you know it, an hour has passed, and the candidate is looking like an overloaded sponge.

Have a plan

Make sure you have a plan of how you want the interview to go, and what you want to get out of it. Are their certain concerns you want to cover, or certain things you want to test or establish? Making sure you have this noted down will hopefully prevent you from forgetting to ask!

Listen to more than what is being said

How they’re saying something, what they’re not saying is just as important. Take into account body language as well- what is their posture saying? Do they suddenly start squirming when talking about some great target they achieved? That could be a sign that they’re not being exactly truthful.

Learn how to read body language with this great article from Workable:

Understanding why you’re asking the questions you are

Most of the classic interview questions are loaded questions, asking more than they seem. Rather than asking a question because it’s part of your script, make sure you understand what you really want to find out by asking the question so that this way you guarantee you get the real answer.

Don’t forget to ask for examples of when they’ve used a particular skill or been in a particular situation. And don’t forget to ask the same questions to each candidate, so you’re measuring apples with apples.

Be mindful that some questions are actually illegal to ask. Make sure you know what you can and can’t ask a candidate:

Give yourself time to debrief

Avoid booking something in for straight after the interview. Give yourself time to go over the interview, write up some initial thoughts and digest.  Going straight into another interview will dilute and cloud your impression of the candidate; you could forget or start confusing answers and experiences between different candidates

Check you’re not being bias

Make sure you’re making your decision based on facts and not feelings. Are you dismissing someone based on a subconscious bias- perhaps you’ve had a bad experience with people from the same company before, or city even. Make sure your judgement isn’t being clouded by any outside factors.

Try not to rush your decision. Wait until after you interview everyone and go back over your notes to choose the strongest candidate.

A bad interviewer can be costly. The company might be missing out on great candidates, or end up hiring the wrong ones. Brush up on your interview skills, remember the key things mentioned above, and don’t forget, practice makes perfect.

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Saleslogic is a leading sales recruitment agency in London. We specialise in digital sales jobsSaaS sales jobssoftware sales jobs and more. Click here to view sales jobs we are currently recruiting for.