Thursday , 20 September 2018
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Benchmarking Interviews


Very often we see interviewee’s scratching their heads to find a way, as how they can crack an interview.

Get tensed Take Coaching’s Speak to elders and experienced people Take advices  Read Books, Magazines…wherever they find some information as how to crack an interview They just don’t want to leave any stone unturned in their preparation for the interview. But, have you ever seen an interviewer to prepare for an interview? Many times, I have seen, many of the interviewer’s don’t even care to scan through the profiles/resumes of the candidates, before sitting “Across the Interview Table”. Probably, they think that take interview is not a big-deal. Many interviewers just ask the questions as it comes to their mind, without even knowing the purpose of those questions. What do you think how many interviews you can take in one day? If properly conducted, even if you are recruiter and hiring people for entry level positions… you can take more than 35 interviews in a working day of 10 hours. If you are taking more than 35 interviews…then I am sorry, you are not taking interviews but just making a fool of yourself and misrepresenting your organization. Taking interview is an art and not everybody can take interviews. In this write-up we will try to explore this art for the benefit of readers.


You can read the complete article at:


Let’s make a beginning

What do you understand by interview? An interview is a conversation between two or more people where questions are asked to obtain information about the interviewee. Interviews can be divided into two rough types, interviews of assessment and interviews for information. So, do you think that you can take an interview of a person having more than 10 years of experience? I don’t think so. If a person is having more than 10 years of functional experience than you are just belittling his image, expertise and stature by taking his interview. At that level, it can only be discussion or interaction for mutual growth and benefit.


I have seen in some of the companies Fresher (People with less than 2 years of experience) taking an interview of a person for the position of HR-Manager (with experience of 6+ Years). What is your Locus Stand…is very important. Here I like to share one incident/case.   As I have said earlier in my write-up   that recruitment is a first step towards the retention of an employee. You are marketing your company.


First Step: Before Starting the Interview:

Prepare for the interview:

Take some time to go through the profile of the candidate. Try to understand his role and also prepare a list of questions that you like to ask. Schedule your time. Don’t give same time to more than one person. Start the interview on time. If you think that you will not be able to start the interview on specified time then inform the candidate. Even if you have informed the candidate about the expected delay…apologize before you start the interview.


Environment for the Interview:

Don’t take interview at a place, which is either too noisy or too congested. If possible, put a tag “Do not disturb “outside your cabin or room. Ensure that the lights are proper and the person sitting there is comfortable. Record the proceedings of the interview. If you have voice recorder, that will be excellent but if you don’t have… then write in down.


Begin the Interview:

The candidate might think…Who are you to take my interview? Introduce yourself. Your Name Your Designation Your Total Experience A brief about your role in the organization since how long you have been associated with your present organization.


Introduce the company that you are representing. How big is the company? What are the various interests and businesses of the company? How it has grown in last 3-5 years? What was profit after tax… in the last financial year? What are the future growth plans of the organization?


Discuss about the profile/job opening for which you are interviewing the person sitting opposite to you. Specify the qualities and knowledge level that you are looking for. Also, care to inform him… why his resume has been short listed. What will be the Recruitment Process that you are going to follow? Lastly, approximately how many days will it take to close the position?


Discuss about the career growth of the position for which you are taking the interview. What are the growth prospects? Don’t make false commitments. Now, smartly put the ball in his court by asking him to give a brief about his family, followed by his education.


Start asking the questions about his present job and then move to the previous assignment or job.


Concentrate on following things:

1.      His role

2.      His span of control

3.      Organizational Hierarchy

4.      Major achievements in that particular job/ role.

5.      Major Challenges that he has faced in his present job; in his career; in his life

6.      Why he want to change his job and why he has changed his jobs in past?


Appreciate him, when he discusses about his achievements. Make him comfortable and provoke him to speak as much as he can. Ask him about his strengths and his personal achievements. Don’t forget to ask him about his goals, aspirations… where he sees himself in next 5-6 years. What is his purpose in life? What are his dreams?


Closing the interview

Tell the candidate that it was a pleasure to talk to him and you are through with the interview, however, if he have any question; if he want ask or know anything… he can do that.


Tell him that someone from your team will get in touch with him for future course of action.


Conclusions During the interview… don’t frown at him. Carry a smiling face. In that interview cabin… you are trying to sell the vision of your company; the policies and procedures. Once the candidate is out from the interview cabin, he will be doing an advertisement for your company… Good or bad…choice is yours.


Taking an interview as an Art; if you are expert, you can literally take anybody’s interview. For me the purpose or outcome of the interview should be, “Doesn’t matter whether I select the candidate or not; doesn’t matter if he joins me or not; but we should be able to stay in touch with each other”. That should be the impact he should have; that should be the impression that he should carry with him; that should be the pleasure he should be able to draw from that interaction.


Remember, while taking interviews…you are actually an unofficial ambassador of your company; you are representing your company; you are creating an image for your company and you are building a brand for your company. Doesn’t matter whether you select that person or not…unknowingly you are doing an advertisement for your company.


If you are able to represent your company is a proper and professional manner he might join your company… if not now…. might be in future. He might recommend you in his company or in his contacts but if handled in an unprofessional manner… he will not join your company and will tell others in his circle to not to join your company.


I am sure, you will like this write-up. Do share your views. Keep Smiling. Keep Learning and Keep Growing.


Regards: Sanjeev Sharma

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