How to Become a Better Interviewer in 5 Steps

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Are you underestimating the importance of a well-executed interview process? In a recent episode of the Cornell Keynotes podcast, JR Keller, an associate professor of human resource studies at the Cornell ILR School, shared valuable insights and practical tips for crafting better interviews that lead to more effective hiring. Here are Keller’s five essential steps to improve your interviewing skills:
Step 1: Reduce Anxiety
Interviews can be tense and uncomfortable for both interviewees and interviewers. To conduct better interviews, it's essential to reduce anxiety for all parties involved. Keller emphasized the importance of creating a more relaxed and conversational atmosphere to alleviate nervousness and offer a better candidate experience.
Step 2: Value the Candidate's Time
Acknowledging and respecting the candidate's time is crucial. By being punctual and attentive, you create a positive impression at a time when candidates have a limited amount of information to evaluate your organization and your approach as a manager.
Step 3: Use Quality, Targeted Prompts and Questions
Crafting thoughtful and relevant questions can make a significant difference in the interview process. Keller highlighted the importance of asking questions to elicit meaningful responses from candidates and gain a deeper understanding of their relevant skills and experiences for the specific job.
Step 4: Ensure Consistency
Consistency is key for a fair and effective interview process. Ensuring that all interviewers evaluate candidates against the same set of criteria and standards helps in reducing bias and maintaining the integrity of the selection process.
Step 5: Develop an Evaluation Plan
Having a well-defined evaluation plan is essential to a successful interview process. Keller emphasized the need for interviewers to develop an efficient and comprehensive evaluation plan that aligns with the organization's hiring goals and effectively measures a candidate's suitability for the role.
In addition to the five steps, the podcast also delved into various other topics, including "good hire" rates, expectation management, consistent small talk, performance-predicting interview questions, lazy interview questions, internal vs. external candidates, structured interviews, and video interviewing with AI plugins.
For those eager to dive deeper into the world of human resources and enhance their expertise, eCornell offers online human resources programs, including the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Building a Diverse Workforce certificate authored by Keller. You can learn more about the program and request information at the Ed Assist portal.
With Keller's tips and a deeper understanding of the nuances of the interview process, individuals and organizations can work towards conducting more effective and insightful interviews, ultimately leading to better hiring outcomes and a more diverse and inclusive workforce.


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