HOW TO BE A GOOD INTERVIEWER
Interviewing Skills can be learned – and it is essential to the success of high
priced Consultants and inquisitive managers alike. Some useful tips on the do’s
and don’ts of the quality interviewing are suggested below:
Don’t over schedule.
This isn’t a horse race. Three solid, hour-long interviews are a full day’s
work. If all your senses are tuned into the person on the other side of the
table, you’ll be exhausted by a single interview. Five? Forget it.
Save the Big Cheese for taste.
Don’t start by interviewing the CEO. She’s likely to be impatient, and you don’t
know a damn thing. Save your most important interviews until you know the lay of
Find a comfy nest.
The more pleasant, casual and neutral the setting, the better
The worst: your chair on the far side of your subject’s desk.
The best: A plain cozy room with a few armchairs, a blackboard, a coffee machine
and refrigerator with cokes and tomato juice- and no phone.
Read everything you can, for example (but try to avoid preconceptions – you’re
there to be surprised, not confirmed in your assumptions).
Go into the session with several pages of questions. Will you get through such
an imposing list?
Heaven forbid! But it’ll give a sense of security, guide you and no small thing,
give the perception that you’re prepared.
“Please give me an example”.
These are the five most important words in the interviewer’s arsenal and they
can’t be used too often.
There is nothing worse than walking out of an interview and finding an extra
ordinary comments in your notes for which there is not a shred of supporting
evidence. The main purpose of an interview is to gather stories and practical
illustrations of how things work.
Measure your effectiveness by the number of “sagas” an interview produces.
Don’t stop digging until you understand.
The best interviewers ask the dumbest questions. In any interview you’re by
definition a foreigner. You don’t understand the lingo, the culture and the
details. When something isn’t clear, go back over it and over it until you get
it straight. Just remember you’re being paid to ask stupid questions.
It’s the details you’re after. “Here let’s sketch the process.” No try me again.
At this point, Right? Purchasing gets involved to what level in the engineering
organization does the requisition go?”
Get out of executive row.
The devil is in the details and the details are usually in the front line. I
know lots of “analysts” who don’t conduct front line interviews from one year to
Discover the way we do things around here.
“At the end of the interview, get down your subject to jot down (better than
talk through) ten statements that characterize the corporate culture ie what’s
most/least important. In a related vein, you might bring you ten best such
statements culled from previous interviews. Have the interviewee score them on a
ten point, agree to disagree scale.
Try to figure out how the place works.
What better example than asking, “How exactly, did you spend your time
yesterday?” You’ll invariably get leads worth chasing.
Don’t let your notes age.
Schedule time immediately following the interview to:
1. Collect your thoughts by writing down a half dozen impressions. They’ll never
be so pure again and
2. Make a first pass through your notes to fill in holes while your memory is
Practice (and observe).
Tag along. Try not to focus on the content, but on how the interviewee plays
her/his hand. Likewise assess you own performance each day. What did you miss?
Fail to follow up on? How could you have got out of there with so few concrete
Madadgar Social Welfare Organization
We love your comments and suggestions. Please leave your comments below.
Madadgar Social Welfare Organization (MSWO) provides Free Education to Orphans
and Free Vocational Training to Widows.
One school and one vocational training center are being managed by MSWO. Those
interested to seek admission in any school can apply to:
1. Principal Akhwan-e-Mutahidda Public School (AMPS) for Academic education or
2. Principal Madadgar Vocational Training Center (MVTC) for vocational training
Let’s put hands in hands with MSWO to help fight against Child Labor in the
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can join as volunteer, donor, teacher, technical trainer, doctor or a good word
speaker. Because we know, Even a good word is charity.