Too often have I been a part of an interview panel that is only interested in filling an open position. The thought is often, “We have several other candidates we need to talk to, so let’s make this as short as possible.” What’s sad is that, in many cases, both parties realize it and are okay with it.
I believe there is a better way that is inherently more caring and mutually beneficial. The best interviewers realize very quickly when someone is not a good fit. I simply propose you use the rest of your time for marketing and what better way to market than to help people.
I enjoy beginning interviews with, “What questions do you have for me?” This is a great way to very quickly understand what is important to the candidate as well as how interested they truly are. Significantly more often than not, I establish my opinion of the interviewee’s fit for the role within the first 5 minutes of our time together. Then I use the rest of the time to figure out how to help the candidate and market my company.
If I feel the interviewee is capable of handling the bad news immediately, I’ll share that they are not a good fit and why. This clears the way for a line of questioning that is focused on helping the interviewee find the right role for them. Sometimes it is an opportunity to help them figure out truly what role they would enjoy and therefore should be looking for instead of what roles they’ll settle for. Once we figure that out, I’m able to figure out what resources I have that can contribute to their search.
Alternatively; if I feel the interviewee is not capable of handling the bad news, I’ll migrate into more statements about the company than questions about the interviewee. This is where I get to lay the groundwork for presenting my company’s value proposition, of which I truly believe in, and establishing another word of mouth marketing stream.
Next time you finish an interview half way through, I encourage you to use the time remaining wisely.