Interviewing Secrets from Human Resources and Hiring Managers

We all want to know the interviewing secret. I interviewed 5 people in a hiring authority and received some great answers!
Interview Secrets

I have the fortunate ability from time to time to interview professionals within Human Resources and hiring capacities. Recently, I spoke to five individuals who were more than happy to share their secrets on interviewing.

Without further ado, I give you their answers with some commentary in between.

How do you interview for culture? What questions do you ask?

We ask if the candidate is an athlete, has been part of a team activity, or has dedicated themselves to learning a language, skill, or hobby.
Inna Kraner, Esq. – Managing Editor – The Expert Institute

We try to explore an applicants goals and ideas. If they say they’re motivated and have a start-up mindset, prove it to us. What are some goals you have set for yourself, either in your career or for this position? What ideas have you had recently, just in general or in regards to how to approach this position? We want our applicants to prove they can “walk the talk”.
Heather Neisen – Talent Coordinator – TechnologyAdvice

I love these two answers! With Inna’s, she is saying that she will look past your education/experience if you have that drive and hunger. College students, veterans and industry-changers should take note here; it’s not all about your experience, sometimes it’s about all the other stuff you do.

With Heather’s, her answer is spot on. She proves exactly what I’ve have been talking about in many of my blog posts; your ability to be a storyteller. If I had to describe interviewing in one word it would be storytelling. Employers want to see and understand your previous experience and how it relates to the open position.

When interviewing candidates, what areas do you feel they could have been more prepared on?

It is surprising how many people fail to learn about the company before coming for an interview. It is so important to research a company’s business model and mission statement and understand their position within the industry.
Inna Kraner, Esq. – Managing Editor – The Expert Institute

Overall knowledge of the company. Employers invest time and research into getting to know each viable candidate, so we hope the candidate does the same in return.
Heather Neisen – Talent Coordinator – TechnologyAdvice

Being prepared goes back to understanding our company, industry and the role they are interviewing for. Candidates can be better prepared in the questions they present. This shows me that they are taking the process seriously and they are invested in their future.
Jennifer Trakhtenberg – Senior Talent Leader – ClearVision Optical

I hope you see the trend in all three answers. It is honestly sad to me though that the common answer is company research. If you don’t know the company you are interviewing with it shows you are lazy and don’t care about your future. It today’s digital world, it’s so easy to conduct research, so why aren’t you doing it? You have no excuses!

What do you feel is the future for interviewing? Different kinds of questions, video, phone, better screening, etc.

In five years, traditional recruiting won’t exist anymore, nor will the standard interview process that we have become accustomed to over the past decade. Using social media, big data and algorithms, nowadays a candidate is pre-screened more thoroughly than ever before. The screening process has become multi-layered—it’s not just reviewing a resume. This will continue to evolve giving employers more insight into a candidate earlier in the process than ever before. This also allows the interview itself to become focused less on standard background questions and more specifically on key behavioral patterns that really determine whether or not a candidate is a good fit for a specific position.
Bob Myhal, CEO, NextHire

The future of interviewing will be more focused on a candidates passions, interests, and abilities and the reason they are seeking an opportunity in a specific role with your company. 
Inna Kraner, Esq. – Managing Editor – The Expert Institute

I’m not sure it’s changed very much other than the technology that is being used now. We have see behavioral based interviewing start to trend up, but this isn’t necessarily new. This helps us understand how candidates have approached professional challenges in the past and if that candidate has the competencies that the company views as important in their role. Why? Because resumes are for showing off your technical skills, but interviews show the more important part of any candidate. The personality/culture fit.
Chris Dardis – VP of HR Recruiting – Versique

We are focusing a bit more on where an applicant could be going instead of where he or she has been. If an applicant has energy, motivation and the willingness to be molded or coached, those traits can often go farther than formal education and/or experience in certain environments. However, it is still important to look at patterns of behavior or trends in an applicant’s history. If an applicant has a track record of jumping jobs, negativity or frequent clashes with supervisors, those trends are likely to continue.
Heather Neisen – Talent Coordinator – TechnologyAdvice

It’s very interesting to see four different answers here. What I see as a commonalty though is that they all feel the future of interviewing will based around understanding the individual more. The past 5 years have increased interviewing technologies, but many feel they are just a fad. Of course, only time will tell, however, I like the new trend that is emerging; focusing on learning more about the individual. This means more social media involvement and asking stronger interview questions.

Beyond technical qualifications, what is the most important quality you look for in a candidate?

We look for people who are problem solvers and are willing to take initiative. Quite frankly, technical qualifications and employment history are not usually the deciding factors for us. We want what we call “aggressive learners.”
Bob Myhal, CEO, NextHire

I thought this was a great point to end on because it sums up everything above. Education, certifications and experience are important and no one is down-playing them. What we will see in the future, if not already, is the focus on the getting to know the individual. Companies want to hire people who are naturally inquisitive and will question the norm. No company goes far by living the status quo.

I hope that you found this interview series informative. If you want any particular questions answered, just send me an email. I love doing these blog posts because it gives all of us an insider’s view.



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