We provide competency-based behavioral interviewing training for interview teams including hiring managers, recruiters, and interviewers.

LEIF EVEREST ē NOV 2023

Interview Training for Hiring Managers

hiring manager considering interview training

Your organizationís future depends on your hiring team selecting the right people. But hiring people who donít work out can hamper the organizationís growth and create an unnecessary expense. 1 in 3 new hires leave a job within the first 3 months according to Jobviteís 2022 Job Seeker Nation survey.

An experienced hiring manager usually has expertise in their profession, but was not hired for the ability to interview candidates. Additionally, an inexperienced hiring manager might assume that interviewing is a natural skill. Many managers will start interviewing candidates with only their instinct and past experiences as a gauge, and the combination often results in either hiring the wrong person or the best candidates turning down the role.

Why is interview training designed for hiring managers more effective?


Itís easy to think that any interview training is better than no training. But that approach creates more problems than solutions. Manager training that doesnít meet the needs of hiring managers takes them away from their core tasks and often results in even less effective interviewing techniques.

Learning to interview effectively is not as simple as it sounds. Your hiring managers gain the skills they need for organizational success when you provide the right interview training program for both the managers and the organizationís needs.

Organizations usually provide two types of interview training:

  • Interview training designed for the talent acquisition team first. This type of interviewing skills training is usually focused on the recruiting and candidate sourcing process. This interview training assumes that the individuals are part of the talent acquisition team and want to be in the training because hiring is a key part of their job and how their job success is measured, so they want to be effective interviewers.

  • Interview training designed for HR professionals first. This type of manager training often includes content about the process of opening a requisition. The focus is typically on ensuring the right steps are followed to keep the hiring process flowing smoothly. This HR-driven course will often aim to make sure that interviewers properly use the organizationís applicant tracking system and follow legal guidelines.

Both of these types of interview training can overwhelm a hiring manager with extraneous material. While these courses include information on interviewing skills, the content is typically designed for an attendee with an HR or talent acquisition background. This means that the material is not presented in a way that resonates with hiring managers and they are less likely to apply what they learned.

Why should interview training be designed for hiring managers?


Hiring managers have to squeeze interviews in around their primary responsibilities, leaving little time available for interview preparation. Because they often donít understand the importance of their role in the process, many hiring managers donít prioritize interviews, often seeing interviews as an interruption to their day. As a result, they rarely spend time learning interview skills and preparing.

Hiring managers are typically not new to interviewing ó many of them have been conducting interviews for years. But because most of them were not provided interviewer training, they donít use a formal process. Managers often assume that they are great interviewers simply based on the number of interviews they have conducted. In reality, many are less than ideal interviewers.

Hiring managers need effective interviewing tools to help assess the candidateís ability to be a productive team member. By providing practical tools and processes for conducting interviews with this goal in mind, organizations can help a hiring manager improve their interviewing success. When organizations ask employees to manage tasks they are not adequately trained for, they also risk lower job satisfaction and increased attrition. By providing the right training, organizations can help hiring managers feel confident in their abilities each time they walk into an interview.

How should you choose interview training for hiring managers?


Here are attributes to look for in effective interview training for hiring managers:

  • Focuses on the needs of the hiring manager. To help hiring managers conduct the most effective interviews possible, training must be designed for hiring managers as the primary audience. One goal of the training should be to demonstrate the effectiveness of the training and show how they can become a skilled interviewer and help improve the interview process.

  • Explains the value of the training. Interviewing training designed for hiring managers should clearly convey to the hiring manager that the training is worth their time. By understanding the importance of both the training and effective interviewing on both the organization and their own careers, hiring managers are more likely to invest the time in learning interviewing skills.

  • Shows not tells. Because many hiring managers think they are already experts, training should not simply tell them how to interview. Effective training demonstrates in real time the methodology for the hiring teams and why the new techniques work. At the end of the training, hiring managers need to understand why the new process is better than their current method.

  • Provides practical tools. Hiring managers donít have time for techniques or processes that are time-consuming and challenging to use. They want practical tools that they can use as soon as they get back to the office. The most effective training enhances the processes already used internally by the interview team. Most importantly, the techniques must be straightforward, effective, and easy to use.

  • Offers support after the training. Many hiring managers may not conduct another interview for weeks or months after the training. By providing follow-up resources, the hiring manager can refer back to what they learned before each interview.

  • Is available to the entire organization. By making the training available to the managersí interview teams as well as recruiters and HR who support the team, everyone in the organization involved in the hiring process speaks the same language. Even more important, all interviewers meeting with a candidate will use the same benchmarks when assessing candidates.

How will interview training for hiring managers improve the hiring process?


When interview training focuses on the following outcomes, your hiring managers gain the skills needed for selecting the best candidates.

  • Use behavioral competencies as benchmarks to objectively define and measure successful candidates. By focusing on measurable metrics in the interview process, your interview team can accurately compare candidates, even among a range of interviewees with different backgrounds and experiences.

  • Identify and verify the candidateís behavioral competencies quickly and easily with behavioral interviewing. With the right processes and tools, interviewers have the confidence to conduct effective behavioral interviews.

  • Determine the candidateís fit with organizational values and culture with behavioral interviewing. Fit is hard to measure, especially with multiple interviewers. By using a defined behavioral interviewing process and metrics as part of interviewing techniques, interviewers, even those with vastly differing backgrounds and perspectives, can work together to more accurately identify candidates likely to succeed at your organization.

  • Validate candidate responses by drilling down with effective follow-up questions. Often the most valuable information from an interview comes from follow-up questions. However, hiring managers often struggle to identify when and how to ask the right questions. By providing a framework, hiring managers can significantly improve their overall interviewing with effective follow-up questions.

  • Minimize redundancy in interview questions by defining interview team roles. Candidates who have a frustrating interview experience often choose to work at another company. When the organization ensures that all interviewers ask unique questions related to defined roles, candidates are more likely to have a positive experience and accept job offers.

  • Keep all interviews legal. Your organizationís future success depends on interviewers following legal guidelines throughout the hiring process. By educating hiring managers on how to legally ask interview questions, your organization can reduce legal issues and preserve its reputation. Additionally, your organization makes the candidate experience much more positive by following legal guidelines in the interview.

  • Take effective notes during an interview. Because interviews often become a blur, itís key to write down important points. However, hiring managers often struggle to take notes while conducting interviews. With specific tips and strategies, they can learn to ask the right questions while taking great notes ó at the same time.

  • Evaluate candidates accurately and objectively. Each person brings their own experience and biases into an interview, hiring managers included. By providing repeatable and measurable processes, organizations ensure that all candidates are fairly evaluated to increase the odds of selecting the best candidate for the position.

How can a hiring manager use structured interviewing without sounding scripted?


Almost all interviewer training focuses on conducting structured interviews, and with good reason ó structured interviews can create a more positive candidate experience and even decrease turnover. According to Google, interviewees and hired candidates who went through such interviews have said that the process was faster, and the hiring decisions appeared fair. When asked about the candidateís experience, both those who received job offers and those who didnít, reported being happier with structured interviews than unstructured.

However, itís easy for structured interviews to quickly turn scripted and robotic. Many hiring managers cite this factor as to why they prefer unstructured interviews where they donít follow a script or use set questions. They often share their anecdotal experience that this more casual approach puts the candidate at ease, allowing them to get to know the candidate better.

But with unstructured interviews, it often happens that not everything is covered, and the interviewer doesnít ask appropriate follow-up questions to really learn more about the candidate. If you can use a structured interview that also feels more natural and conversational, the candidate will be more open, and you can drill down and learn more about who they truly are. This combined approach to interviewing is easy for a hiring manager to implement and is also effective.

How do you make it easier to implement interview training for hiring managers?


After deciding that your organization wants interviewer training, you should focus on getting buy-in from hiring managers. Instead of simply requiring the training, start the conversation by explaining that the training will help them improve their interviews and make the hiring process a better experience for everyone involved. By focusing on the benefits when talking with the managers, such as lower attrition and less time interviewing, they will see the training as an opportunity, not a roadblock.

Each interview for a new employee at your organization represents a fork in the road. Making the right hiring decision sets your team up for success, while the wrong new hire can quickly send the organization backwards. With interview training for hiring managers, your organization increases the odds that the next amazing candidate who walks through your door ends up on your team instead of working for the competition.

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