Interview Best Practices for Hiring Managers


E78 Staff

E78 Staff

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When you come across articles about interview best practices, they’re almost always directed to the candidate. Rarely do we hear advice for the hiring managers or interviewers. Take it from our recruiting team (and often our candidates), there are lessons to be learned!

Lesson #1: Prepare for the interview. Don’t wing it.

From Jaime Chisolm, Consultative and Interim Staffing Recruiting Manager: “At the level of candidate we work with you need to dig deeper with your interview questions than you would for lower level positions. Don’t just google “interview questions” and expect to have a productive conversation. You won’t get what you need out of that interview.”

Kristy Boles, Executive Search Recruiting Director, points out that preparation goes beyond just gathering interview questions. “I’ve seen clients who breeze into the interview room without even glancing at the candidates resume. It’s seen as disrespectful and really a waste of precious time. Study that resume, check LinkedIn to see if you have common connections. You’re missing a great opportunity if you don’t take these steps prior to an interview.”

Cindy Frisch, Executive Search Recruiting Manager, agrees. She goes on to add, “Block off your schedule in advance and remove distractions so you can really listen to what the interviewee has to say. This is supposed to be a conversation. Be engaged and try to connect to the candidate.”

Lesson #2: YOU’RE being interviewed as well, so put your best foot forward.

Kristy also reminds her clients they’re being interviewed too. “I heard of a hiring manager, not one of my clients of course, that spent 20 minutes bad-mouthing the former CFO and the ‘state’ in which he left things. The candidate left feeling like the company was in chaos and really not a place she wanted to be.”

Sarah Collins, Executive Search Recruiting Manager, describes another example. “I had a candidate tell me about an interview where the hiring manager seemed to try to talk them out of the role during their entire conversation. He was told he was ‘too good’ and would ‘get bored’, etc. It made for a very uncomfortable conversation and really robbed the candidate of the opportunity.”

Lesson #3: Be straight with the candidate.

Jaime heard of this issue all too often. “We never want to be the one letting someone down in an interview, especially if asked directly, but avoid telling a candidate they seem like a great fit or that you’re certainly going to move them forward – only to consult with others and later tell them something different. It’s a complete shock to candidates because they were made to believe they had a real chance. Yes, it may be uncomfortable in the moment, but everyone is better off knowing where they truly stand.”

Lesson #4: Don’t try to save money by low-balling quality talent.

From Gary Bumgarner, Executive Search Recruiting Manager: “Most of the time salary requirements are known, or at least a clear compensation range is typically set.  If a candidate’s salary requirements are realistic then avoid making an offer that doesn’t meet their need.  You do not want to low-ball the candidate with an expectation that you’ll be able to counter with an increased offer.  They will likely end up accepting another opportunity paying what they were asking and even if you counter and increase your offer, it’ll most likely be too late.”

Lesson #5: Go beyond just interviewing the candidate.

From Brittany Burke, Consultative and Interim Staffing Recruiting Manager: “My most successful hiring managers go beyond the transactional mindset of just filling their role with a candidate. They look to engage candidates with an experience and not just an interview. They look to build a relationship between the company and candidate.  They’ll go beyond expectations and introduce others into the process and show the candidate where they could be working.  Game changers don’t want to feel like every other candidate.”

The best advice we can give is to lean on your recruiter, trust them, accept their consultation and advice!  They are there for one purpose — to hire the best possible candidate.  For more best practices connect with any one of our recruiting team members, at E78 we’ll guide you through the process to fine tune your hiring approach to land your next game changer.

E78 Partners is your trusted resource for interim, project and direct-hire game changers that maximize the capabilities and capacity of your accounting and finance department through challenges and change.


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