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Reach Superhero Interviewer Status with These Interview Training Tips

August 28, 2012

How many of us have been in this situation:  superheroYou spend days preparing for an upcoming interview including researching the company, updating your resume/portfolio and even combing through Linkedin to get to know the interviewer.  You show up professionally early, ready to take on the interview -- only to find out your interviewer barely looked at your resume and can’t even pronounce your name correctly.  You leave the interview feeling like Commissioner Gordon lighting up the night sky with the bat signal, with no Batman showing up.  Where is your Superhero Interviewer?

Don’t be an interviewer that looks more like the joker.  Ultimately you’ll leave a negative interview experience with a candidate who will never forget the experience and even worse he/she will forever associate negativity towards your company.

Here are 6 tips that will give you Superhero-like Interviewer skills:

  1. 1. Create Comfort.  Smile, be friendly and make appropriate eye contact (X-Ray and Heat vision is only for Superman, your eye contact will powerfully create comfort).  Ask the easy questions first to make the candidate feel more comfortable.  The easiest place to start is with a person’s background. 
  2. 2. Prepare.  Batman trains physically and you need to prepare mentally.  Become familiar with the job and the interview materials so you come across as knowledgeable and prepared.  Review the candidate’s resume and other background information prior to the interview, NOT for the first time when they step into your office.
  3. 3. Ask Open-ended questions.  Getting a lot of yes and no answers? Fight those questions with your secret weapon: open-ended questions.  Ask questions that begin with words like:  Tell me, Explain, When, Describe, How, etc.
  4. 4. Listen.:  Follow the 70/30 rule which means you as the interviewer should be listening 70% of the time during the interview and talking 30% of the time.  Show the interviewee that you are listening by rephrasing the interviewee’s answers in future questions.  This will give the illusion of super-human hearing.
  5. 5. Avoid Disruptions.  Batman fights crime, you fight disruptions. Take steps to avoid disruptions by conducting the interview in a private area and by putting your phone on do not disturb.  If multiple interviews will be conducted, ensure that all involved parties are aware of the interview plan to avoid the candidate having to wait around for the transition between interviews.
  6. 6. End the interview on a good note.  Clarify any areas where you feel you need more information.  Thank candidates for their time and interest in your company.  Revisit and emphasize the benefits of working for the company.  Answer any questions that the candidate may have.  Walk the candidate to the door and thank them one last time.  Imagine this as your “flying into the sunset” moment.  Every Superhero has one.

Use these tips and you’ll be sure to reach Superhero Interviewer status.  Although, we don’t recommend you start wearing a cape.

Want to learn some more interviewing tips? 
Check out our Interviewing Essentials eBook!

Connie Gentry Connie Gentry was a Consulting Associate at PSI. Connie’s work experience includes job analyses, validation, assessment design and customization, EEOC analyses, behavioral interview guide and anchored rating scale development, multi-rater tool (360 Feedback), large-scale competency-based selection and competency model design, and executive assessment.