The foundation of an interview should be transparency, which can be defined as honesty and openness. Not only should the interviewer be open about the position that needs to be filled, the interviewee needs to be honest about the qualities they can bring to the institution. Interviewing sucks up time and money and as the hiring manager, you can’t afford to glorify anything. Personally, I’m very open and straightforward at the start of face-to-face interviews. I usually begin by chatting for a couple minutes and then setting clear expectations:
“During today’s interview, I want you to focus on providing answers that deliver real life examples to display your qualities. Instead of saying “ I’m a hard worker,” tell me about the situation. If you need to take few moments to reflect and think of a story, let me know. I don’t expect you to recall stories right away.”
It’s easy to feel a lot of pressure to get the right fit for the department when you are in charge of hiring. You want to move quickly so you can provide relief for your staff. By being transparent about the position and culture of the educational institution, you allow the candidate to fully understand the expectations of the job. Have an open conversation with the candidate about how they believe they are the right fit. A lot of hiring managers struggle with transparency because you have to talk about the bad and good; you have to be straightforward. It’s your responsibility to paint a true picture of the position for the candidate. Think to yourself, “what information does this person need to know about the position that might make them not like it?” Does the position “require” overtime during a certain time of the year, but there isn’t any overtime pay given? If so, tell the candidate. Does the position have little support from other departments? “ If so, tell the candidate that and ask them how they’ll handle not having a lot of support. Yes, you might get candidates who withdraw their application, but that’s fine, they wouldn’t have worked out in the long run. You can’t afford to hire and train someone based on a false sense of what the job actually entails.
How to be fully transparent about the position:
1. Before the interviews ask yourself, “what qualities do I want the new employee to have?” During the interview be sure to state those qualities. Let the candidate know exactly what the job needs. Ask them to give an example of a time that they exhibited those qualities in a past experience.
2. If you like a candidate, invite them back to shadow a current employee. This will allow the candidate to get a feel for the position. Also, you can hear about the perspective of the employee who spent time with the candidate. It’s almost like a second interview.
The more honest you are about the qualities you’re looking for, the more likely you are to find the right fit for your department.
This post is part of our #SArecruits series, which will share experiences from a variety of #SApros who have hired new employees. We hope that these stories will give great insight for both professionals looking to improve their hiring tactics, and also those on the job search looking for an inside perspective. For more information, please see Bill Mattera’s intro post. Be sure to check out other posts in this series!
> BONUS <
Podcast With Reuben Pressman on Check I’m Here, Ed Tech, and Student Engagement