As a leading executive search firm that specializes in working with technology and energy companies in Colorado, we’ve seen it all during interviews -- the good, the bad, and the ugly. So, here’s a secret that many CEOs don’t realize: It’s not just your candidates who are on the spot during interviews– so are you! To make the most of your image and hiring efforts, we suggest using these five effective tactics during every interview.
- Know how to pitch your company. This may sound obvious but it’s not! We’ve seen executives stumble because they don’t have an elevator pitch. Don’t let this be you! Begin by answering: What does your company do and how do you do it better than anyone else? Make your answers concise, clear, and persuasive. Then, practice until it’s second nature!
- Remember, each time you interview someone, it’s a branding opportunity! Whether you choose to hire that person or not, you want that candidate to walk away thoroughly impressed with both you and your company. Candidates talk after interviews and you want them to talk you up to everyone they meet. This is a great branding and PR opportunity.
- Use consistent questions and scoring with each candidate. Do you go into your interviews with a set of clearly define questions? Or do you let the conversations steer themselves? The problem with having unstructured business conversations as an interviewing format is that it doesn’t give you the ability to accurately compare multiple candidates. Go in prepared and ready to weigh and score each response from every individual using the same metrics. While chitchat is great for rapport-building (yes, you want some of that), it’s difficult to compare candidates if you’ve had different conversations with each one.
- Let your candidate talk at least 60 percent of the time. Here’s another pitfall we’ve seen: The CEO does all the talking while the candidate says next to nothing. OK, that’s an exaggeration, but you get our point! CEOs are often very excited to talk about their companies and their success. Let your candidates answer questions fully and allow them to feel comfortable with the interview process. The more relaxed and comfortable your candidates are, the better and more truthful the information you’ll get from them.
- Know the job spec and role for which you are hiring. OK, this can be tricky for start-ups, especially if you are hiring for a new role. Sometimes it’s easy for a CEO to believe that the role will encompass some duties, and not others – but then find out along the way, that the role needs to expand. That’s OK! Outline the position as best as you can. If you need to add more along the way, that’s OK. Just be sure to document where you are going and be ready to pitch the role to candidates as it evolves.