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A job interview is a two-way street

  • 04 Feb 2021
  • Kerry McMahon BSc (Hons)

So often I get this feedback from frustrated job candidates: ‘I sat through an hour of questions but wasn’t given any time to ask about their company or the role!’

If you’re a hiring manager or just interviewing someone for a role, this problem could hinder your recruitment process and even cause you to lose that ‘needle in a haystack’ team member.

Create a conversation

A job interview is a two-way street.

A job interview is a two-way street. If you’re interviewing a candidate for a role, you should give them time to ask questions, and get a feel for your organisation and the role. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen – the interview is often a one-way street where interviewers do all the talking and candidates all the listening. Sure, you will be eager find out everything (relevant!) there is to know about your candidate. Dig deep into their experiences, achievements, working style and motivations. But don’t forget to be respectful and give them the space to be curious. Be aware that your candidate is probably assessing you too.

They will be eager to ask questions about your:

  • company
  • culture
  • products or services
  • management style
  • intention to help them develop and grow in their career.

Debrief after the interview

After the interview, if you feel inspired and enthusiastic about your candidate, ask yourself these questions:

  • ‘Did I do enough to gain their engagement and commitment?’
  • ‘Did I provide enough information about the opportunity?’

If the answer is no, take the time to prepare for the next interview. Before you go in:

  • mentally prepare with the view that it’s a two-way street
  • be ready to promote the organisation to the candidate
  • be mindful that the candidate will also be interviewing you.

Remember the golden rule

As leaders and mentors, we are (or should be) committed to growth. Therefore, we need to remind ourselves and our colleagues that feedback and communication is the golden rule for learning and development.

A balanced interview where both parties ask questions, communicate and learn is critical in the recruitment process.

It will help you build trust and respect right from the start — which is more likely to create a positive, effective and long-lasting working relationship.

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