10 Interview Tips for Managers New to the Hiring Process

TSP • @myTSPnet


Job interviews are known to be a stressful process for applicants, but also for those first-time managers. The best advice is to be thoughtful about the interview process and spend some time preparing for maximum effectiveness. To get more specific, here are 10 job interview tips for new managers that will set you up for success.

This first tip occurs way before your first interview is scheduled. Especially during interviews, managing time is key. There’s no benefit to interviewing potential candidates who don’t fit the role you are hiring for.

Begin by creating a well-thought-out job description that emphasizes your ideal employee checklist. Your job description should provide all the characteristics of your ideal employee, including both technical and non-technical skills. Having this clear path of expectations and management skills will allow your candidates to make an educated decision on whether they think they'll be a good fit.

This process will also help to eliminate potential interviews that don’t meet your current needs. By creating a thorough job description, you’ll also benefit by having the outline for some potential interview questions.

Think about creating an interview team to help review candidates, which could even include your own coworkers who can help identify quality candidates, particularly those who will eventually work with the new employees. Your colleagues will help guide you on narrowing down the choices and can provide you with a good sense of how well the interviewees' character will match the team.

You might think the interview process will come naturally, but you will need to prepare. If you go in blind, you'll have a greater chance of blanking and stressing out mid-interview. You want to have a concrete agenda for the interviews to be uniform, this way you can evaluate each candidate using similar expectations. 

Coming in prepared also means creating a list of important questions that you have on hand before the interview begins. It never hurts to go through the job requirements and build questions that then focus on the most important skills and responsibilities of the job. From here you can analyze the candidate’s resume and formulate questions that will help dig out their best qualities or any potential red flags you come across.

There are endless ways to ask questions, but try following these, they’ll provide you with quality information you need to make your decision:

  • Close-Ended: This type of question is very clear and simple. Most times they can be answered with a short “yes” or “no”.
  • Open-Ended: This is a type of question that needs to be thought out and elaborated on.
  • Hypothetical: The interviewee will be asked to explain how they would deal with a scenario they may face at work.
  • Off-the-Wall: Although this may come off as “random,” this will help bring out their personality and social skills.

Note that with these types of questions, your goal is to retrieve information that the resume on paper won’t spotlight. Your question list may be large, so go back and highlight the ones you consider top of the list.

One of the most missed tips we brush over is taking our time. The job search — and hiring process — is nothing but stressful. Begin the interview with small talk to establish a bond between the both of you before asking those crucial decision-making questions. Refrain from the conversation straying too far and ask some ice-breaker questions, like:

  • What have you heard about the company?
  • What makes this company appealing to you?
  • Why do you think this job is a good fit for you?
  • Tell me about your professional history, what was your favorite job?
  • What will this new position help you achieve?

As a potential new hire, these are questions that they should have memorized. If the candidate has trouble answering at a first glance, take that into consideration. Although these questions might come off as generic or plain, they will give you time to understand their communication skills and self-control. You should also take their overall appearance, manners and even gestures into play. How they answer the question will be extremely telling.

Quick tip: Make sure you engage in the conversation and make eye contact to seem connected and alert. By expanding on topics or questions the interviewee has mentioned, it’ll help them feel heard and appreciated. Even if you don’t agree or know much about the given topics make sure to find a way to stay involved.

Although note-taking may seem outdated, this step is essential for afterthoughts and impressions. When it comes time to discuss the interviews you can refer to your notes to process the final decisions. Making the final decisions off hand-written notes will help you feel like you made a valid choice based on concrete information.  

A useful tool is to have their work samples or references on hand. Sometimes a written test can be the ideal way to figure out their work skills. Once you have reviewed their work, and if they still seem like a good fit, request a list of references so you can show the candidate that you are getting closer to a decision — that very well may include them.

There is a high demand for experts in the field, meaning that top candidates will have an advantage. Remind yourself that your top candidate may be getting other offers at other places. After you and your team have deliberated on the final choices and have read through all given materials, you should decide to extend the offer over sooner than later, especially with the chance of losing them to a competitor.

It’s becoming more common to negotiate salaries, more so for popular candidates. Therefore, be prepared for these types of conversations from the beginning. If you can’t promise that salary at that time, think of offering more perks or benefits. Maybe think about offering a higher salary if their performance is strong in a given period of time.

Overall, be thoughtful about the interview process, it’s nothing like a simple walk in the park. Take the time to plan, review and analyze so you end up with your ideal candidate.

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