By Leslie Rothman
Are you looking for new hires that are curious, take initiative, are workplace savvy, and want to find a great match for themselves? If the answer is yes, consider making reverse interviewing a part of your hiring process.
Rather than spending 95% of the interview time posing questions to candidates and allowing a few minutes at the end for their questions, adjust the process time to include 20 minutes for candidates to ask you questions about the position, the team and the organization.
WHY TAKE THE TIME?
Five Compelling Reasons:
1. Realistic Job Preview – Allowing candidates to ask questions about what is important to them helps them make a more informed decision about whether the position and organization is a good fit for their abilities, job requirements and desired work environment.
2. Underneath the Hood – Candidate questions provide great insight into what is important to them which helps you determine if their interests and motivations are aligned with the role, the organization’s culture and your managerial style.
3. Thinking Outside the Box – The quality of the candidates’ questions can illuminate their level of curiosity, confidence, and creativity. Do they ask basic questions like “What are the work hours?” “What tasks are most important?” Or do they demonstrate more in-depth thought and broader awareness; “How do your internal partners think the department is doing?” Are they focused on their needs or on how to contribute to the department’s success?
4. Prepare or Improvise? – If you let candidates know in advance there will be allotted time for their questions, you will gain insight on their level of preparation and effort. If you don’t give advance notice, you’ll get a sense of how well they think on their feet. Determine up front which attribute (advance preparation or quick thinking) is most important to the position and communicate the process accordingly.
5. Team Learning – Your interview team’s responses (during and post interview) will provide insight into their alignment with the open position and perspective on the department. Additionally, having questions asked of you and your team will help you think about interviewing from the candidate’s perspective, and you may discover ways to clarify the position or areas of focus for future interviews.
Compared with typical employer-oriented interviews, reverse interviewing will provide your candidates more valuable information and a sense that their needs are important. You’ll acquire a deeper level of understanding about each candidate and far more insight into who they really are.
Give it a try and take a turn sitting on the other side of the table!