Earlier in my career, I thought I needed long interview guides and had been trained to have extensive interviews. I remember after interviewing it would take me hours to write up candidate summaries. Consequently, over the years, my time and availability to spend with candidates grew shorter. I figured there was a better way. Here is what I practice now:
- Run the Plays: Ask the candidates to do a quick bullet point summary of their background—no story telling: What company, what was your title, what did you own, what was your mandate, and what were the results? I call this longitude and latitude: understanding the person’s depth and scope of work.
- 5 Questions: I ask 5 behavioral questions that point back to "Running the Plays." I probe, I ask follow up questions, I take notes, then I ask them to repeat so I can listen a second time, etc. A great model to learn is the STAR Methodology, and unbiased listening is key.
- Every Person has a Dream: I always wrap up my interviews asking fun questions, learning about their life, their career goals, what gets them up in the morning, what motivates them, etc. I encourage stories, photo sharing, and exchange of experiences.
They say you know if a candidate is right within a few minutes of meeting them, which can be true. My connections and relationships always start in the last few minutes of my interviews. Always good to remember there’s a person sitting across from you who has hopes, wants, needs, and dreams—just like you.