Manager Moments: How to Conduct a Job Interview

By Josh Ownby November 3, 2017

Throughout the course of their career, every manager is likely to have to interview a candidate for a job at some point. Rather than “wing it,” it’s important that you know how to conduct a job interview properly, in a way that minimizes your bias and accurately predicts the candidate’s attitude and future performance. A management training video that models professional interviewing behaviors is a helpful tool for teaching you how to conduct a job interview.

How To Interview Without Bias

As humans, we all tend to gravitate towards people with whom we have things in common. Normally this isn’t harmful, but in an interviewing situation, this natural bias may lead to judging a candidate more favorably just because he/she has a similar background or interests as you. This similarity (or, a lack of similarity to you) doesn’t necessarily predict their job success, though. To counteract your bias, seek “contrary evidence” during the interview: ask a follow-up question that asks for examples of behavior that are different, or opposite, from the behavior already described. For example, “Tell me about another time when things didn’t go well.”

Seeking contrary evidence is an essential interviewing tool to use both when you are getting a one-sided positive view of the candidate or a one-sided negative view of the candidate.  When you seek contrary evidence, you uncover the complete picture of your candidates so that you can make a more balanced, thoughtful hiring decision.

How to Interview to Predict Performance

Hiring a new employee is an expensive, important investment for an organization, so it’s vital for you as the manager to know how to conduct a job interview in a way that helps you predict that candidate’s future performance, rather than just trusting your “gut” or choosing who you liked best.

Past behavior questions cause your candidates to tell you about events that really happened, so you can assess their behavior in those situations and predict how they will handle similar situations in your workplace. Ask things like, “Tell me about a time when you…” and “Describe a situation when you…” (negotiated with others on your team to reach an agreement, for example). Link those questions to specific competencies you’re looking for in an employee.

How to Interview for Attitude

In addition to ensuring a candidate has the necessary skills to do the job, it’s important to consider a candidate’s attitude, as well. Past behavior questions are again the best tool here. Ask questions like “Describe a time when the company made changes that surprised you. What did you do?”

Also, asking the candidate’s opinion about how they handled a situation is a great way to uncover attitude, as is asking him or her about her least favorite work environment, manager, or team experience.

Using these steps will help you gain clear examples of the candidate’s general attitude in a number of work–related situations. With this knowledge you’re much better equipped to determine if that person will be the right fit for the job, your team, and your work culture.

To help managers in your organization make better-informed hiring decisions, choose a management training video targeted to teaching interviewing skills like Manager Moments: Interviewing & Termination Do’s and Dont’s. Whether the goal is to interview for attitude, set aside their own bias, predict future performance or just keep questions on a legally safe path, this collection of programs is designed to provide managers with the planning and preparation tools they need to successfully conduct interviews.

More Than a Gut Feeling IV is another management training video that teaches Behavior Based Interviewing techniques - including holding a structured interview with pre-planned “behavioral predictor” questions - to help managers make the right hiring decisions.