Now I know what you are thinking, does this mean my interview style? No, we aren’t talking about the questions you ask or case studies you give, we are talking about a more important and overlooked type of interviewer...
Are you an interviewer looking for reasons to hire or one looking for reasons not to hire? While this may seem nuanced, it can heavily affect the outcome and final candidate chosen.
Learn which hiring style you are, reasons why, and outcomes of each:
Type 1 (The Interviewer Looking for Reasons NOT to Hire):
As a 20-year search professional, I've met this interview persona many times - this is the hiring manager who feels no one is ever quite good or perfect enough. How can I spot this type? When they review candidates, they go into detail and articulate all the reasons this person is a “no” never a “yes.” They only tend to focus on what’s potentially misaligned versus what positive qualities this candidate could bring to the table.
Being this style of interviewer does mean you get to meet more people, but it also causes the process to take forever! It not only lengthens the search but often causes your team to have interview fatigue. Suddenly, it may be more difficult to book time on team members' calendars to meet with one more person who probably isn’t getting hired. And your other team members will begin to also grow cynical and skeptical that anyone will be a good enough fit.
In addition to creating team (or company-wide) fatigue, you will probably miss out on the person who you should have hired. I've seen it happen. The very person who could have been hired ends up accepting a position from one of your competitors. They saw the potential, whereas you saw all the reasons not to hire - this is heartbreaking and totally avoidable.
Reasons Why This Personas Exists:
- Undefined Requirements: You’re so focused on a job description and not a concise set of requirements required for any candidate to advance. If this is you, read our how to effectively recruit a Product Manager.
- Inexperience: You may simply not know how to run a search process for a hiring outcome. Hint, it's not all about interviewing. Not sure where to start? Lean on your recruitment team for guidance or best practices around average time-to-fill timelines.
- Insecurity: Scared to make a decision? We’ve all been there. This is when you should reach out to a mentor or boss for advice.
- Power: You feel you’ve been appointed as the gatekeeper and carry the burden of holding up a standard higher than anyone else in the company. Time to go back to the basics - what are your requirements and what is your team’s and company’s culture.
Type 2 (The Interviewer Looking for Reasons to Hire):
This is the hiring manager with an opportunistic mindset. They are thinking about both the immediate opening and about the organization (or the line of business) from a more holistic point of view. These hiring managers see shorter hiring cycles and are more likely to win over those passive candidates (not the ones just applying to every role posted on LinkedIn).
So what are the benefits of being (or learning how to be) a type 2 interviewer?
You’re More Likely to Identify Growth Opportunities
Interviewing people with other skills exposes you to the realization of how one person could make a difference:
- Sales: one new salesperson is all it takes to begin building a pipeline in a new vertical or geography. .
- Customer Success: one new Customer Success Manager is all it takes to win back a customer who was ready to churn.
- Product: one new product hire could be the opportunity to develop an API integration strategy.
- Marketing: one new Marketing Manager is all it takes to test out a new ABM strategy that starts landing targeted business.
You’re More Likely to Provide a Great Candidate Experience
Interviewers looking to hire are generally more curious and ask more probing questions because they are unconsciously projecting more "openness" and interest. In addition to being more interested, you are also much more likely to "sell" the company and opportunity as you see every candidate as having potential. You also create fans and followers with your positive attitude. Candidates generally know when an interview isn’t going well and no one likes getting grilled!
You’re More Likely to Close a Candidate and Conclude the Search Sooner
The outcome of interviewing is a hire after all. And while this doesn’t mean rushing to hire, it does mean landing a great person and getting them in and delivering results sooner.
If you’ve been interviewing an unnecessarily large number of candidates with no hire insight because "no one is good enough," then it may be time to rethink and shift your interview style! Changing your mindset and looking for reasons to hire and how someone could add value, will help shorten the search cycle. And that speed to hire will also make sure an awesome candidate doesn’t slip away. You’ll also be able to move the business forward faster with someone in the role and contributing.
Looking for more hiring tips and traits to look for during an interview? Download our free hiring tips ebook!