Interview is an art. Unlike common misconception, It is definitely not an activity of asking series of uncoiled questions. In fact, a good interview calls for strong logistics, techniques, and psychological parameters.
But, why do we have to rely on such deep study to be a good interviewer? It would be much clearer after we know the prime reason to do the interview. No, it is not to fill a vacant position. Making hiring decision is the final result of an interview, not the reason.
You do interviews to gauge the calibre and personality of a candidate. Certainly, you don’t have to be a great mentalist like Joseph Dunninger to read your candidate’s true skills. Adopting certain patterns in the interview is all you need to be an outstanding interviewer.
The most problematic part is the type of questions that hinder the functionality of an interview. You can’t get much useful information from a set of predefined questions. Rather, the magic purely lies in the follow-up questions. These questions open up the whole possibilities for an interviewer to drive the interview according to any impromptu situation.
I look follow-up questions as the baton of an interviewer who conducts and drives an orchestra of the interview process. Interviewer presents the follow-up questions at each level. In like manner, a conductor waves his baton to direct a symphony orchestra.
One could easily figure out the weak and the strong point in a candidate by asking follow-up questions. As a matter of fact, all follow-up questions, more or less, fall in the three categories.
Repeat question in a different way
There have been many instances where candidates deflect a question purposely or inadvertently. One great way to deal with this situation is to repeat your question, but in a different manner. Let your candidates know that you are asking the same question by rephrasing it. You certainly don’t want to get them off the hook.
Rephrasing the question would eventually be helpful for both the parties. The Candidate would get a decipherable question if the original one wasn’t clear enough, and the interviewer gets a clear skills and behaviour pattern of the candidate.
Connect the answers
One of the best ways to gauge someone’s talent and skills is to link their answer to something they stated earlier. Candidates usually get confused when they get to know that their two answers contradict each other.
Though, some good candidates accept their mistake and try to come up with a correct answer. This way not only are you getting the clear picture of candidates but also their learning enthusiasm, which is in fact, a very vital trait to measure.
One gets really interesting details of the candidates by putting up series of follow-up questions before them. These questions are so well connected with one another that they hold a lot of potential to extract the true information from the candidates.
On the other hand, two mutually exclusive questions are not that effective. The difference is much wider when the interview is conducted over a call. Follow-up questions prove to be the best bet for such interviews.