The Value of a Relationship Interview

hand picking chocolate, Box of Chocolates

 There are many different types of interviewing styles hiring mangers leverage to determine if a person is the right candidate for the job.

I was sitting pool side with my sister in law who just has a beautiful understanding of the English language. We were talking about interviews and how they sometimes don’t undercover what we need to detect to make the right decision. She used the word ‘relationship interview,’ and I thought she has done it again by capturing the right wording for what we as recruiters need to follow.

One of the most important features throughout an interview is building a sense of trust with the candidate. This needs to happen very quickly. Hiring managers need to understand that a candidate will be nervous, which is only natural, and trying to put a person at ease should be the first priority! If I take a look back at the people who make the candidate feel at home and build trust, overall they have a better experience than those who don’t.

My approach is to build a connection with the candidate during my first meeting with them. This connection puts both parties at ease and allows me to really understand what the candidate is looking for. It gives them the opportunity to open up and allow me to learn more about who they are, what they have done, and what they would like to do next in their career.

I always prepare my candidates for interviews letting them know who they will be meeting with, and what type of interviewing style they would be put through. With so many options of interview styles, it’s similar to trying to pick out your favorite filled chocolate in an unlabeled box of chocolates. Here are the different styles of interviews that are commonly used:

  • Traditional – is your standard interview. It’s formal in nature and the candidate is asked to explain their resume and talk about their strengths and weaknesses, what they want to do next, etc…
  • Behavioral – As defined by BNET.com, behavioral includes “asking about a situation or a problem in the past and what your reactions were. Since human behavior is so repetitive, interviewers will be able to predict how you’ll perform in the future from how you handled the situation.”
  • Stress – “To employers, it’s critically important that staff can deal with the sometimes huge pressures of their work. The stress interview is designed to find applicants who can handle stress, and handle it well,” according to BNET.com.
  • Conversational – is when the hiring manager has a conversation with a candidate, they talk about what the company as well as the candidate are looking for, it’s less formal and the two parties are exchanging information in a more casual way.

The purpose of an interview is to exchange information between two parties for the purpose of seeing if there’s a similarity. This is a win-win for both parties in order to get all the information you need to start building that relationship. Therefore, you will gain more trust and as a result, make a smoother recruiting process for yourself. Start out your recruiting process with the “relationship interview.” Then, start to move to other tactics within the process to ensure that this candidate can do the role you are seeking them to do!

To quote Forest Gump,

“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get.”

Yet, interviewing is hard enough. If you take the fear or intimidation out of the equation, you will be able to gain more information and knowledge, and be able to make an easier hiring decision.

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