(This write up is for interviewers / hiring managers in general. Read through the below to help you understand and think around certain “keep in mind” points when preparing to interview a candidate.)

Ok! So the requisition is approved, candidates for interviews have been identified and you are one of the interviewers. Now what!

As an interviewer, it is always necessary to approach this responsibility of yours with utmost care & humility.

An interview can break or make the career of an interviewee and it also impacts the morale of the person…..at least for some days or weeks.

Worst is the case when, candidate loses all hope and feels incompetent because he or she was made to feel that way, owing to the callous interaction of the interviewer.

Here, I recommend 5 steps that can be applied by the interviewer to make interview a good experience.

1. Remember, Interview is a conversation:

(Interview (verb) Synonyms: talk to, have a discussion with, have a dialogue with, hold a meeting with, confer with etc)

Many a times interviewers take for granted the entire process! This may be owing to the work pressure. It also could be because how they have been treated in interviews. Or just the feel of power the whole process gives them.

The result is that interview becomes an “interrogation” rather than an opportunity to know the candidate. Do remember that interview is a conversation. It determines if you would like the person in front of you to be part of your team?

Determine if he /she can do the job and meet or exceed expectations of the role .

2. Mind your tone and body language:

(Body Language: Get in touch with the way the other person feels. Feelings are 55% body language, 38% tone and 7% words.)


As trainer to hiring managers and hiring teams, I always emphasised the importance of tone and body language during interviews.

The tone, the volume and the body language of the interviewer can either relax the candidate or tense them up. A tensed mind may not be able to focus on the conversation. Hence, they are deprived of the right environment to perform their best.

So ease up! Have “small talks”, be formal yet be positive and let them also relax. If the candidate does face brain freeze / feels stuck, offer them a break or some water. Help them relax and move to the next topic of discussion.

3. Hiring Manger is also the brand ambassador for your organization:

(A Brand Ambassador is a person who is hired by an organization or company to represent a brand in a positive light and by doing so help to increase brand awareness and sales.)


Apart from the recruitment team, hiring panel members are also brand ambassadors for the organization. They are the first point of contact for the candidate before he/she is employed.  

Today employers consider seriously the impact of employees being their brand ambassadors in much larger picture.

Your attitude, elements of visual communication, the interview questions & experience you give to the candidate, all will then be the extended facets of you being a “brand ambassador”.

Thus, is it recommended that utmost care be taken in every step of the interview & “candidate care”. This is to ensure that “candidate experience” is nothing but the best. So, equal responsibility lies with the hiring manager and the Talent team to ensure the process of hiring is best and exceptional.

4. Know what the role is, know the candidate:

(“Being an interviewer: interviewing someone is very similar to preparing a character, isn’t it? You’re just asking questions: Who is this person? Why did they make that choice? Why are they doing that? You are being Sherlock Holmes” )
– Felicity Jones

The role of the interviewer is about assessing the candidate based on the job requirement, organizational culture and of course team dynamics. So be prepared well in advance with the topics you plan to discuss with the candidate.

Also, ensure you read the profile of the candidate much in advance and plan your conversation around the same. This is to avoid the much used and abused question “tell me about yourself”.

Save your time and candidates’ time by asking relevant questions only.

5. Give the opportunity for the candidate to think, it’s OK:

(“I have been told that I am too good for certain roles, but that’s ok, it just motivates me to go deeper.”)

Garrett Hedlund

When doing technical interviews or asking functional / strategic questions, I advise my hiring managers and team to look beyond what is obvious.

Read between the lines when they don’t get the expected answers. Give them opportunity to think, if they ask you “Am I doing this right?” encourage them with hints on reaching the final solution. Or make it clear that you want to know the approach or thought process.

Doing this eases the candidates. Encouragement provides them an opportunity to – think,  win or fail and re do as the case  may be. Give them an opportunity to save their face. In case , they are not able to reach the conclusion, proceed by asking them about their wins in life. Hence, there is a shift of mind from despair to happy memories.

The ultimate goal is to hire the right candidates, do so respectfully. Treat them as equal humans and make the interview process much more positive.

If you are authorized to give the feedback immediately, kindly do so. But, choose words carefully, use right tone when delivering the feedback. If you can help them on suggestions for improvement please do so.

Don’t leave them hanging!

Organizations and Talent teams must invest time and efforts in training hiring managers of interviewing candidates for their own good. These need to be covered across all levels. Interview is the process with certain by-products Viz. impact on brand. An interview experience can create or kill a brand as well not just the confidence or morale of the candidate.

If you as an interviewer felt there can be more points around this to turn around the interview experience, please share them through comments.

–Yours Truly

The Image Ally.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *