As a part of Cooper Fitch’s vision to revolutionise the recruitment industry in the MENA region, one key observation has been that the business ecosystem is interdependent and each organ of the system influences the entire system.
It is an ongoing process of strategic thinking and planning by which businesses are continuously and tirelessly trying to bend all forces of nature to their will so they can be capable enough to compete in today’s market.
While most interview-focused articles are usually about what job seekers should and shouldn’t be during an interview, almost nobody ever addresses what the interviewer should or should not be doing. It is important to note that the interviewer also faces a detrimental risk of scaring away unsurpassed talent in the market. After all, it is a two-way street and it takes both sides to close a beneficial deal.
Henkel Middle East was among the first to acknowledge this fact and quickly partnered with Cooper Fitch to enhance their interview techniques and provide training sessions to their hiring managers in the MENA region. The initiative was met with great enthusiasm from Henkel's internal team as Henkel's global vision is to position themselves as The Employer of Choice in the FMCG industry. Henkel believes in employer branding, employee engagement and the learning and development of their people. A total of 30 hiring managers engaged in the first training session which was conducted by Ebony Thomas the Managing Partner of Supply Chain, Manufacturing, IT & HR at Cooper Fitch along with Mohamad Nassar, Consultant of Supply Chain and Manufacturing at Cooper Fitch.
For your benefit, the essence of the training session has been condensed into the four most crucial points for becoming a successful interviewer.
1. Preparation is key:
We all know the familiar saying, 'failing to prepare is preparing to fail'. Consequently, the interviewer should make sure to carefully read the candidate’s CV before the interview. This will allow the interviewer to address certain key points during the interview. They should also put together a list of critical questions to assess the candidate's possession of key competencies needed to fulfill the role. Remember to watch out for red flags such as career jumps, industry changes or career gaps. Addressing these issues will give you an understanding of the candidate’s motivations and will help you project whether a candidate will be a good fit for the company culture.
2. Remember that first impressions last forever:
Cooper Fitch always advises hiring managers to follow best practices in interview etiquette to ensure they come across as welcoming, open, likable and professional. These could all be breaking points if done wrong and could drive an outstanding candidate away. After all, most people leave their managers not their jobs, so make sure they leave the room hoping you will be their future manager. Be open, have a smile on your face, shake their hand and introduce yourself and your company. These are all simple things that will save you a lot of trouble in the end.
3. Remember it’s an interview, not an interrogation:
A key thing to avoid when conducting an interview is making the candidate feel uncomfortable or stressed, making them unable to express themselves openly. Be mindful of your body language, voice tone and being too robotic when asking questions. Try to rather guide the conversation with various open-ended questions which will encourage the candidate to open up and elaborate without you having to ask too many uncomfortable questions.
4. It’s not over until it’s over:
It is imperative to ensure that a candidate leaves the interview room with a positive attitude and overall impression of the 30-60 minutes long conversation they just had with you. A few tips that will increase the chances of this happening is to give them the chance to ask any questions they might have about you or the company. Ensure you answer them with the utmost transparency and thank them for their time. Briefly, explain the next steps of the hiring process and provide an estimated timeframe in which they should expect feedback from you. If you are feeling generous and have built a good rapport with the candidate you can also provide feedback on their interviewing style and advise them on what you feel they could work on and improve. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to offer them the job but they will hopefully appreciate the constructive feedback.
Ultimately, hiring the right talent is one of the key factors in determining the success of a business. It is imperative for solidifying your business's position as a preferred employer. Needless to say, having the right interview skills is the first step to doing that, as it is essential that all the parts of the business ecosystem complement and enhance one another.
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