Dear Interviewer, you need to make a great first impression too!



By Aditya Bhargava


Interviews also serve the purpose of presenting an organisation to a potential employee. Lack of enthusiasm, impatience and ineptitude, during an interaction, can work against the employer just as much as it can work against a candidate.

And today, when one of the biggest challenges facing organisations is finding and hiring the right employee – who is inspired and will inspire the organisation she joins – a negative review could turn into quite a nightmare.

From my experience as an active participant of HR recruitment drives, I have pulled together a few do’s and don’t that will help interviewers make a great first impression –

Be practical: Avoid grand or extremely complicated questions that are only meant to impress or fluster a candidate. Keep it practical. Ask questions that matter to every day work. For example, an interviewer once asked me what I would do if we were to set null to an object in a function. While I responded to the question, I couldn’t help but wonder at it because no one introduces null reference exceptions in their code.

Pace yourself: Pressure is part of work and corporate jobs are notorious for that very reason. Most candidates are nervous at the start of their interviews. So, allow time for the person to become comfortable. And, then pile on the interesting questions that will test their knowledge, aptitude and attitude.

Be up to date: Don’t be a career interviewer without the groundwork to back yourself up. I would advise a regular cadence for interviewing that’s supported by two things: relevant experience on projects and a clear understanding of the role’s requirements. This avoids making embarrassing assumptions that can harm your organisation’s brand and also negatively impact the candidate’s career path.

Be humble: You might be competent at something but, there is a strong chance that the candidate was chosen because they are equally if not more skilled at something else. Humility and patience are not deterrents to conducting an intelligent interview.

Be open: Being open to learning at interviews is one of my biggest strengths. There are people from different technical and cultural backgrounds and they bring such insightful perspectives to the table. Infact, there was an instance where I learned of Behavior Driven Development or the BDD framework from a potential candidate.

Be conversational: It’s more productive when an interview takes the form of a free flowing conversation. This format is especially great when a defined purpose is constantly guiding the conversation. It takes a few interviews to get the hang of maintaining such a conversation that does not resemble a run-of-the-mill Q&A session.

In conclusion, I’d like to remind you of how wrong this supposition is – the burden of impressing lies solely with the potential candidate. That approach is careless and ill advised. Bring your best interviewing self to the conversation to find the best employee for your organisation!

The author is the Technologist at ThoughtWorks.



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