Hiring & Recruiting

Train Your Supervisors to Be Better Job Interviewers

Supervisors need to learn to “talk the talk” as job interviewers. Here’s a tool to teach them what to say … and not say.

However much we may surround it with applications, resumes, and tests, hiring is a very human transaction. In the end, it usually comes down to two people… the hiring manager and the candidate … sitting and chatting. And on such chats, we base the future of our companies.

The problem is that when humans talk, a lot of things can be said that shouldn’t be. Discriminatory questions can be asked. Unauthorized promises made. Untruths told on both sides. And if anyone thinks the old expression “talk is cheap” is true in all cases, he or she need only look at the legal costs of job interviews gone awry.

For all these reasons, the attention of HR skills training experts is being directed more and more to teaching supervisors to improve at job interviews. Here, from our PowerPoint (R) with sound program, Audio Click’ n Train: Interviewing Skills for Supervisors, is some of what they have to know.

–Types of Interviews. Different types of interviews have different goals. The traditional interview seeks a broad knowledge of the candidate’s qualifications, while the behavioral interview looks at how he or she has performed on the job. There’s even a situational interview that presents scenarios that might be faced on the new job and asks how the candidate would resolve them.

–Interview Preparation and Conduct: In a process this critical, you don’t want your supervisors to just steal a few minutes off the production line, grab a fast impression of a candidate, and then decide. They first need to build a set of questions, based on the job description, and compile a list of “must have” characteristics to look for in candidates. And because interviewers represent the company, they need to remember to do things like hold their calls and be courteous enough to walk the candidate out. Remember, in an interview, qualified candidates are also deciding if you are right for them.

–Interview Don’ts. Audio Click ’ n Train: Interviewing Skills for Supervisors spends many of its 23 slides on what not to say to a candidate. It’s especially important to avoid any query that even hints at discrimination. This includes asking about a candidate’s age, religion, national origin, or personal life. Even an seemingly innocuous, “Did your wife come into town with you?”, acceptable in any other circumstance, could be viewed as discriminatory, on the basis of marital status.

–Interview Do’s. Equally important is what interviewers should discuss … what the job is, and what job-related qualifications the candidate brings to it. Interviewers need to learn to ask open-ended questions such as “Tell me about your teamwork experiences.” rather than “Did you work in a team?”, and to ask the same questions of all candidates, to ensure fairness.

–Documentation. Supervisors need to know what notes to take, that their notes should never include personal comments, and that their notes may, in fact, be read by a jury if a candidate later sues for discrimination in hiring.

BLR’s Audio Click ‘n Train: Interviewing Skills for Supervisors, which teaches all this and a great deal more, in self-directed format, includes 23 customizable PowerPoint slides, a professionally recorded narrative soundtrack, a Trainer’s Guide, discussion exercises, an employee handout, and a Quiz with answer key.

Click to go to the information page to see sample slides and hear audio.


To order BLR’s Audio Click ‘n Train: Interviewing Skills for Supervisors and Managers PowerPoint program, click here.


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