4 Qualities Of A Good Interviewer

By Gideon Olukotun | 3 min read
21st November 2018
4 Qualities Of A Good Interviewer

The success of an interview largely depends on the capacity and qualities of the interviewer(s). But are there any universally agreed list of qualities of a good interviewer? Of course, there are none but there are a few fundamental qualities that are essential and common to successful interviewers.

In recent times, it is only the poor interviewers who ask the same questions at every occasion which oftentimes, make the interview boring and lacking creativity. In fact, this kind of repeated questions such as questions about candidates' strength and weaknesses usually don't help the company and even the prospective employee to see what they are both about. In the end, the process does not get you what you need.

With the workplace evolving and job market more competitive, employers now want the right and best-fit employees for every role, and candidates are as well desirous of companies and employers that inspire growth. With that being the case, how can you hold an interview that is both objective and interesting?

YOU NEED OR MUST BE A GOOD AND CREATIVE INTERVIEWER

Find out below four (4) essential qualities that make a good and creative interviewer.

Effective Listening

According to renowned entrepreneur and CEO of Virgin Group, Richard Branson, "We have two ears and one mouth, using them in proportion is not a bad idea! To be a good leader you have to be a great listener". Whoever must be a good interviewer, must also be a good listener. The goal of any interview is to learn about the candidate and to achieve that, you should allow them to talk more in the interview process.

Many interviewers make the mistake of talking more in interviews. You can ask questions, give comments and responses but, it's more important to allow your candidates express themselves.

While the candidates share their competence and experience, you're listening carefully even for words not said. Like Lanre Olusola (The Catalyst) taught me, he said "good listeners don't listen to answer but to understand, and that great listeners are not listening for words but the tone and body language."

Good Questioning

Like coaches, a creative interviewer must be well skilled in questioning as much as he is in listening. Every successful interviewer is a creative questioner. Sometimes they have a topical draft of questions to ask and sometimes, they generate questions in the process.

Being creative with questions helps you understand each candidate personally unlike asking generic questions where every individual give almost the same or related responses.

Asking questions from different perspectives also helps you to understand the perspective of the candidate being interviewed and proper perspective leads to better decisions at every step of the process.

Strategic in Methodology

Good listening and questioning skill are fundamental skills essential in having a quality and successful interview but they aren't all that's needed. Successful interviewers don't just show up for regular interviews, they usually have a solid hiring methodology that is oftentimes, aligned with organisational values and goals. With this approach, they can easily deploy tactics that meet the organization's goals during an interview.

According to an article by FurstPerson, an organized approach to the hiring process saves time and yields significant financial returns. Not only can a measured, planned strategy reduce the cost per hire, it can also improve early-stage attrition and quality of hire.

This is an important quality of a good interviewer which gives the interviewer, the ability to consistently develop strategies that ensure that the best-fit candidates have common interest and values in tandem with the organization's goals.

Discernment

If you have a good listening skill, ability to ask effective questions, and concrete interview methodology, you have set a good foundation for developing a good judgment.

However, good discernment precedes good judgement. It is impossible for any interviewer to decide the best candidate that fits the job without having a good discernment. In a world where truth is scarce and many are lacking integrity, it is essential for an interviewer to have a good sense of judgment. You must be able to tell whether the candidate is actually being real.

Achieving this, you must put your biases aside during interviews so you can judge every candidate fairly and according to the words of the ancient philosopher, Polonius, this above all: to thine own self, be true.

To recap, the 4 qualities of a good interviewer that will help you recruit the best-fit for every role are:

1. Effective Listening

2. Good Questioning

3. Strategic in Methodology

4. Discernment

By exercising these four qualities in your interview process, you can successfully lay the groundwork that encourages effective hiring and organizational growth.

Gideon Olukotun
Gideon Olukotun is a certified Life & Personal Development Coach and NLP Practitioner. He is the Lead Coach at Take The Lead Coaching Consult, an organisation that teaches people to lead through self-discovery and personal development programs and methodologies. He is also a member of the Life Coaches Association of Nigeria.
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