Your Company's Success Depends on Your Managers' Interviewing Skills

By: Ron Bower

A study by LinkedIn found that 42% of hiring managers believe they lack the interviewing skills necessary to make good hiring decisions. And while I buy the fact that that is how most managers would respond to a survey, my personal experience is that way too many leaders “believe” they have the skills to effectively interview…and in reality, they are woefully underprepared.

While we believe that a great structured interview guide is critical to support interviewer success and positively impact the quality of hire results, it is equally important to ensure that all hiring managers are appropriately trained on all aspects of interviewing.

Interviewing is the most critical component of the hiring process, and it can have a significant impact on the success of your organization. Great interview training for hiring managers (and non-manager interviewers) should include:

  • Creating a great candidate experience

  • Preparing for the interview

  • Managing the candidate and the clock

  • The importance of strong behavioral based interview questions

  • Assessing candidate answers

  • The power of strong follow-up questions

  • Avoiding common interview pitfalls, including unconscious bias

  • Keeping interviews legal (A study by the EEOC found that the number of discrimination charges related to the hiring process has increased in recent years)

According to a survey by Jobvite, 55% of recruiters and hiring managers reported that they did not receive any formal interview training before conducting interviews. So, it should not be surprising that CareerBuilder found that 69% of employers reported that their companies had been adversely affected by a bad hire in the past year.

Furthermore, a recent study by LinkedIn found that a bad hiring decision can cost an organization up to 30% of the employee's first-year earnings. And that companies with effective interviewing training programs have 50% lower turnover.

Effective interviewing skills are crucial for managers:

  • The wrong hire can cost an organization time, money, and resources.

  • Managers must have a deep understanding of the interviewing process and the skills necessary to conduct successful interviews.

  • Effective interviewing skills training can help prevent bad hires, saving you time and money.

  • Interviewing is regulated by a variety of federal, state, and local laws, and managers who are not properly trained can inadvertently violate these laws.

In addition to legal issues, poor interviewing skills can lead to bias in the hiring process. Unconscious bias can affect decision-making, resulting in managers selecting candidates based on factors that are unrelated to job performance, such as gender, race, religion, or age. This can result in a less diverse workforce and can negatively impact the organization's culture.

A study by McKinsey found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability than companies in the bottom quartile. Effective interviewing skills training can help managers recognize and address unconscious bias in the hiring process, leading to a more diverse and inclusive workforce while positively impacting the bottom line.

"Interviewing is a skill that requires preparation, practice, and awareness of your biases. Without training, managers are likely to rely on their instincts, which may be influenced by factors unrelated to job performance." - Kris Dunn, HR Consultant and Founder of the HR Capitalist

According to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), nearly half of all organizations reported that they have increased their emphasis on training and development for managers in recent years. This increased emphasis is due to the recognition that well-trained managers are essential to organizational success.

If you are in one of the organizations in need of interviewing training, check out our Interviewing for Results™ Training options. If you have questions, or are ready to schedule training, please contact me directly: [email protected].