How to Interview Someone: 7 Biggest Hurdles for Hiring Managers

By | June 3, 2016

Photo credit: Flynt/

Knowing how to interview someone may be one of the most important skills a manager has. It may also come with the least amount of training and support.

We’ve all hired someone who seemed great in the interview but was not so great when they when they started collecting a paycheck. This post and our Talentron™ App can help prevent that.

  1. Interviewing Skills Training – How to Interview Someone

The Great Recession of 2007-2009 caused companies to tighten their budgets significantly. Training was severely curtailed or eliminated during this business downturn. Those who received interview training before the recession likely did not receive refresher courses later.

Those who entered the workforce during the Great Recession typically did not receive any interview training. Many hiring managers and their interviewers were interviewing candidates without the benefit of training.

Cost effective methods ensuring high quality interviewing are needed more than ever. 3-5 minute online training videos and web-based apps that lead interviewers through behavioral interview questions are becoming cost effective replacements for live training.

  1. Remembering Our Training

It is estimated that we forget 50% of what we learn in the first hour after a training class, 70% within 24 hours, and the amount we forget climbs to 90% within a week of training.


Many question the value of training when little retention results. Lately, more attention is turning to online microlearning. Think of microlearning as professionally produced YouTube videos. An ideal use of these would be for a hiring manager or interviewer to watch a short video just prior to the interview.

  1. Creating Behavioral Interview Questions

Far too often hiring managers and their interviewers enter meetings with job candidates without the benefit of the best behavioral interview questions.

Those who received and remembered their interview training know that using behavioral based interview questions during the interview improves the quality of the interview. Improved interviews result in a better quality of hire.

Where do these behavioral questions come from?

Behavioral questions can come from many places or you can create your own. To learn how to create your own questions read our series of posts on How to Create Sales Behavioral Interview Questions. Or, click the blue box at the end of this post for a FREE list of questions for a behavioral interview from Talentron.

  1. Creating an Interview Guide

The best hiring managers always have an interview guide for every candidate meeting. Great hiring managers and interviewers create custom interview guides for each position.

Too many hiring managers interview candidates without the benefit of an interview guide. This is like trying to find someone’s home for the first time without directions or a map. You may still find your way there but it would be a lot more efficient and easier with a map.

We shouldn’t have to try to remember the questions when we get into the interview. So, an interview guide is needed to keep us on track. And, the interview guides for each interviewer should be different from the interview guides of the other interviewers of the same position. Our employer branding would look pathetic if all the interviewers were asking the same exact questions of each candidate.

Several interviewers may be asking about the same competency or skill if it is crucial to the position. But, they should be asking different questions from all other interviewers. Some interviewers may be more skilled or experienced in certain competencies and should be focusing their own areas of expertise.

Varying each interview guide in this manner is a huge task when done manually.

Tools like Talentron make a complex job like this child’s play. With this tool we simply drag and drop questions from the Question Bank into our custom interview guides. Then click the Email button and each interview guide is sent to its unique interviewer.

  1. Follow-up to Behavioral Questions

Those fortunate enough to have an interview guide with great questions know how to ask those questions but may not know how to ask the necessary follow-up questions.

It is the rare candidate who will give us a complete response to every question. So, we usually have to follow-up our behavioral based questions with questions that ask the candidate to be more specific in three areas of their response.

We call this the PAR technique.

  • P stands for Problem,
  • A is for Action, and
  • R is R

If the candidate did not include it in their answer, we want to ask them to specify the Problem or situation they faced. Likewise, if they didn’t offer it, we need to ask them specifically what Action they took in that situation. Finally, we may have to ask them the Result of their actions or what the final outcome was for that situation.

Without the PAR follow-up questions, behavioral questions can be just as useless as a refrigerator with no electrical outlet nearby. You’ve got the basic tool, but it is ineffective.

  1. Assessing Candidates

It will frustrate hiring managers and recruiters when the interviewer’s assessment of the candidate is as simple as “I love ‘em” or “I hate ‘em.” What we really want is a quantifiable assessment of the candidate in the competencies/skills the interviewer was asked to explore. And, if we can also get a brief note explaining each rating, we will feel particularly fortunate.

To get a completed assessment from every interviewer we need provide them with a simple interview evaluation form. This interview assessment form must be quick and easy to complete. A check mark here, or a click of a star there, and room to type a brief explanation will give us the best opportunity to get completed candidate evaluation forms.

This candidate assessment form needs to be part of the interview guide sent out to every interviewer. This suggests to every interviewer that the job is not done until the paperwork is done.

  1. Gathering Assessments from the Interview Team

Some hiring managers are fortunate enough to have recruiters who follow-up with all the interviewers and ensure they get completed candidate assessments. Many recruiters report that this can represent 20% of the time they spend on each assignment. If the hiring manager does not have a recruiter like this they will do this follow-up themselves.

Even with the advantages that email provides we still need to keep detailed records of who has returned their assessments and who has not. This can be in the form of a checklist, a spreadsheet, or an app that does it for us automatically.

The Takeaway

There are many hurdles that can stand in the way of us putting our best foot forward when interviewing candidates. Finding helpful lists and tools that will simplify the process will help us improve our quality of hire.

Using these seven easy lessons above or our Talentron app can help you avoid hiring someone who seemed great in the interview but was not so great when they when they started work.

Talentron automates the important things the best hiring managers and recruiters do regularly. This adds professionalism to the hiring process and results in an improved quality of hire.

What tools do you have that help you conduct the very best interviews you are capable of?


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