Interviewing techniques – how to get the best out of people

Of course, you want to hire the most talented candidates. Some people believe that having line managers present as part of the interview process could help with finding the best fit for the role. However, know that interviews are more than this.  It’s not about who and who isn’t present during the interview. We must think about the actual interviewing techniques and the selection process.

This Episode: Practical interviewing techniques for HR and Managers with Jo Irwin

In this episode of The HR Uprising Podcast, Lucinda talks to Jo Irwin from i4 Training about practical interviewing techniques that managers or HR can use to improve the interview process. Interviews are a good introduction for both parties—the interviewer and the interviewee. Therefore it is just as important for the panel to present themselves in a good light as it is for the candidate.

In this podcast episode, Jo provides us with some great tips on how to achieve an effective interviewing process, from prepping the interview room to scoring candidates.

There is a lot that can be learnt and it is important to recognise that changes and improvements will not take place in a day! However, if you recognise what’s not working and implement what you see as best then the hiring process will be easier.


Key Takeaways

  • Competency-based interviewing is is the most common strategy for companies. This is a good technique to use if you want to gain insight into how they’ll behave and how skilled they are in certain situations. However, sometimes if HR don’t ask the right questions or aren’t willing to dive deep, we miss the small details that are more important in hiring an aspirant. Probe as much as possible.
  • Interviews are a great avenue for introductions for both the company and the future employee. Interviewers are most likely prepared and well-researched before they enter an interview room. As interviewers, it’s also nice if we’ve known the role you’re aiming to be filled by heart, and we’re putting our best foot forward (communicating and interacting well). This also makes sure that you ask the right question so you don’t lose that best candidate because of a wrong impression.
  • Tip: Make sure that the interviewee is comfortable during the interviewer. Check if the seat is comfortable, the room is well-ventilated, the distance between him/her and you (the panel) is enough to hear each party properly.
  • Tip: Have a good starting question ready. Don’t ask them about the details that won’t apply to the job—better yet, ask them about 3 specific projects/activities that can highlight what skills and knowledge can help them be valuable in the role.
  • Tip: Give the interviewee a head’s up that you might interrupt on some occasions when they speak. This is to make sure that you can probe better and that they don’t perceive it to be rude.
  • Tip: Practice reflective listening. Interviewees give more information when they see that you’re listening and being empathic.
  • Tip: Leave enough time for the scoring and the discussions.
  • Tip: Review how the panel performed. Did we ask the right questions? What question really hit the spot?

Best Moments

  • “Past behaviour is a good predictor of future behaviour.”
  • “First impressions are very important.”
  • “Your previous knowledge of a candidate must not be used in an interview.”
  • “It’s not just the cost of pulling managers to sit on a panel or to run a selection of interviews; it’s the cost of the organisation  making the right decisions.”

Valuable Resources

About The Guest

Jo Irwin has 18 years’ experience working in the pharmaceutical industry in sales, training and management positions. Since 1997 she has been involved in the delivery of tailored training programs to staff working within a range of industries.

She set up her training company, i4 Training in 2012, and Jo works in both Ireland and the UK where she designs and delivers training specializing within the healthcare environment. Jo has developed a strong reputation in Interview skills, from the perspective of both candidate and panel interviewer member. Besides team building sessions, she regularly runs the following workshops; Staff Engagement, Performance Management, Resilience and Assertiveness Skills. Her most frequently booked workshops is Effective Interview Skills and she regularly coaches candidates preparing interviews. She is delighted that her current success rate is running at 85% for 2019!

About The Host

Lucinda Carney is a Business Psychologist with 15 years in Senior Corporate L&D roles and a further 10 as CEO of Actus Software where she worked closely with HR colleagues helping them to solve the same challenges across a huge range of industries. It was this breadth of experience that inspired Lucinda to set up the HR Uprising community to facilitate greater collaboration across HR professionals in different sectors, helping them to ‘rise up’ together.

“When we look up we rise up”

Contact Method

Subscribe To The HR Uprising Podcast Now:

Podcast on ITunes

Add comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to the HR Uprising Podcast

Podcast on ITunes Listen on Stitcher Listen on TuneIn

Listen on Google Podcasts