Becoming a More Effective Interviewer

Dave Blankenhorn

Dave Blankenhorn


In her latest blog Adrianne DuMond refers to a book by Dr. Travis Bradbury on the most asked questions used to interview a new hire and proposes some safe answers for those being interviewed.

From a potential employers’ perspective it has been my experience that the most productive interviews are not based on pat standard questions but on unscripted conversation to put the applicant at ease which in turn allows for a open, more candid conversation. A relaxed person will usually say what they really mean and give the interviewer an idea of what the person is all about. It is very important to put the applicant at ease by talking about general subjects before delving into more specific things. Instead of questions like “what are your weaknesses” and “tell me about a time when you…” ask about their areas of interest, what they like to do best, their most memorable accomplishments to date, their career plans, etc. In other words ask questions that will allow the applicant to tell more about themselves. More questions can then be developed from their responses.

The interview is a two way process where both parties learn about each other. In addition to learning about the applicant the interviewer should not forget to talk about how his or her organization works, its culture and mission. Failure to do that might result in a mismatch between both parties.

Finally devote your full attention to the interview. Listen carefully and observe the applicant’s body language. This can be as important as the answers given.

Author:  Dave Blankenhorn, Executive Coaches of Orange County,