What I learnt from interviewing over 50 people in a year

I went from literally no interviewing experience to an experienced interviewer in the space of only a year.

I found it a fascinating experience and thought it would be good to share.

What I want to accomplish

I’d like to reflect on the experience and share some of what I learnt, as well as what I wish I had known when I started out, like the things I wish I’d known to do, and what not to do.

What was my first interview like

I think I was more scared than the person I was interviewing, I’d been at my job for 2 days and since my company was in hyper-scaling mode, I got asked to interview someone. At previous jobs I’ve done interview training and seconded interviews, but this was my first time going in solo to an interview to decide if someone would work for our company or not.

The most surreal part of the interview was when the candidate asked me if I liked working here and the best I could do was look around and then said the people here seem very nice.

What was my last interview like

My last interview was a culmination of a lot of practice and experience, I felt like I was running a well oiled operation, my questions were starting to feel a little tired , the current set, it wasn’t my first rotation, but that also meant they were running really smoothly.

The highlight for me was that even though the candidate was struggling a bit, I was managing to adapt and scale the question back on my feet, so that we were able to keep moving forwards and putting pieces on top of one another leading to a conclusion.

I think the best compliment I received that, even though he had been pushed, he’d had a great interview experience.

What do I wish I knew at the start

I wish I knew how much I was going to enjoy doing this and how great an experience it is interviewing a great candidate. Those were pleasant surprises and I would have maybe pushed to do this sooner if I’d known.

It was also a great way to get exposure to different divisions in the company (Human Resources, Recruitment, Management) and driving my companies processes around hiring and what we wanted and expected from candidates.

It was rewarding and fun to work in a different area to my normal day to day work as well, giving me something to look forwards to and break the normal days grind, while still providing a lot of value to the company.

Do

  • Prepare
  • Know what you’re trying to achieve
  • Interview on behalf of your company
  • Time management
  • Take Notes in a template
  • Make it a great experience

See here for the expanded list

 

Don’t

  • Lie
  • Put your company down
  • Be flippant
  • Judge Candidates Against Each Other

See here for the expanded list

Closing

I found it great in that I was able to learn what it is like being on the other side of the table to hone my own skills, as well as exploring scenarios with people and being able to take a small walk in their minds and see how they tick.

If you can, I’d suggest giving it a go to see if you like it.

It’s a great way to get exposure to different people and parts of your company and build a new skill.