Consider – if a Hiring Manager has not been trained to effectively interview candidates, they certainly have not been trained to select the best-qualified candidate.

How does an untrained Hiring Manager typically determine the best of the interviewed candidates?  They review their own successful experience.  Then they try to find someone whose successful experience matches their own experience.

The practice of trying to find someone who looks like the Hiring Manager defeats the goal of diversity hiring for any company.

I was on a recruiting contract with a company whose manager was from India.  Every software engineer he hired was a male, originally from India.

This action is repeated in many companies whether the manager is a male or female, the same religion, race, or any other protected class.

Recently, a professional woman I coached during her search for a new job was asked by a Human Resource Representative during an interview if she was “Temple Eligible?” (LDS).  She asked me how to handle that question if she faced it again.

Even Human Resource professionals need to be coached – or possibly, especially!  The question certainly spoke to the company culture.

Importance of a Diverse Culture

In my experience and the experience of many successful clients, hiring a diverse workforce creates new viewpoints and potentially new products or services.  The reason is those new employees come from varied backgrounds and experiences.

When most everyone in a company comes from the same background and experience, their observations generally will agree.  These are companies whose products and services are easily disrupted.

This is a white paper I co-wrote with Cyndy Trivella on The Positive Aspects of Diversity Hiring”,out%20possible%20unintended%20consequences.2%20Geographic%20Realities%20And%20Challenges

What Elements Should be Included in Interview Training?

Let’s start at the beginning – the Job Description.  Is the Job Description accurate?  If so, the Hiring Manager has the go-ahead to begin structuring questions.  If not, the Hiring Manager and Human Resources need to agree on an accurate Job Description prior to structuring an interview.

When the Job Description is not accurate, the interview is measuring the wrong skills and experience.

I coach Hiring Managers to use 8 different types of questions in their interviews:

  1. Behavioral Interview Questions
  2. Questions asking for one piece of information
  3. Questions that ask for one piece of information with a follow-up probing question
  4. Pause or Silence
  5. Compare or Contrast Experience Between Roles
  6. Example from the interviewer’s experience
  7. Echo part of a Candidate’s response
  8. Yes or No expected response

What Is The Most Important Interviewer Action?


Many times, Managers asked me to sit in on their interviews and rate their skills.  I am amazed how many times the Hiring Manager is focused on reading the next question instead of listening to the candidate response.  Candidates provide many opportunities to probe their responses; and, Managers miss their opportunity to learn much more about the candidate and their motivations.

As A Company, What Should We Do Next?

Create an Interview training program or bring an expert to train your Hiring Managers to give them tools to be more effective as interviewers.  Remember the goal is to train them to discover the best-qualified candidate from a group of candidates. 

Ensure your company recruiters seek qualified candidates from all sources, not simply the ones who look like the people currently in the company.

In my next blog, I will go into greater detail on utilizing the 8 different ways to structure interview questions.

The Talent Attraction business model is my differentiator.  I focus on one client at a time and charge a flat monthly fee.  This model enables me to attract new talent to your organization while identifying and suggesting improvements to your company’s Talent Attraction process, including Manager Interview Training.

Learn how I coach my Career Transition Clients in my most recent book – Employee 5.0: Secrets Of A Successful Job Search In The New World Order  My book includes an appendix with sample interview questions.

I help organizations Recruit, Onboard, Actuate, and Retain Top Talent.

See you on Tuesdays!

Bill Humbert is available for Speaking, Talent Attraction Consulting, and Training contracts.  435-714-4425

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