Developing Your Interview Skills for Attracting and Assessing Talent

Jerry Scher

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

“There is something that is much more scarce, something rarer than ability. It is the ability to recognize ability.” – Robert Half

As the final step in the recruiting and hiring process, the interview is a crucial opportunity for an exchange of information between the company and the candidate(s). It affords the chance to assess knowledge, skills, attitudes, motivation and levels of interest for the position. The interviewer must be able to engage the candidate in an in-depth dialogue to uncover the information required to make an objective decision and recommendation. This requires a great deal of skill and experience. Too often interviews are conducted by managers that are neither skilled nor willing to prepare properly and this contributes to the costly hiring mistakes that are continually reported.

Most of the resources currently available that pertain to interviewing are actually focused on the interviewee rather than the interviewer. The skills necessary to conduct effective interviews include the ability to ask well thought out and organized questions, active listening, the willingness to conduct the required research about each candidate and the capability to incorporate behavioral and situational questions into the discussion.

Encouraging dialogue and getting candidates to elaborate on their past experiences results in the interviewee doing most of the talking; and that’s the way it should be. All too often interviewees complain that their interview experience was less than professional and as a result they lost interest in the position and the company. Many interviewers have a tendency to talk too much and spend too much time describing the job and the company and miss out on gaining the necessary insights about how a candidate might become a significant contributor to their organization.

In that interviewing is a skill, those entrusted with this responsibility should be fully trained and required to prepare properly. Just reviewing a resume, minutes before the interview is inappropriate. In many cases where validated and consistent suitability assessments are not being used, the interview is the only method used to assess a candidate’s suitability; in other words, will they do the job? Of course, this type of assessment is based on the bias of the interviewer and frequently not accurate. If a suitability assessment like the Harrison Assessment is in use, the information learned about the candidate prior to an interview can be used for proper preparation.

The Harrison Assessments Talent Solutions System assesses eligibility and suitability to implement an effective Interview component.

Request our FREE Sample of the Harrison Assessment Job Success Analysis

If you’re struggling with recruiting/hiring and want more information, visit  And be on the lookout for our continuing series on Defining Eligibility, Predicting Suitability and developing your Interview Expertise.

About Jerry Scher

Jerry Scher - Founder and Principal at Peak Focus
Jerry’s known by many names -- business builder, executive, conference speaker, trainer, facilitator, coach, mentor. Regardless of the title, the end result is the same -- making people around him significantly more successful. His ability to diagnose business issues and effectively communicate appropriate solutions, that can be acted upon quickly, truly differentiates him.

About Peak Focus

Peak Focus is the only soft skills training, coaching and publishing group dedicated to helping select entrepreneurs, professionals and business owners create sustainable businesses.