The Interviewer's Advantage

We've been in the midst of interviewing candidates for open HR positions and it reminded me of this post from about this time last year I wanted to share with you.

I have had the opportunity to interview for new HR staff lately. It's something I don't get to do often although lately I've had the opportunity to do it more due to promotions, turnover and new HR positions.

iStockphoto

iStockphoto

People walk into an interview and it's unknown to me - and to you - what they have on the line at that moment. Whatever "it" is, it belongs to a person in one of the most uncomfortable situations a person could be in.

As the interviewer, I know - but sometimes forget, that I have the opportunity create the space for the person sitting across from me to shine. As I recently watched a candidate come into her own right before my eyes, it made me wonder, what do others do with the very same opportunity?

With this thought on my mind, I saw 10 Human Questions Interviewees Should Ask, from Paul Smith pop up in my Google Reader. Like Paul, I thought "about the anxiety of interviewees and how interviewers have most of the advantages in that environment."

Interviewers can set the stage for an interviewee to be at their best. Their anxious and nervous best, but their best nonetheless.

Why wouldn't every interviewer want to do that?

Is it easier to say, "no" to someone who did not fully step-up-to-the-plate? It is not possible to be both direct and nice? Shame on you if you quell confidence and pride and don't nourish, prop-up or cultivate every chance you get.

It's not all about the applicant you say? It's all about you? Ok, I get that so let me ask you this, "What impression do you want them to have of their interaction with you, of your department, and of your leadership?"

Interviewers, you have the advantage. Use it well.