4 Things You Probably Don’t Do When Interviewing A Potential Hire


Ever get that feeling that you’re not digging deep enough in an interview? Or that you’re hearing a lot of the same types of answers over and over again?

You’re not alone. Most hiring managers need support with interviewing – as getting the answers you really want from people is more difficult that you think.

Here are some things that you may not do now, that you definitely should do, when interviewing your next hire.

Use Competency Based Interviewing Techniques 

If you don’t already work with HR on questions, request a meeting. Although you may have been resistant to do this in the past, have a listen to their approach to assessing certain skills you are looking to bring into the team. HR typically may try a competency based approach to questioning, which if done well, will reveal major skill strengths and skill gaps in your interviewees that traditional questioning won’t. If you do already work with HR, work with them to overhaul your questioning pack. Explain where the issues have cropped up with new hires in terms of competency, behavioral or skills gaps, and perhaps ask them to sit in on your next interview to give an impartial view on both the candidate, and the way you are conducting the interview itself. Perhaps you’re going too easy?

Ask enough open questions

There are a number of different ways to ask questions – funnel, open, closed, leading, probing and rhetorical. All have their purpose, however the most effective for really drilling deep and getting you the information you need are open questions, evoking longer answers (typical beginning with why, what, how) and probing questions (where you request specific information, fact or proof of a statement). Think about not only the nature of your question but ‘how’ you ask it. Instead of taking the easy option and asking something like ‘tell me about your move to X ltd’, ask ‘why did you move to X ltd’ or ‘how has the move to X ltd improved your skill set?

Verify outcomes and results through probing questions

Once you’ve got your interviewee giving you more in the way of detail and flow of thought by asking open questions, be prepared to dig deeper. ‘Can you back up that statement with an example?’, ‘that sounds brilliant, can you tell me more about how you actually did that?’. ‘What was the biggest impact of that decision?’. This is critical to understand firstly whether they actually have the skills, to understand their exact role in driving that outcome (in case it was someone else) and to test their commerciality or technicality. Don’t feel like you’re hassling them – better to find out now it’s not a match, than 3 months in.

See how they perform with a live situation or case study

Lastly, don’t make it too easy for them. If they’ve got through all of the competency questions OK, ask them to prepare a presentation, or give them a case study to solve. Depending on the level of hire you are interviewing, this could vary from asking them to do a 5-min presentation on how they would go about fixing a reconciliations issue to a 20-min one where they should outline a 30-60-90 day plan of what they would do coming into the role. The point is, you’ll see the person in action in a business situation. You’ll see how they tackle a problem, their thought process and how comfortable they are at putting together a solution under pressure. All important aspects of a finance leader!


At Barden we invest our resources to bring you the very best insights on all things to do with your professional future. Got a topic you would like us to research? Got an insight you would like us to share with our audience? Drop us a note to hello@barden.ie and we will take it from there!

Sign Up to get new
Insights in your inbox

At Barden we invest our resources to bring you the very best insights on all things to do with your professional future.
Share this articleShare on Facebook
Share on LinkedIn
Tweet about this on Twitter