The Influence in Interviewing:

Posted by on Apr 29, 2022 in Business Management, Culture, Leadership


I’ve had some interesting interviewing experiences.

The absolute shockers where the applicant clearly hadn’t even read the job description or researched the company.

The project manager who took pride in revealing that he had laid a formal regulatory complaint against his employer because the job wasn’t going the way he wanted it to.

Then there is the sheer joy of finding an absolute gem – not quite right for the job being considered but one to be snapped up for a role yet-to-be-defined, and so created in a hurry.

I’ve thought a lot about the structure and role of interviewers in equipping themselves to deal with these situations. The preparedness needed; the roles they play in the process as panel members; the pre-consideration and discussion of competence against culture; the necessity to put aside the structured templated questions (you know the ones, “where do you see yourself in 5-years’ time?” blah blah). Essentially, to act as an integrated and cohesive representation of the recruiting organisation.

To be honest, I’ve witnessed interviewing moments where the outcome had been predetermined; the process was one of compliance and documentation only. I’m sure a number of these have worked out OK, except for those other participants who believed they had a fair chance of success, and never did.

I’ve seen undue influence exerted by senior panel members over their hiring subordinates. (Begs the question as to why you’d have a panel if one member held all the control….oh, just a minute, it reduces bias….).

Occasionally (?!) hires go wrong and then who will be taking responsibility for resolving it? Hardly the “senior” so it’s essential to get the terms of reference right from the start.

There is a huge responsibility that comes from interviewing, as part of a robust recruitment process. You’re dealing with someone’s future; they’re exposing their hopes, dreams, aspirations and, hopefully, their failings to you. They deserve to be treated with appropriate respect for all that. Oh, and don’t get me started on reference checking….