In my many years as a manager, I have interview hundreds of candidates and hired some. Interviews and identifying candidates who are suitable for the position you try to fill takes time.
Some positions are more challenging than others. The few things that I look for in identifying the right candidate are as follows:
- Can the person do the job?
- Does the person have the right attitude?
- Can I retain the person within my organizations?
I remember hiring a woman many years back. She was a top scorer from her university and very capable. Unfortunately for me, the job I had her for was not challenging at all. After a few months, she found that she was wasting her time with us and left for another company. Based on her drive and capability, I am sure that she is very successful now.
In another case, I had an impressive interview with a candidate. He brought his notebook and gave a presentation of a web page he created. After hiring him, we found that he had difficulty gathering requirements from the users and delivering results. Later I found two issues with my selection.
- His university major did not match what we do.
- I failed to test his technical skills.
Interviewing skills consist of both art and science. Parts of it can be learned but others will come through experience. My success rate has been pretty good so far but I find that there is still a lot to be learned. The most challenging part of the interviewer is to identify hidden signs during the interview.
An excellent series on interviews can be found here.