Get the Right People on Your Recruiting Interviewing Bus!

Get the Right People on Your Interview Team!

I’ll never forget the project manager search we conducted for Tom, COO of a large specialty contractor. Tom was highly regarded, and his technical expertise was unmatched.  But, he had an interview style that turned people off.  He caused all five candidates he interviewed to walk away discouraged.  In fact, some walked away angry!

Top performers are often difficult to recruit.  You cannot afford “negative Nathan or Nancy” on the interview team.  Finding the right balance between selling the company and vetting the candidate is the key.  Look for team members with the following skills.  If you do, your interview team will make the best first impression.  As a result, you’ll get your share of top talent.

Has sales aptitude and communication skills

Choose interviewers with excellent communication skills.  Each should be able to sell the candidate on your culture, core values and mission.  Remember, building your interview team is no different than bringing your “A Team” to a bid presentation.  Everyone must have the skill to articulate your brand while vetting candidates.

Prepares for the Interview

One hiring manager we know keeps candidates waiting as long as 45 minutes.   Frequently the manager has not even reviewed their resumes.   Choose interviewers who will thoroughly prepare for the interview, and show courtesy and respect to the candidate.  This is critical.

Avoids Pop Psychology

“If you had to be an animal, what animal would you choose?” is not an effective interview question!  These “Odd ball” questions simply do not project the interviewer or the company as professional and serious. They certainly are a sure turn off with today’s candidates.  Especially top performers. 

Keeps it legal

Make sure your interviewers respect and follow all employment laws.  Asking about age, marital status, childcare, pregnancy, political or religious affiliation or race, color or ethnicity or when someone is planning to retire is illegal. Employment laws have changed frequently in recent years, so an annual review is great preparation.

Makes it a priority!

Few things are more important than getting the right people hired.  The interview team member must respond fast with feedback and be flexible with scheduling.  Statistics show top candidates are off the market in 10 days!  Interviewers should have a high sense of urgency and be able to utilize Zoom, Skype®, FaceTime® or other video tools to speed up the process.

Having a solid interview team is vital in successfully competing for talent.  Those with a positive attitude and who represent your company well make the best recruiting and brand building ambassadors.

Need clarifications or more information?  Have any questions?  Get the answers you need.  Call Kathy Cole, at 630-282-7747 or email her at
As appeared in Builders Blueprint newsletter for Chicago Builders Association