I hate interviews. I love having conversations. The best part of my day is when a candidate shares their story and they open up. A conversation-style interview, I've found, puts people at ease and reduces the stress of an interview environment. I'll often take the lead and share a bit of my story first. I open up. In doing so, a connection grows and trust will be built.
If you're a hiring manager and you embrace an open, conversational approach, it's likely that the candidate will gain insight to your company and to your leadership. The strongest candidates need this because they're interviewing you as much as you're interviewing them. A candidate's adaptability, a quality that I find highly desirable, may be revealed as they talk about their history and their solutions to prior challenges. Ideally, you're able to get a glimpse into how they will perform in this new role. What they will do, not what they've done, is what you want to comprehend more than anything else about them.
Another important aspect of an interview, as the hiring manager, is to explain why the job exists and articulate expectations. You must be able to explain the relevancy of the role to the candidate and the value they'll be providing to your company and its goals. Top performers need to understand what's expected of them because they want to exceed your expectations. They derive their job satisfaction, in part, from accomplishment. Most likely, like you do, too.
Lastly, be a great listener and watch closely. Non-verbal communication says more than words. Listen to hear how the candidate has demonstrated growth throughout their career. Their determination to grow can be key to their success with your organization. Listening and watching intently contributes to your ability to make an objective assessment of their candidacy and have it be relative to the other candidates you're interviewing. You can only rate them appropriately if you've understood what they've communicated.