‘The Art of Interview’, is a great HBR Podcast with Cal Fussman writer and journalist for Esquire who has interviewed many high profiled people from politicians to global CEO’s and musicians such as Dr. Dre. In this insightful podcast, Cal offers some great strategies for building trust with those he interviews to enable him to really get the honest answers he is looking for. He cites the example of Dr. Dre when you are looking to find out if people are truly passionate about what they do. Dr. Dre can work for 72 hours straight when he is passionate about a project he is working on. We can leverage or adapt this in interviews to ask questions around “When were you last totally immersed in a project at work?” Or, “When was the last time you pulled an all- nighter to get a project done at work?”
This is a great podcast for anyone who is looking to develop their interviewing skills in order to make better hiring decisions. From the podcast I took away the need to have a more authentic interview style and less of a formulaic process. Perhaps we need to tone down some of the rigour and structure with interviews to create an environment where the interviewee “feels at home” enabling us to really get to know who they are and what drives and motivates them. We need to listen deeply. As we all know interviews are not very natural – from how they are staged to the standard questioning and the fact that interviews are by their nature an exclusionary process. Very rarely do interviewees feel comfortable in an interview.
In a recent recruitment assignment I adopted a more ‘authentic interview’ style and it was such a richer and more successful process. I did not interview in an office like I normally do. Instead we had an informal meeting at a café. I left the standard interview questions aside and spent the time building trust through sharing some of my career and life story with the interviewees. In turn I was able to build trust and learn more about each interviewee in this meeting than I probably would if I had worked with them for a few months. It resulted in a fantastic hire being made. Moving forward I am certainly going to continue to evolve my ‘authentic interviewing’ style as I know it works.
For anyone whose role includes interviewing I highly recommend listening to ‘The Art of Interview’
What are your thoughts and experiences with ‘authentic interviewing’?