How Good Are Your Hiring Manager’s Interview Skills?

Hiring managers help your business grow.

They know how to build a rapport with candidates, onboard new employees, and even evaluate your team for skill gaps. However, they rarely have the chance to work on their interviewing skills.

As you work with a specialist recruitment company to add new talent to your team, it’s essential to help your hiring manager to assess and improve their interviewing abilities. Conducting a successful interview requires practice, focus, and training.

The following strategies will empower your hiring managers to excel in the interview process.

1. Make Sure They Know What They’re Looking For

First, it’s crucial for hiring managers to know exactly what kind of talent they’re searching for. It’s easy to head into an interview and trust your gut to tell you which person you need to hire. However, hiring managers who rely on their gut are often victims of bias. This makes it harder for you to get the diversity you need for a forward-thinking financial team.

Provide your hiring manager with a list of key personality traits, skills, and competencies to test for during the interview. Base the list on your job description, and make sure it covers:

  • Certifications, education or qualifications relevant to the role: For instance, do you need an ACCA or CIMA qualified accountant?
  • Soft skills and “attitude”: Are you looking for someone who works well as part of a team? Does your new employee need to be able to communicate well, and manage their time efficiently?/li>
  • “Nice to Have” qualities: Include a section of features that aren’t essential to the role but might help your hiring manager to narrow down their list of choices. For instance, if you’re hiring a new finance manager, it might be useful for them to understand the technology you already use.

2. Script Behavioural Interview Questions

Another excellent way to reduce bias in an interview and give your hiring manager more direction is by scripting questions. 

Behavioural interviewing is one of the best ways to learn more about a candidate. Providing hiring managers with scripted questions based on the competencies you’re looking for will help to generate more useful information from each interview. For instance, questions for a financial manager may include:

  • Tell us about the last time you worked with cutting-edge software to help a client.
  • Describe a time when you had to work with your team to accomplish a client’s goals according to strict deadlines.
  • Tell me how you stay ahead of the latest changes to regulations in the finance sector?

Scripting questions will also create a standardised process that makes it easier to assess each candidate based on their skills, temperament, and ability to fit with company culture. You can even provide your hiring manager with numeric values for each characteristic you’re looking for in a new employee so that they can score each interview.

3. Focus on Creating a Pleasant Experience

Interviews can be stressful for everyone involved. However, it’s important to remember that your hiring managers aren’t just looking for the right person to add to your team, they’re also representing your business and selling your roles to top-tier talent.

Conduct “mock” interviews with hiring managers where they can work on creating the right atmosphere during these critical discussions. For instance, encourage them to:

  • Make notes during each conversation: Ask them to highlight the competencies you’ve asked them to look for and write down any other important details that might help with their decision later. This helps them to make a more informed choice and shows respect to candidates through active listening.
  • Be aware of body language: Remind your hiring managers to keep their body language open and welcoming during the interview. Slouching, crossing their arms, or regularly checking the time can distract candidates and make them feel more anxious.
  • Thank candidates for their time and highlight what they can expect to get out of the role. Top-tier talent will want plenty of information about the benefits your financial company can offer. For instance, can you provide remote working days, mentorship or training opportunities?

Encourage your hiring managers to end each interview on a positive note. The way that candidates feel when they leave your business can have an impact on your employer brand, particularly in a world full of review sites and social media.

Remind your hiring manager to let possible employees know when they can expect to hear back from you and to follow up promptly. 


JobFitts Consultants are a specialist provider of professional Recruitment Services for the Financial Services sector and related suppliers in Australia. Since 2003 we have recruited and placed a breadth of operational roles at all levels from; HR, Accounting, Marketing and Customer Service/Frontline.

To find out more visit our website at JobFitts here or call us on (02) 9220 3595 or email here.