Job Interviewer Tips for Success

Here's how to make sure you don't blow the interview when you're the one asking the questions.

By: Jennifer Chappell Smith

Heart rate rises. Palms feel damp. You force yourself to smile. But you’re not hoping to nail an interview and get a job. You’re the one about to interview a candidate.

We all remember sitting in the interview chair across from a potential boss. But once you switch places, becoming the interviewer has its own level of stress. Here’s a look at ways to improve your skills for this essential task. After all, hiring the right employees can determine whether you and your team meet on-the-job goals. And if that doesn’t stress you out, it should!

Don’t wait until the last minute for interview prep. There’s nothing worse than winging an interview by using a résumé as a cheat sheet: “Sooo,” you say, glancing down, searching for a detail to inquire about. It’s obvious you haven’t prepared.
“Interviewees are not the only ones who should prepare,” says Victoria Cowin, manager of dealer marketing and advertising at Lennox. Review the applicant’s résumé and credentials ahead of time and write a list of questions that cover the role’s specifics along with universal topics, such as why the candidate wants to work in this field.

Do learn how much candidates have researched your company. Ask them to pitch your company to you as if you were a first-time buyer, recommends Cowin. You’ll see what they know about your company and how well they’ll represent your brand. “Your technicians, Comfort Advisors, and customer-support staff should all be able to describe your company with ease because they are all representatives of your brand,” she says.

Don’t change up the basic questions. Sure, résumé details will spark inquiries that are unique to that specific candidate. “But the broader questions should remain uniform,” Cowin says, adding that a standard list of facts you want to know is the only way to compare candidates, “apples to apples.”

Do listen more than you speak. Watching body language and assessing how interviewees respond requires your close attention. You can’t do that if you’re gabbing away about your role, your work history, and the company. While you should share such information and answer candidates’ questions, Cowin says that the bulk of the interview should involve the interviewee answering yours.

Don’t go it alone. Involving other key staffers invites multiple perspectives. “The way a candidate interacts with others, especially your support staff, says a lot about their character because it demonstrates how they interact with people at all levels,” Cowin says.

Do look beyond skills. Cowin says that a good attitude and teachable spirit should count for a lot. “Skilled HVAC labor is becoming harder and harder to find. A positive attitude and the desire to learn are qualities that can’t be taught, so look for these traits when hiring and know that Lennox offers training programs to help you onboard [new employees] quickly.”

Completing a thorough interview requires a little bit of diligence and prep work, but making the right hire will pay off far into the future.

Running a business can be tough. Getting your employees trained shouldn't be. Let us help. Our BuildATech® and BuildASalesperson™ courses are designed to take your new technician or Comfort Advisor from new hire to qualified HVAC Pro in four weeks.

Equip your new hires with the tools for success. From the Document Library and Warranty Lookup to the AHRI Residential Matchup Tool and OEM Repair Parts, the LennoxPros app is full of eTools to help HVAC Pros in the field.

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