I’ve wished I was excellent at interviewing. I’ve wished I could have some magical skill — talk to someone for an hour and just know if they’ll be great at their job and great to work with, or not.
Unfortunately, I think there’s a tendency, when hiring, to be too optimistic about the whole thing. You need a new staff member. There’s a gap. Someone is about to leave. For whatever reason, you’re really hoping you’ll find the right person soon. Especially if someone else (like a manager) has done some pre-interviewing, and now they’ve shared their shortlist of candidates with you… they’ve already rejected a bunch of people. This is their shortlist! They are subconsciously, if not consciously, hoping you’ll be impressed with (at least!) one person from their shortlist. There’s pressure on you. Find the nugget! Accept one of them! Be wowed! For dog’s sake, you can’t possibly reject all of them!
In my experience, though, the nuggets are super rare. Well, I guess I am talking specifically about the digital industry. And chicken nuggets.
I appreciated this piece, Why job interviews are pointless, in The Guardian. I didn’t feel so lame about my interviewing skills after reading that. Turns out, we/I should have been more interested in the candidates’ reputations than in interviewing them. How many recommendations could they bring us? Interesting.