Can a Reverse Role Interview Find You the Right Candidate?

find the right candidate

There isn’t a very strong initiative to reinvent the long established question-and-answer job interview. It is familiar, effective, and tends to be the most direct way to determine if a candidate fits the bill. But asking exploratory questions only gets you so far in revealing whether or not the candidate is the embodiment of your ideal hire. In the end, the interview always concludes with you asking the interviewee if he or she has any questions for you.

This role reversal tells you a lot about the candidate’s interest in the company, what he or she considers to be important, and how well the candidate can dictate the direction of a conversation. It is a crucial part of the interview, so why not lead off with it?

The Reverse Role Interview

This interview style can have a huge impact on your chances of finding the right candidate. By asking the candidate to determine the direction of the conversation, the reverse role interview challenges the candidate to come up with inquisitive questions about the company policies, goals, projects, clients, all at the outset of the interview.

Finding the right candidate is about differentiating between average and exceptional people. It is also about selecting someone who will fit in best with your team. If you employ this style at the start of the interview, it will tell you more about a candidate than if you were to start by asking him or her the same questions you have asked everyone else.

You will still have the chance to ask any questions after you are through quenching the candidate’s curiosity about the company and the team. You can use those questions to close any doors that were left open during the initial conversation.

Chances are, your R&D departments are far more busy innovating new technology than conducting case studies on interview strategies. It’s up to you create ways to fill the holes in your team, and the reverse role interview could help you land the right candidate.

By Kevin Withers

Image courtesy of reynermedia via Flickr

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