Interviewer Skills Training : Workshop tip#2

Is an Interviewer Skills Training workshop for all the people in your organization who interview potential employees great value for money?

One recent Rainmaker client definitely thinks so!

During our recent workshop during a particularly interactive session these facts emerged.

This particular client had spent £250K on recruitment consultants fees over the previous 12 months.

They also insisted that they conducted their own in-house interviews.

33% of new hires left after 12 months of working there.  You could conclude that £80k of that £250k was completely wasted ?

The reasons that the candidates / employees gave for leaving were that

1. They didn’t seem to fit in with the way we do things here

2. Job and company did not fit expectations

3. Some actually didn’t have the skills that they said they had at the interview!

We were able to show them how to probe and ask capability based questions that really uncovered whether candidates actually had the skills.
We also gave them values based questions that made the fit of person and company match clear.

Not bad for £1,500 for 9 interviewers in 2014.

What are the same numbers for your use of consultants and 12 month attrition rates . Could you save a lot by spending a  little?

Let us know…

Interviewer Skills Training: What does great look like : Final 4 ideas

Everyone agrees hiring the right people is so important…

Why then do we find managers happy to “Shoot from the Lip”.
Many rock up and start asking questions. Different questions at random.
Lots have never been trained on how to interview.
(Our Interviewer skills Training workshop might help?)
They relegate themselves to being poor or at best mediocre interviewers.
Perhaps if they were trained they may hire better people
And hey don’t better people build better businesses?

Our view is that if you want to find the best employees you must be the best interviewer you can be.

Here are our final few ideas as to what being the best Interviewer you can be might look like

7. You do not talk too much.

Monologues delivered by the interviewer will not be interrupted.
After all you are in control and you’ve made it easy for the interviewee to stay silent.
Great if all you need is a good listener.
Time yourself next time you interview.
The measures should say You Talk 10% Candidate Talks 90%.
Only you need to know the real answer and act on it. ?

8. You describe the next steps.

Don’t make the candidate ask about the next steps.
Explain the rest of the process.
Explain what you will do, and when you plan to do it.
And then actually do it.

9. You have a checklist and a standard to hit but it’s a guide

Yes you need to have a checklist and an agreed standard for each competency you are looking for …
But don’t be fooled by having everything marked as “good”…
Someone with no negatives is NOT a Great candidate.
You are hiring a candidate who will excel in meeting their real business need.
Demand excellence. Look for superlatives.
Don’t settle for just above average because it won’t be.

10. You  provide closure to each and everycandidate.

If you don’t provide closure, candidates won’t complain to you… but they will complain about you.
Remember the stats about everyone who has a bad experience tells 11 people and a good experience only 5.
You and your process needs to describe next steps, follow through on those steps.
Contact candidates if and when the process gets delayed, and eventually provide closure to each and every candidate.
Not only does that make great business sense, it’s the right thing to do.

I hope you enjoyed this sequence of blogs … Let us know your opinion email

Interviewer Skills Training: What does great look like? 3 ideas for you

Everyone agrees hiring the right people is so important…

Why then do we find managers happy to “Shoot from the Lip”.
Many rock up and start asking questions.
Different questions at random.
Lots have never been trained on how to interview.
(Our Interviewer Skills Training Workshop might help here)
They relegate themselves to being poor or at best mediocre interviewers.
Perhaps if they were trained they may hire better people
And hey don’t better people build better businesses?

Our view is that if you want to find the best employees you must be the best interviewer you can be.

Here are some of our ideas as to what being the best you can be might look like

1.  Do your Preparation:

A great employee comes into an organisation with promise.
Yes they can do the job day 30 and yes they’ll fit in a box on the org chart>
However they have lots of other things that you’re going to find a use for.
They’ll have a cultural fit with your company. How are you going to test for that?
You’re going to want results in the job? Have they delivered similar results in similar roles?
How are you going to find that out at the interview?

They will need a set of skills and experience.
Are you going to ask all the candidates the same set of questions?

If you ask them the question “Have you had experience with Oracle 7.2?”
Please expect a Yes, but prepare yourself for a surprise in six months time.
When they say “But not THAT level of experience” and you have to find someone else.

If you’re hiring for sales how about preparing them to demonstrate how they go through a sales process with their current products.
Get them to bring a case study.
What questions did they ask?
What benefits did the solution offer to the customer?
What was the ROI?
And at the interview ask if they’ll give you the case study prospect name as a reference?

2. You ensure candidates are prepared.

Your process should do this each and every time:
Tell them exactly when, exactly where, exactly who will be conducting the interview(s)…
They should know everything. If it’s a group interview tell them exactly that.
Remember this is a two way process.
You are selling the right candidate your company from the moment they first interact with you.
Do not put the best people off.

3. Do your research on the candidate.

The CV is a good starting point: What jobs?
What qualifications? What results? What achievements?
Job hopper? Promoted yes but how frequently?
Same level just moving sideways?
Interests?  What projects?

On to social media.
What interests?
How might that fit in your company’s culture?
What’s their network like?
What does that say about professional interests?

Watch out for more ideas on what great might look like for you as an interviewer


Interviewer Skills Training: Interviewer Skills tip # 3

Could a workshop to train all of the people who interview candidates for you save you work as well as improve your results?

One recent client of ours thinks so.

During a recent Interviewer Skills Training Workshop  it came to light that they were paying between 10 to 15% (of first years salary) to recruitment consultants.

They also revealed that they did their own CV screening.

We were able to show them how to conduct objective , fair and consistent approaches to screening.

We also showed them how to fully brief recruitment agents and how to very simply measure their performance.

They said that alone would save them an enormous amount of work , time and money.

Do you measure the value for money you get from recruitment agents?

Or are they just passing you a pile of CVs and getting you to do the real work? Oh and still getting their fee for doing that?

Would an Interviewer Skills Workshop help you get better value for money ?

Interviewer Skills Training: The perils of Interviewing “from the hip”

Do your managers rock up to the Interview with no preparation and proceed to interview candidates?

Does it feel a little like  “Shooting from the hip” .

Is asking random interview questions “on the fly”, taking no notes and making a snap decision, basically what goes on at your place of work?

Are candidates rejected for having “No Sparkle”…

(Our Interviewer Skills Training Workshop might help here)

You may need to publicise an article from the Business Doctor in the Sunday Times 9th June to them.

The question posed was
” A Candidate who failed to get a job claims I discriminated against her because of her age. How do I defend my case? I thought only employees could take you to a tribunal”

The answer came  from Kingston Smith LLP written by Peter Done MD of Peninsula.
and is summarised below …

“Legislation that protects individuals from being discriminated against extends to job applicants as well as employees.
This means that not only must employers treat their employees fairly…
they must extend fair treatment to everyone who applies for a job.

This woman could have a point.
You need to rebut her allegations by showing her that your decision to not employ her was based on merit.”

What’s Rainmaker’s view of how you can do this?

If you have attended the Rainmaker Interviewer Skills Workshop you will know that there is really only one way to do this.

  • Have a good paper trail to show her
    • An interview rating form including your notes on how you graded all the candidates
    • OR a general set of notes reflecting how each individual performed
    • Or Documentation showing that the individual you selected was the better candidate based on merit

If you’d like to see how easily (and cheaply) you can put this in place in your business call or email

What are the consequences of not being able to produce this evidence ?

  • Be open to allegations of unfair treatment from people who are interviewed for a living
  • Potentially being sued (as one of our clients was )
  • Having to pay legal fees and costs awarded in favour of the candidate you allegedly treated unfairly and discriminated against.
  • Face out of court settlements of many thousands of pounds to protect your name and reputation

If you want to avoid all of this email us at and ask about Interviewer Skills workshop




Interviewer Skills Training: Do you hire people for their values-fit? Then develop their competencies and skills?

A guest Blog from Kevin Howes

We all know, that unfortunately, poor hiring decisions at any level in a business can

  1. Cost us a great deal of cash
  2. Create unnecessary hassle for our Line Managers
  3. Cause undue distress for team members
  4. Result in dissatisfaction among customers
  5. Waste lots of time for everyone involved.

Great companies and managers start by hiring positive, change-resilient, and committed people whose values fit the those of their business or organisation.

(Our Interviewer Skills Training Workshop can help here)

Then keeping them requires them to create a healthy work environment where they can use all their knowledge, creativity, and skills to contribute to growing  the business as well as developing themselves.

The ability to select, motivate, develop, and retain top people is critical to any  organisation’s success.
If we want to build a business where people come to work with a spring in their step on a cold and dank Monday morning; we need to know how to hire and keep great people.

So why is it some people enjoy a job and stay with it for years, while others seem unhappy and eventually leave?
Or they stay on but complain, come to work late and call in sick more than others?

Even when the pay and rations are good compared to other local businesses, even when the scheduling is flexible and the coworkers are congenial, some people just won’t be happy in their new job. It’s not because there is something wrong with the person or the job.
Sometimes there just isn’t the right fit.

We at Rainmaker call this values or motivational fit, and we describe this as how well candidates’ values’ or what they expect or wants from a job, and what the job can actually offer match those of the organisation, the job and its values.

Lack of motivational fit may not result in poor performance of the work itself but is likely to result in things like tardiness, absenteeism, use of sick days, and may result in them not staying or succeeding in their new job or organisation.

We have found that if you want to be more accurate at selecting the right person for the job and then keeping them make sure you hire hire people with the right motivational fit for the job and organisation.

There are some real benefits interviewing for motivational fit

  • Focuses attention on job- and organization-specific motivational factors.
  • Prevents interviewers from projecting their own motivations on candidates
  • Helps ensure hired candidates like their work and stay longer
  • More accurate selection
  • A behavioural assessment of important and sometimes elusive attributes.

We suggest that by adding three simple steps to your existing process can have us all sharing in the enjoyment of your success.

Step1:, Firstly start with a role analysis;
Identify the key success factors and role-specific competencies.
Best done by interviewing existing top performers in that role.

Step 2: Create an Effective job profile
Because we want to hire great people, we need to describe what exceptional performance looks like. Effective role profiles and job descriptions define what needs to be achieved and describe the skills and experience the candidate must bring.

Step 3 : Insert specific questions into your recruitment interviewing process
Questions that test for the candidates ability to accomplish desired goals
Research shows us that the ability to accomplish desired goals is a better predictor of future performance than the candidate’s level of skills and experience. Comparable past performance is also an effective predictor of future achievement. Then, create behaviourally anchored questions that help assess the extent of values fit with the job, organisation and its culture.

At Rainmaker we have workshops filled to the brim with practical tools and approaches.
These can measurably reduce your losses through poor hiring decisions…….

If we can help you or you’d like to learn more about other clients who have adopted this approach call 0333 444 1955  or 0845 652 1955 or email us on

Interviewer Skills and Performance Management Training: How much will it cost you if people leave your company?

Will people jump ship if the green shoots of recovery appear?

How much will that cost your business?

A while ago CIPD came up with these figures of  replacing people.

“On Average” it costs £17k to hire and replace a good manager who leaves your organisation.

That figure dropped to “On Average” £7k to hire a new individual contributor…

(We cover this topic and others in both Interviewer Skills Workshop and Performance Management Training Workshop )

We think these numbers are very very conservative . We’d like to encourage you to come up with your own numbers.

Here are some of the factors that we think you should consider to come up with your specific numbers.

  • Cost of hiring someone via a recruiter
    In some industries that is 30% of first year salary
  • Cost of Job Boards +  Classified Ads Career Fairs/ Misc
  • Cost of time spent sourcing resumes
  • Cost of Time Spent Reviewing 1 Resume x Ratio of Resumes Reviewed per Phone Interview
  • Time Spent per Phone Interview x Ratio of Phone Interviews per Person to person Interviews
  • Cost of Time Spent per Personal Interview x Ratio of Personal Interviews per Realistic Job Preview (or 2nd Interview)
  • Cost of Time Spent on Realistic Job Preview (or 2nd Interview) x Ratio of Job Previews (or 2nd Interview) per Offer Extended
  • Time Spent Preparing an Offer
  • Cost of taking up references / background checks
  • Number of Offers Accepted
  • Costs of training a new person
  • Management time to On-Board that person and get them up to speed.
  • How much less productive is a new employee in first year vs previous experienced employee?

Using these numbers what is your total cost of replacing a good manager and a good performer?

Remember these people may have left because they didn’t feel appreciated, recognised  or developed or could see no career path.

We think it would be a great exercise to work out YOUR numbers..
We’d be very interested in hearing from you too.

We also think that when there is a discussion about whether it’s worth training your managersto

We think this would be a good time to get these numbers out and add those to the discussion too.
Then make the decision on whether there is an ROI on training.