How Do You Test If You Are An Empathetic Interviewer?

Ask yourself these 3 questions to check if you are an empathetic interviewer? A recent conversation with a young lawyer, about a job interview led to an insight on how interviewers can add to the “interview experience”

The interviewee had an upcoming interview with a Tier 1 law firm. Despite having the necessary qualifications and experience, he had been unable to clear his last 3 interviews.

He reached out to me before his interview and revealed he was a nervous interviewee. His ask: “what should I say/not say during the interview so that I have a better chance of being selected?”

Over the years ShradhaHRD has been involved with several interventions on hashtag#effectiveinterviewing and I did share my perspective on what an interviewee needs to do to showcase his/her profile.

A thought stayed with me for a couple of days-what can interviewers do to improve the process, beyond the general hygiene factors:

The solution:

  1. Do I do enough to make the interviewee comfortable? (this will vary based on nervousness levels)
  2. Do I ask the interviewee the right questions to showcase his/her profile? (will need to be customized)
  3. And FINALLY…did I give the interviewee feedback on their profile/interview? (if this is done, it genuinely helps interviewees and demonstrates empathy)

A Diversity and Inclusion initiative: Interviewing skills for the Talent Acquisition team of a Global Tech Company to help hire People with Disabilities

The Landscape: A global tech company has a unique diversity and inclusion program where they are hiring, training and integrating people with disabilities into the organization.

A need was felt to make the hiring process easier and more humane for people with disabilities.

The Solution:
Shradha HRD ran a series of programs for the talent acquisition team where we focused on the following themes:

1. How to make the process comfortable for the candidate, given the nature of disabilities
2. Managing our biases and focusing on the candidates’ ability, instead of their biases
3. Being a champion of candidates with disabilities within the organization

A touching story that a recruiter shared during the program, summarized #beinginclusive.

At a career fair, this recruiter was interviewing people with disabilities. He said he was very impressed with one of the candidates with Orthopedic disabilities. She was bright, cheerful and well spoken. The candidate however, was not a fit in the Tech industry, but was extremely passionate about baking. This came out in the half an hour long conversation the recruiter had with the candidate even though he knew he was not going to hire her.

He said, people with disabilities have been through so many rejections, that is important to listen to their stories. They really need that. The passion of this candidate stayed with the recruiter. He began reaching out with in his network, to find someone that was looking for talent in the baking space. Someone did emerge. And there was a happy fit-both for the organization and for the candidate. Being inclusive is going beyond the buzz words, its truly reaching out. The pleasure of having helped, the pleasure of giving, is special and a reward in itself.