Staying Engaged

caution Interviewing is an active process that requires the interviewer to be completely engaged. This requires that interviewers not be on their phone or check email or Slack. If you take notes on a laptop, turning off notifications will prevent interruptions. Candidates can tell when the interviewer is distracted, and it makes their performance worse. Likewise, the interviewer’s active engagement at all times will ensure they are collecting the clearest possible signal.

Being engaged with the candidate also ensures the interviewer feels like a human being to the candidate. An interviewer who sits silent and stone faced will intimidate the candidate, who will then underperform.

At the same time, effective interviewers will guard against giving the candidate unintended hints. This is a matter of some judgment, but it is likely that if a candidate is constantly pausing and looking at the interviewer, they’re fishing. If it’s clear they’re focused on the problem at hand, small positive signs at points of breakthrough can reinforce progress.

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