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How To Interview A Candidate More Senior Than You?

  • By Ankush Jhawar
  • January 30, 2023
  • 4 mins read
How To Interview A Candidate More Senior
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    You’re a hiring manager. You come across the challenge of interviewing a candidate who is experienced and more senior than you. The catch is that the candidate is highly experienced. You’ve never been nervous or apprehensive about an interview before. But a sense of doubt sets in. How do you proceed? This guide will provide you with the best strategies for conducting a senior candidate interview to ensure a seamless hiring process. 

    Does more experience mean being overqualified?

    Sometimes, in your career, you come across people with much more expertise and knowledge about certain things. In an interview setting, there may be several instances wherein the candidate you are interviewing has more technical knowledge and experience. In these situations, it is imperative to understand a few things for a senior candidate interview.

    Work does not have to be adversarial. It moves swiftly if you can move towards the goal and establish cohesiveness to get the job done. This is common in many fields, such as cybersecurity, finance, and healthcare. The interviewer may not be an expert, but it is necessary to be well-versed in what the project needs to ensure the candidate can deliver. 

    As a hiring manager, there are roles in your team outside the spectrum of your competency. It is critical for the candidate not to lecture, as it can be perceived as patronizing or arrogant.

    Whether you’re conducting a senior cadidate interview or someone who’s held higher positions, your approach should involve:

    • First, you are far more experienced in the company’s goals. Their primary purpose is to find a candidate who will fit the job well to help the company advance.
    • Second, you are trying to find people with good candidate experience, irrespective of the interviewer’s expertise. For example, suppose you are interviewing someone more senior than you, and it becomes apparent during the interview that the candidate knows more about the market for the technology than you. In that case, you should not let the competition get in the way. Instead, hear the candidate and understand whether his expertise makes him a good fit. This is also an excellent way to interview candidates for leadership roles successfully.

    Also Read: Revolutionize Your Hiring Process With AI-Driven Pre-Employment Assessments

    How do you approach a senior candidate interview?

    Here, we have outlined some valuable strategies that you can use for a senior candidate interview: 

    Research Well

    Conduct thorough research beforehand for a senior candidate interview to gather all the necessary information. Read their CV and also make sure to check their LinkedIn profile to understand their background. Doing this will ensure that you do not waste time discussing the candidate’s background, and you can talk about the position and goals needed to be achieved. This can be achieved by conducting thorough research before the interview is scheduled.

    Outsource to a Recruiter with Expertise

    Several positions require a certain amount of expertise and skill to conduct a fruitful interview. There are several industries wherein hiring managers can’t be generalized recruiters as it would affect the decision of hiring the correct candidate. When you’re unsure about interviewing someone who is more senior than you, it would be beneficial to seek the help of an interview process outsourcing company to facilitate the hiring process. Moreover, your company would benefit from hiring a good candidate without error.

    Make sure the candidate takes the lead

    No matter the age or experience of your candidate, whether they are old, young, or a freshly graduated student, it is imperative to allow your candidate to show their personality when conducting a senior candidate interview. To do so, ensure that your candidate takes the lead and does most of the talking, as this would help you to assess the candidate’s true persona. Ask them about their hobbies, interests, reactions to real-life scenarios, and opinions. This will help you gauge whether the candidate is a good fit for your team beyond the basic knowledge and experience required.

    Share Your Experiences

    The one thing of certainty for a senior candidate interview is that the candidate is an experienced professional. They have enough expertise; they’ve researched or have some idea about your company. Expand on that. Share your experiences, why you love working at the company, your opinions, etc. This will help your candidate better understand your company and its culture.

    As a hiring manager, unprecedented situations may arise, requiring quick, on-your-feet thinking. What is important is to analyze calmly, do enough research, and talk to your team sufficiently. Suppose you come across a highly experienced candidate, much more than you. In that case, it is necessary to tailor your questions and the interview process to assess their application in an improvised manner.

    BarRaiser is committed to ensuring that the senior candidate interview goes smoothly and our readers understand the necessary steps that need to be taken to facilitate a successful hiring process.

    Also Read: Unlocking Talent: Best Hiring Priorities To Consider In 2023


    How to handle a senior candidate interview?

    In a senior candidate interview, addressing the experience gap is vital. Acknowledge your role in aligning with company goals and fostering collaboration. Ensure the interview remains cooperative, steering away from adversarial dynamics. The key is to focus on the candidate’s fit for the job and the company’s advancement.

    What strategies ensure success in a senior candidate interview?

    In a senior candidate interview, several strategies can enhance the hiring process. Start by thoroughly researching the candidate’s background to ensure informed discussions during the interview. Consider outsourcing to a recruiter with expertise in the specific industry. Allow the candidate to take the lead during the interview, emphasizing their personality and fit for the team. Additionally, share your experiences to provide insights into the company culture.

    How should a hiring manager adapt when interviewing a more senior candidate?

    When faced with a highly experienced candidate in a senior candidate interview, it’s crucial to adapt your approach. Tailor your questions to assess the candidate’s application in an improvised manner. Analyze the situation calmly, conduct thorough research, and engage in meaningful conversations to gauge the candidate’s fit for the role and the company’s goals.

    Should you hire someone more qualified than you?

    Yes, hiring someone more qualified than you can be advantageous as it brings valuable skills and expertise and fosters a high-performance team.

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