Although America is now out of the recession, many hiring managers still hire as if it never ended – as if they have all the power. In reality, job seekers have a good position in the job market, and won’t be afraid to walk away from a job that doesn’t leave a good first impression.

What can the hiring manager do differently? Make the interview a two-way conversation. This idea has really picked up over the past year as applicants have realized their decision-making power. An interview should be an exchange of ideas rather than a hard interrogation with heat lamps included.

By now, people will just about roll their eyes to the back of their heads if you ask them about their biggest strengths and weaknesses, or about a time they had a conflict with a coworker. No one cares, and you shouldn’t either. You are not the only person in the room with a decision to make, so this is your opportunity to sell yourself and your company to the applicant, as well as get to know them.

Tell them a little about the company, your role, what projects you are working on, what kinds of things they might be doing, etc. Selling your company and having a flowing conversation is easy if your really love your job. Then ask about what they’ve done previously. It’s as simple as talking to a new acquaintance at a networking event.

This is becoming increasingly important as new generations enter the workforce and communicate differently than the generations before them. We’ve all heard about the crazy Millennials and now even Gen Z, who are just beginning to enter the workforce. While you don’t need to bend over backwards for any applicant of any age, it’s important to communicate effectively with all people.

Don’t let stiff and uncomfortable interviews scare away top talent from your company. Ditch the practices from the dark ages and approach an interview in a modern, humanizing way.

What kinds of techniques and questions do you use when conducting an interview?

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