Andrew Lewis and I dive deep into the psychology of interviewing, offering actionable tips for both employers and job seekers to navigate the interview process. Listeners will gain insights into overcoming common pitfalls, crafting effective questions, and building a strong narrative for a mutually beneficial interview.

Did you know your interview performance can be impacted by factors beyond your qualifications? (You’re probably thinking, DUH). We dive into the fascinating psychology of interviewing on the Resume Assassin presents Recruiting Insider podcast, with actionable tips for both employers and job seekers!

Nervous? You’re Not Alone

Interviews can be stressful for everyone. We explore common psychological pitfalls candidates face, like overthinking or being too focused on themselves. The good news? By understanding these roadblocks, you can develop strategies to overcome them.

Hiring Managers: Check Your Biases

Unconscious bias can creep into the interview process. We discuss how hiring managers can mitigate this by following a structured interview format and using strategic questioning techniques.

First Impressions Matter, But Not Everything

While a strong first impression is important, it shouldn’t be the sole factor in your decision. Learn how to move beyond surface-level charm and create a fair, in-depth evaluation process.

Storytelling: The Secret Weapon of Interviews

Storytelling can be a powerful tool for both sides of the interview table. We discuss how crafting a compelling narrative on your resume and cover letter can showcase your skills and experiences. Employers can leverage storytelling to give candidates a glimpse into the company culture and mission.

Building Relationships Beyond the Interview

The interview isn’t the finish line! Transparency and communication are crucial during the post-interview phase. We explore how employers can manage candidate anxiety and maintain interest through clear communication.

Recruiting Success: A Win-Win Scenario

Recruiters play a vital role in bringing great talent together with the right company. We discuss the key metrics for recruiter success, focusing on creating a positive onboarding experience and ensuring everyone involved walks away satisfied.

Ready to master the interview process? Tune in to the full episode of the Resume Assassin presents Recruiting Insider podcast for even more insights and practical strategies!

Watch and listen here. Don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and review!!



Social Media:






    Mary (00:01.041)
    Andrew Lewis, welcome to Recruiting Insider. Today, I’m excited to have a guest who’s not just a recruiting veteran, but a passionate leader building the future of talent acquisition. For the past eight years, Andrew has been on a mission to assemble dream teams across industries, from tech giants to cutting edge startups. He’s got his fingertips on some of the most innovative workplaces around.

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (00:05.39)
    Thanks, Mary.

    Mary (00:28.497)
    And he’s not just about filling seats though. He’s a champion of building efficient, scalable recruiting operations that put both candidates and hiring managers at each at ease. Previously thriving in the agency world, he’s now focused on building best in class in -house talent acquisition teams. But Andrew’s passion for recruitment doesn’t stop at his day job. He’s also the founder of the Talent Operator Newsletter.

    a go -to resource for talent professionals looking to sharpen their skills and stay ahead of the curve. So we all know that the interview stage can be super nerve -racking, but have you ever stopped to think about the psychology behind it? Today, Andrew is going to shed some light on the fascinating world of the psychology of interviewing. Andrew, let’s start high level. What do you want job seekers to take away from your message today?

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (01:23.758)
    Yeah, I think the takeaway that I always hope that job seekers walk away with anytime I’m talking about interviewing is that it’s a transaction, right? At the end of the day, it’s one person talking to another person. Yes, there’s some information extraction happening. There’s some reading of personality. There’s some reading of body language. But at the end of the day, both sides have to agree that there’s value.

    Right and that there’s an exchange of value that needs to happen and so what I hope that interviewers I’m sorry interviewers and interviewees walk away with is just the understanding that hey, you’re talking to another person You don’t have to be stressed. You don’t have to be anxious at the end of the day. Just come prepared Come knowledgeable and come ready to ask the right questions and it should be a great exchange of energy

    Mary (02:15.249)
    So to back it up a little bit, tell me how you got into recruiting and drop one of your craziest recruiting stories for us.

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (02:22.966)
    Let’s see, so how I got into recruiting, I actually, like most people in the industry, didn’t set out to find a career down this path. If you asked me eight and a half years ago what recruitment was, I couldn’t have told you. I actually went to school for physical therapy or, you know, pre -grad for physical therapy with the intention of getting into physical therapy school, which ultimately didn’t happen. And so I found myself at a crossroad.

    basically trying to determine what do I want to do. I had worked all through university, so I had a good amount of professional experience, but none of it really translated to that field that I was aiming for. And so I essentially just came to the conclusion that I’m gonna just put my feelers out there, tap into my network and see what’s available to me. And I happened to have a colleague who had started with Aerotech, a staffing agency, pretty large staffing agency that hires a lot of new grads.

    and didn’t know anything about the job. I went into the interview, saw a bunch of, you know, people my age having a great time in this kind of corporate setting and was like, that looks fun. And so I accepted the offer pretty quickly. Again, couldn’t explain to my family what I was going to be doing, but I was just excited to, you know, start in a new industry. And so that’s where it all started for me. As far as recruiting stories go, you know, I mean, I think there’s a lot, a lot that’s happened in an eight year period.

    Probably the funniest line that I’ve ever been told as I was working with a candidate. This is when I was running a staffing agency back in 2019. And she asked me to explain what staffing was. And so I explained to her what the model was and what we were doing. And she looked at me dead in the eye and said, so you’re basically like a legal form of human trafficking. And to this day, I still don’t know how to respond to that. I feel like that traumatized me.

    Mary (04:16.561)

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (04:17.71)
    the rest of my life considering that that’s nowhere near what we were doing. But it was, it does make for a funny story.

    Mary (04:28.081)
    That’s funny. Okay, so let’s dig in. So from a candidate’s perspective, what are some common psychological pitfalls during interviews and how can they be avoided?

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (04:39.502)
    from a candidate perspective, you said?

    Mary (04:41.425)
    from the candidate perspective.

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (04:43.726)
    Yeah, I think some common psychological pitfalls, first of all, I think there’s that kind of victim, I don’t wanna say victim mentality, but just that fear that, my gosh, like I have to go in, I’m gonna cower before all these interviewers and I’m just gonna be stuttering and I’m gonna be scared and it’s just a stressful experience. And so what that leads to is a lot of times there’s a lot of overthinking, there’s a lack of preparation or you’re preparing for the wrong thing, or maybe you’re over -preparing, right? You’re…

    looking at the job description over and over again, you’re trying to memorize your resume, you’re trying to look at the career site and really understand everything that the company does. And you’re just not allowing yourself to have this kind of natural information taken, right? And this process of being able to really understand and like, and then aside from that, once you get into the interview, you’re so focused on what you’re gonna ask next or what your answer is gonna be to a certain question that you’re not really able to kind of sit and take in the information.

    and have a, like I said, a very natural, comfortable exchange with the interviewer. And a lot of times, because of that, we get into our own head and it leads to us saying the wrong thing or feeling like we said the wrong thing, which spirals us down this path of like, my gosh, I’ve ruined this interview. And there’s just all this kind of cumulative damage that happens because we’re stressed, we’re anxious, we have the wrong mindset going into the interview.

    which I think it’s a natural human emotion, right, to feel that kind of pressure. But I would say that’s probably kind of the number one psychological pitfall that I see is just people coming in with the wrong mindset. And then, you know, there’s the other, there’s the other end of it where candidates sometimes will come into a first conversation with a recruiter thinking, this is a very casual chit chat and not doing enough preparation, right? And so it’s almost the other end of the, the other end of the spectrum where you,

    you know, don’t do any preparation, you don’t do any research, and you almost take that conversation for…

    Mary (06:45.137)
    I think that interviewing can be incredibly nerve wracking for most of us. I mean, for me, I start to sweat, my heart rate starts to get faster. I get nervous. I get in my own head, just like you said. So are there any preparation techniques or mental exercises or anything like that that could boost your confidence and really help you stay focused?

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (07:10.766)
    Yeah, I mean, I think it all begins with the right mindset, as I’ve told you, just remembering and constantly reminding yourself that, hey, this is just an exercise of conversation, right? Nothing more than that. It’s just an exchange of energy, an exchange of information. It doesn’t have to be any more or any less than that. I think preparation goes a long way. And again, I think you can over -prepare, but I think being able to just do a…

    do your due diligence when it comes to the company, to the role, how the role aligns with your job description. Maybe it even helps to kind of take it out of your head and get it on paper to understand like, hey, here’s how my experience directly solves the problem that I see from this job description or for what the company has listed as far as the role goes. 


    Mary (08:18.641)
    Yeah, I mean, I completely agree. I get into my own head as well to the point where sometimes I even forget what the question is that the interviewer asked. So I think that that’s some great advice to go in there, you know, prepared in that way. Hiring managers often fall prey to unconscious bias. What are some ways that we can identify when you fall into this trap?

    and really to ensure a fair evaluation for all candidates. And have you ever fallen into the trap of unconscious bias? And if so, could you give us an example?

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (08:45.87)
    Mm -hmm.

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (08:56.462)
    For sure, I think the human, it’s a natural human reaction as you’re talking with people, especially if you’re talking with people at volume, to naturally kind of lean or have these ways of segmenting people in your brain. And so I think it’s a pretty common thing. I know that we demonize cognitive biases, which again, they are wrong and we want to address them, but we shouldn’t look at them as if they are.

    some unnatural thing. It’s just a natural human reaction to this process. I’d say the top three cognitive biases that I see pretty regularly in most hiring teams that I’ve worked on. The first one is confirmation bias, essentially coming in to a conversation with a candidate with preconceived notions. And then every element of that conversation that you’re having with candidates is tying into that confirmation or that.

    that bias that you’ve kind of created in your head, that narrative you’ve created in your head. Hiring managers oftentimes will do this as they evaluate a resume, they make an assumption about where someone worked, where they went to school, maybe someone from their network knows them and gave them some sort of insider information and so whether it’s good or bad, that bias is in the back of their brain and it’s kind of manipulating the conversation a little bit or at least their decision making. The other one is the halo effect.

    on the positive side of interviewing, a lot of times it’s kind of another branch off the confirmation bias, right? Someone will see something, maybe it’s someone went to the same school as them, or someone worked at one of their former employers, or that you’re a fan of the same sports team. And so because of that piece of information, you shine a positive light on the rest of the interview. Because that one thing that was said, or that one piece of information that you…

    confirmed and that you agreed with has kind of impacted how you view the rest of the conversation. So that’s another common one. And then the third one, I would say, is the bandwagon effect. We see this happen a lot on panel interviews or even when different members of the same team are interviewing in succession. A lot of times what will happen is people, especially interviewers that aren’t as trained or as skilled, will.

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (11:13.646)
    kind of rely on the group think, right? And what other people within the team are saying as far as the candidate goes before they submit their true feedback. And so a lot of times that feedback is skewed based off of what the rest of the group has said or is thinking. And so those are the three that I would say I see the most. And I’d say for me personally, like I’ve wrestled with all of these to some degree. I think any interviewer has, and I think they’d be lying if they said they didn’t. Confirmation bias is for sure something that…

    recruiters, most recruiters have to fight because we’re evaluating information at the top of the funnel with very limited insight, right? We’re looking at a piece of paper with information and data listed there, and we have to kind of make some assumptions just to even get to that first conversation. And so it’s kind of an exercise or a practice that we have to develop to be able to, you know, maybe do a little bit of that, you know, assumption upfront. But then as we get into the conversation, pull back and be a little bit more open.

    without making any of those kind of biased decisions or have that biased thinking with the rest of the conversation.

    Mary (12:23.345)
    I think preconceived notions and group think really resonates with me. And I would imagine that a lot of hiring managers and recruiters do struggle with that because it is easy to make a quick judgment on someone. Or if somebody tells you something, whether it’s true or not, to believe it and let that impact how you guide the interview and what questions you ask that person. So can you…

    elaborate just a little bit more on maybe some additional strategies that hiring managers could use to become more self -aware of their own biases.

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (13:02.606)
    Yeah, well, I mean, first of all, I think you need to be in communication with your talent acquisition team, your recruiter that you’re working with. And if you’re working with a great recruiter, assuming that you are, they should be creating these kind of equitable processes for you to follow. And part of that is, it’s on you as a hiring manager to make sure that you’re doing the steps required in order to accurately.

    and equitably collect feedback. So that includes filling out interview guides. That includes submitting feedback in a timely manner. That includes circling back with talent acquisition and understanding what their process is as far as collecting the rest of the information from other hiring managers. Going rogue, you know, delaying feedback, waiting to talk with your team before you submit your own interview feedback. Like these are all mechanisms and ways for you to basically, you know, fall trap to bias without you even knowing it.

    So I would say first of all, you know, submit yourself to the process and if there’s, you know, any nuances or any things that need to be developed outside of the standard process, make sure you’re communicating with your talent acquisition team. Because, you know, they’ll be able to, a good talent acquisition team will be able to kind of work with you, you know, and just kind of help you set up your interview process for success no matter what you need to evaluate for. You know, I think there’s things that…

    hiring managers can do going into an interview that can help mitigate or limit bias. You know, first of all, understanding what you’re evaluating. So is this a technical interview? Is this a cultural interview? Is the interview, you know, assessing for decision -making ability? You know, understanding what the objective is and what a good answer looks like as you’re asking questions to candidates will help you really kind of define whether or not someone’s a good fit outside of your own preconceived thoughts.

    You know, avoiding questions that generate a yes or no response and, you know, being able to kind of extract information strategically. Framing your questions with context, you know, asking, here’s why I’m asking this question. Here’s why it’s relevant. Now, if you can share an example around this specific topic, that would be helpful. You know, these kind of things, as you go into it, being a little more strategic will help you mitigate bias. A lot of times I think bias comes about because we don’t prepare well enough, right? We kind of come in with this, okay, I’m gonna talk.

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (15:23.726)
    vaguely about this and I’ll kind of wing it and we’ll see where the conversation leads. And that’s just a recipe for your own preconceived notions, your own preconceived biases kind of, you know, filtering their way in. And before you even know it, you have a decision that’s being made strictly around how you feel or what your gut is telling you and it’s not based off of data and insights.

    Mary (15:48.881)
    Yeah, I mean, and when you prepare and when you ask great questions, I’m sure it greatly helps the interviewee as well, you know, in answering questions effectively and easing those nerves that they might have. So first impressions matter. How much weight should they truly have in the interview process?

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (16:11.982)
    Well, I think there’s two different perspectives on this. There’s the aspect of how much weight should they have and then how much weight do they actually have? I would say how much weight should they have? I…

    always like to kind of make sure that my hiring managers are prepared and I’m prepared for somebody not necessarily giving the best first impression, right? And a lot of times that comes down to nerves, someone maybe not interviewing super well. So we do like to leave space for if somebody has a great background and has really interesting experience that we think could tie into the role, the success of the role. Potentially, you know.

    giving space or maybe creating a different opportunity for them to unpack and share that outside of a traditional interview. Or maybe it’s more of a group conversation with other members of the team. With that being said, there’s the reality that, especially in a market like this, there’s a lot of qualified candidates, right? And there’s a lot of good people on the market. And so from a candidate perspective, a lot of times you won’t be given that opportunity to kind of come back and correct, right? Or…

    Yeah, basically reposition yourself in the mind of the hiring team. And so in that instance, hiring, or the first impressions with hiring managers do really matter because in a market like this, I hate to say it, there’s just really no room for error. You have to kind of show up and show up well.

    Mary (17:35.473)
    Many of our listeners probably have interviews coming up. What advice would you give them to make a great first impression?

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (17:44.686)
    Yeah, great question. From a recruitment perspective, I think the things that help candidates stand out, I actually posted about this today. So I think there’s these things which I call candidate assets, right? These are the resources that you provide as a candidate that are the first thing that a recruitment team and a hiring team see. And this is gonna include your resume. This is gonna include your LinkedIn profile. This is gonna include any kind of website if you’ve created a blog or you have some sort of newsletter or…

    you know, maybe just something that is like a notion page, which gives a rundown of your career. If you’re on the technical side of portfolio or the marketing side of portfolio, like all of these assets are incredibly valuable. And so dialing in on these and investing in these and creating a really strong resume, do I think you need to pay hundreds of dollars for a new resume? No, I don’t think so. There’s great resources like Earn Better, where you can create a great resume for free.

    you know, there’s also, you know, pretty affordable options on marketplaces like Fiverr or Upwork to get a resume done pretty well. But really dialing in and investing in these resources is much more important than I think people think. I think people think if I get my experience and my skills on a piece of paper and just submit it, the recruitment team is gonna be able to understand what I’m talking about. They’re gonna be able to like get the picture, right? And the reality is most recruitment teams are stretched thin and they’re looking…

    much quicker and they’re having to make decisions much faster these days because they’re receiving tons more applications. So just keep that in mind first and foremost as you’re applying to jobs, these resources are really a great way to differentiate yourself early on. In many cases, they’re the differentiator between you getting reached out to to schedule interviews and not hearing anything back at all, right? Or getting rejected pretty quickly from a role. So I would say first and foremost,

    invest in these resources. They matter more than you think. I can tell you everything you need to know about interviewing well, but if you can’t even get to the interview, none of it matters, right? So assuming that you’ve invested in these resources, I think the things that will make a big difference as you come into an interview with a recruiter or a hiring team, we’ve talked about a lot today, but preparation, right? Coming in.

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (20:06.254)
    really understanding, you don’t maybe have to understand fully what the company does or what their product does or all the specifics, but just having a general sense of what industry do they play in, what problem do they solve, what does their company demographics look like, is this a US -based company, is this company global, right? Just having a pretty good sense of where the organization is at, maybe looking at their funding if they’re in the tech space or in the equity space, right? Just understanding like,

    where is the company positioned at this moment? That’s really helpful, right? Understanding the role. And again, we can’t control it. Some job descriptions are written terribly and we don’t really have a clear sense on what a role is. But doing your best to dissect and understand what the main objectives are, what you’re understanding the role to solve, and then aligning your experience to those problems. Now again, this could change as you get into the interview. You might talk with a recruiter and be like, wait,

    This is way different than what I had envisioned initially. But I do think coming in and saying, here’s how I understand the role and here’s how my experience speaks to that. That goes a long way. And the third thing I would say is asking great questions. Now, we get told this all the time, come prepared with questions. But the truth is, a lot of people don’t come with great questions. And what I think differentiates a great question from kind of a standard, what can I expect? How can I succeed in this role?

    is understanding the true business cost or the business success that comes from succeeding in the role, right? So if I succeed or, you know, what does success look like coming in in the first 90 days? You know, put a timeframe to it. In the first six months, what can someone coming into this role expect to achieve that’s gonna really generate a positive ROI for the business? Because I think that really is the, that’s the mindset shift, right? You’re coming into a role to impact the company.

    and so solve a problem. And so thinking about how can I get to that problem and solve it as quickly as possible and then move on to the next role to solve or who can I provide support to and alleviate additional stress, right? Like how can I create a business case of success here with the organization quickly? So it’s almost like how can I get in here, get my hands dirty and do what needs to be done? So those are the things I would say. I mean, there’s probably a lot more we can get into.

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (22:27.15)
    But as I look across the screen from another candidate, if they’re coming to me with these elements, that tells me that they’re prepared and that they’re engaged.

    Mary (22:39.281)
    It’s so important that you take time to create a great resume and LinkedIn presence. And like you said, prepare for that interview, prepare those great follow -up questions during the interview. I’ve seen so many resumes that don’t tell the full story of that job seeker or of that, you know, that client that I’m working with even where, you know, they have this laundry list of.

    duties that they’ve, things that they’ve done throughout their career and they haven’t really taken a step back to think about what is my unique value? What are those major achievements that I’ve accomplished throughout my career? And even more importantly, how is that relevant to the position that I’m applying to? Like you said, how are you going to solve a problem for the company or the position that you’re applying to?

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (23:30.926)
    Mm -hmm.

    Mary (23:34.865)
    And I think that taking some time to really think about that and prepare, both from a resume and LinkedIn perspective, as well as from an interview perspective can really help you stand out as a candidate.

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (23:45.422)
    Mm -hmm.

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (23:49.998)
    Yeah, I agree.

    Mary (23:51.441)
    Sometimes the perfect candidate on paper absolutely bombs the interview. So what psychological factors could explain this and how can interviewers identify a candidate’s potential beyond that poor interview performance?

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (24:10.03)
    Yeah, I mean, I think psychologically speaking, we’ve probably covered it. I think a lot of it is just, you know, I think it’s normal to be anxious and to have stress coming into, you know, a performance based environment, right? You’re going to come in and you’re essentially performing, even though you’re, you know, again, I’m going to argue that you’re having a conversation, but a lot of people view it as I’m having to kind of showcase myself a certain way. And so I think a lot of times people just have that, you know, in their head. They think they have to,

    you know, answer in a perfect way. They think that they have to present themselves in a certain manner. They think that they maybe even have to have a certain type of body language. And so it’s just kind of this this psyching out that we go through. We psych ourselves out, which leads to just kind of natural, you know, confusion and disorientation in the process. What I try to look for…

    And I have had candidates even recently that I really enjoyed speaking with, but it was clear to me that they were very nervous, right? And that they were, their voice was shaking. They were struggling to maintain eye contact. They were stumbling around their words and it just felt like the experience was there, the skills were there, but they just weren’t able to really kind of show up and demonstrate it well.

    And so what I’ve done in the past and what I’ve done even recently is worked with hiring managers to say, hey, look, this person has everything we need.

    Now again, we’re not going to give them special exceptions. They’re going to be treated equitably and evaluated equitably as everyone else, but perhaps it’s worth an additional conversation to really try to get in and get a better understanding. Maybe it’s on us to phrase questions a little bit in a different way. And maybe even as we go into the conversation, letting them know, look, we just want to, this doesn’t have to be a super technical conversation. Just really want to basically understand how you think about these things a little bit better. So almost creating a little bit more preparation.

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (26:03.328)
    doing a little bit of massaging beforehand, right? To kind of say, hey, no need to worry, no need to stress. But again, I think there’s a fine line from a recruitment team or an interviewer standpoint where we can’t, we can, but we shouldn’t be giving special exceptions to people. We really should just be thinking about it in the sense of maybe this person wasn’t given a fair shot to kind of answer in the way that was comfortable to them. Let’s maybe position it from a different perspective.

    And I think that actually is pretty beneficial for a lot of people, right? Because a lot of times, I think I’ve been in interviews, I’m sure you have as well, where you’re like, man, I really wish I could have a do -over, or I really wish I could go back and answer this question that way. And so sometimes that can be really helpful for someone.

    Mary (26:50.257)
    Sometimes I lay in bed at night thinking about the conversation and how I could have answered that differently. So absolutely, if I could fast forward time, I would. Or I should say reverse time, I would. So let’s move.

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (27:01.742)
    We all have that interview or that conversation in our head that we remember from like 10 years ago that still haunts us today.

    Mary (27:12.433)
    Absolutely. Let’s go back to interviewing. What are some effective questioning techniques that can really help tap into the thought process of the interviewee and maybe what their true capabilities and motivations are?

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (27:34.158)
    Yeah, so I mean, I’ll go back to kind of what I shared earlier, which is I think first and foremost, where a lot of interviewees or I’m sorry, interviewers or hiring teams mess up is they’re not aligned, right? They’re not clear as they come into a conversation exactly what they’re evaluating for. I see this happen a lot where hiring managers will be asked to come in and do an interview. They don’t know what conversation was had previously. They don’t know what the recruiter screened for.

    they don’t know what the primary hiring manager is looking to assess or evaluate, right? And so they’re gonna come in and just be like, all right, yeah, I’ll ask some questions and get to know the person, but they never really get to the heart of the matter or get to understand what they need to know. And so I think first and foremost, it’s imperative that a recruitment team and a hiring team are aligned from end to end. So to understand what is the process gonna be.

    It’s gonna start with the recruiter screen, then we’ll go to the hiring manager interview, and then we’ll bring in a second hiring manager, and then we’ll end with a panel of three people from this team. And here’s what each interview is gonna assess for. The recruiter screen will be a little bit more of kind of a general information and get to know the candidate. The first interview will be a technical interview. The second one will be a culture and collaboration interview. But just understanding and mapping out the process and not leaving room.

    for teams to go rogue and to randomly change the process. Now again, is this a perfect science? No, hiring teams will have things happen and they’ll say, hey, we need to revisit this, we need to make some changes. Okay, so on and so forth. But being able to kind of stay aligned as a team from the recruitment standpoint and the hiring manager standpoint is crucial. I think a lot of hiring managers don’t know what types of questions to ask.

    A lot of times you’ll see them hop on Google and kind of pick out some wacky questions that they see that I think they think are interesting. But they have a really hard time really like creating or crafting questions that are valuable and get to the heart of the matter. So what we’ve done and what I like to do is kind of to develop this ongoing, this evergreen interview question library for our hiring teams so that they can use it one as a starting point or resource.

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (29:52.078)
    They can go in there and say, hey, here’s some questions that assess for collaboration. Here’s some questions that assess for communication skills. Here’s some questions that assess for alignment with core values, right? And then they can use those to, if they want to plug and play them into their own interview, they can do that. Or maybe it spurs another idea in their mind, right? So I think that’s one thing we can do is kind of resource hiring managers better. Another thing that most hiring managers don’t think to do is go to chat GPT, right? And…

    give them a prompt and say, hey, I’m gonna be interviewing a candidate around this topic. Can you generate three interview questions for me that address this topic specifically? And that’s just a great way, it’s a great resource in today’s market to be able to kind of get some creative ideas for questions that you can ask. But, you know, avoiding questions that are, you know, focused around yes, no answers or can, you know, give candidates easy outs, right?

    Being able to kind of dig deep and unpack specific situations is always a great strategy. You know, I think framing your questions with context, I mentioned this earlier a little bit, but I think that’s really valuable. And so what I mean by this is instead of just asking a question out of the blue, kind of storytelling and leading up to why the question is being asked. And maybe you can even do that by saying, you know, giving a little bit of a teaser into the role and say, you know, with this opportunity.

    The focus will be this, you’re gonna be doing this with X, you’re gonna be working with this team here, and then kind of setting it up and then leading into the question so it’s not kind of out of the blue. You’re kind of giving them a little bit of contextual information as to potentially how they can frame their answer to address that specific problem. And then the last piece which I mentioned as well earlier is just understanding what a good answer looks like. So, okay, you’ve crafted this list of great questions.

    great, now what, right? Like what are you looking for? What are you evaluating for? And what does success look like when someone answers that question? If you don’t know that, how can you fairly and effectively evaluate somebody and how they score or how they answer a question? So, it really just all comes back to preparation and deep alignment within the team, understanding exactly what needs to be done in that interview.

    Mary (32:11.121)
    incredibly smart to have a playbook of interview questions essentially to make sure that everyone’s on the same page and you may have situational or behavioral questions that can really help dive deeper into the thought process of the person being interviewed. So what are some key nonverbal cues that interviewers should really look for during interviews?

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (32:25.422)
    Mm -hmm.

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (32:39.63)
    Yeah, I mean, I think this looks differently if you’re interviewing in person versus virtually for me. The context is we’re a fully remote company. So everyone I’m evaluating is over Zoom pretty much. I think there’s interesting cues that we have to look for. I am always kind of keeping an eye on how somebody, where someone’s eyes is, which sounds silly, but you know, a lot of times what I’ll do is I’ll offer the information to the candidate and say, hey, I have dual screens. And so.

    If you see me looking over here, I’m taking notes and just kind of giving them that context, right? Like I’m not looking away, I’m not paying attention. I’m always interested to see if candidates come back and share that with me and say, hey, yeah, I’m also using another screen. And again, sometimes people would just forget to do it. But the reason I think this is important is we’re seeing a bit of a rise with candidates using AI tools or using other resources to kind of generate answers on their behalf.

    So, you know, these kind of prompting where they’re hearing a question, the AI generated tool is spitting out an answer for them and then they’re reading it verbatim versus, you know, where you can tell someone is, you know, thinking about something and then giving a natural answer. So there’s some of these kind of like cues that you can watch for another cue to keep an eye on in that regard is, you know, a pause, right? Like if there’s not kind of this natural conversational flow and it feels like there’s a bit of a delay and they’re kind of hemming and hawing.

    until they get to an answer. Those are all things to keep an eye out for. You know, I think other than that, you know, I think there’s just kind of basic conversational body language that is important to know. And you can see if somebody’s engaged, you can see if somebody’s interested based off of, you know, where, you know, how they’re watching you when you’re answering, right? Are they taking notes? Are they intently listening? Or does it feel like they’re kind of distracted or they’re thinking ahead of what their next question is gonna be?

    Again, are all of these deal breakers? No, not necessarily, but they do give you some interesting insights into the person. I think another thing, the reason I like virtual interviews or when I’m interviewing somebody in a remote setting, getting them on a Zoom call or some sort of video call is because I can kind of tell how prepared they are based off of, you know, when I ask, when I flip it over to them and say, what questions do you have for me? Does this make sense? Like just kind of get…

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (35:00.75)
    gathering and understanding like how prepared they are to ask the right questions or to you know kind of or when I ask them for a specific example how comfortable they feel kind of preparing and sharing an answer. So these are all little cues I don’t think again I don’t I don’t over index on these I don’t like these to be the only reason why we don’t move forward with somebody but they’re all signals right they’re all ways for us as interviewers to be evaluate to evaluate and see how

    how much someone’s prepared and how invested someone is in the process.

    Mary (35:33.361)
    Sometimes nonverbal cues can be misinterpreted. If somebody’s super nervous, for example, you may misinterpret a nonverbal cue. So I think that that’s incredibly smart of you. I’m going to cut that out. I had a thought that was going to go with that, and then I forgot it. So you mentioned storytelling previously. So let’s dig into that a little bit more. Both the interviewer and the interviewer

    How can both the interviewer and the candidate use storytelling to really have a better interview experience?

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (36:08.59)
    Yeah, great question. I think from a candidate perspective, I believe you should view…

    all of your, you know, we talked about the recruitment assets or candidate assets. I think you should view all of those through the lens of storytelling. Does all the information provided in my resume, in my cover letter, in on my LinkedIn profile, does it all help piece together a story? And the way I like to look at this is your resume is giving kind of the hard data. There is ways to frame, you know, really specific information. You touched on it earlier instead of just kind of saying, here’s what I’ve done or like, here’s my job here.

    or my job duties, instead framing it in the sense of here’s what I accomplished in what timeframe, right? Like I hired 35 people in a 60 day period with a 92 % offer acceptance rate, that sort of beta, right? That’s very, very clear cut and it’s clear what the value is. So there’s ways to frame the data there, but I also say your resume is giving some of this kind of hardline data.

    LinkedIn is a great place to kind of expand, right? And create almost like if your resume is the novel, your LinkedIn profile is the illustration, right? It’s the companies go there, recruiters go there to get more context on the companies that you worked with to get a little bit more.

    I guess visual insight on your content, your thought leadership, some of these other things. It really helps round out the information that you provided, the hardline information that you provided in your resume. So I think looking at that from a storytelling perspective, I always like to say, your resume, let it give the hard information, the cold hard facts, and then let your LinkedIn tell the story of those facts. And so that’s why it’s important to fill out all the company information that you worked with, all the rules. You don’t have to necessarily

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (38:01.952)
    punk you know.

    plug in everything from your resume into your LinkedIn profile. But make it clear who you worked with, what you saw. I always say, with LinkedIn, the big opportunity, I think, from a candidate perspective is in the role section, when you’re listing out the roles that you’ve worked, highlight the big projects and the big wins right there. Make them super easy to read, right? Because then the recruiter can go in there, they can click on the company profile, okay, they were working with a high growth marketing agency. And then they go down the list of your accomplishments.

    Here’s what they accomplished in this three -year period. And it really tells this unique story. And so a good recruiter will be able to kind of piece together the story as they go into that screen with you. Really helps sets the context. From a interviewer standpoint, this is where preparation becomes really important because I don’t like interviews to feel like an interrogation. I don’t like interviews to feel like I’m reading down a bulleted list, right? Of like, or like checking off boxes. Here’s what we need to talk about.

    I want it to feel like, hey, I’m inviting you into a story. I’m inviting you into the story of our organization. I wanna tell you about the role. I wanna tell you about how that role solves or works within the context of that greater story of the company. And so this is where, you know, coming in with an understanding of what you’re gonna ask, when you’re gonna ask it, why you’re gonna ask it, but then also leaving room to be able to kind of share a lot about the company. I always make.

    I always set aside at least 15 to 20 minutes to be able to give a walkthrough of the company history, our big notable achievements, give them some more information on the clients that we work with, what our product does, and the big wins that we need to celebrate, and then even the areas of opportunity for the business. But it really helps capture the imagination of a candidate to say, man, I can see myself here. I can see myself working in this capacity, solving this problem, and in six to nine months, being able to kind of jump to the next solution for the company.

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (39:57.518)
    That kind of stuff is really nuanced, but it does, it goes a long way. And I think it actually speaks to a lot of the success we’ve had with the, you know, the amount of successful offers we’ve been able to get out without people backing out or losing interest because we’ve hooked them into that story and reel them into here’s what the company’s doing, here’s where we’re going. We would love to have you be a part of that.

    Mary (40:23.153)
    You’re selling each other really. The candidates trying to sell their background to the company. And on the flip side, the company should also, like you said, be using storytelling to really sell the candidate as to why they should work for them or why they should want to work for them. So let’s talk briefly about beyond the interview. So what are some psychological factors that should be considered during the post -interview stage?

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (40:30.222)
    Mm -hmm.

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (40:40.942)

    Mary (40:53.073)
    How can interviewers really ensure a positive experience even if they’re not offered the job?

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (41:00.142)
    Great question. I think always tapping into the mind of the job seeker is a great best practice for any recruiter or any hiring manager. And what I mean by that is put yourself in their shoes. Assuming, you know, you just wrapped up an interview, what is the anxiety? What are the pain points that every job seeker goes through? And I can tell you the number one is, you know, just the anxiety of not hearing back. Two days can feel like an eternity, right? You can feel like, man, why are they not contacting me?

    what went wrong, did I do something wrong? There’s this like psychological warfare that happens while you’re waiting for feedback. So the way I like to mitigate that is, you know, I ensure with every candidate that I speak with, I let them know, here’s what the next steps are gonna be. Here’s the timeline from when you can expect to hear from me, okay? As far as next steps. And is it an exact science? No, because I can’t always control that, but I always say, what I can guarantee is within seven days, you’re gonna hear back from me. Or within three days, you’re gonna hear back.

    And then what I tell them is, hey, I want to make sure that you know what’s going on at all times. So what the commitment you have for me as your recruiter is I will get in touch with you on a weekly basis, even if I don’t have a hard update or a direct update, but I’m going to make sure to touch point with you every Friday and let you know, Hey, I haven’t forgotten about you. Here’s what’s happened. I haven’t been able to get direct feedback quite yet. Here’s kind of what I’m expecting. But at least you’re informed and you know that you haven’t been forgotten, right? Or that you somehow.

    did something terrible to get yourself removed from the process. So I always like to set up these kind of touch points with candidates knowing that the biggest pain point and the biggest concern they have is lack of communication from the hiring team. You know, I think there’s other things that you can do if you really want to dive into candidate experience and that is, you know, sharing post -interview resources. Maybe it’s articles, maybe it’s more information on the company.

    maybe you give them some homework and say, hey, and maybe not, you know, it’s not an assignment, but you could say, hey, I would really encourage you to like take a look at our product portfolio and just get familiarize yourself with what we do specifically based off of what we talked about today. And just give them kind of these extra things that could be valuable and really, again, tying back into storytelling can really capture their interest in their experience because I think that’s something that most hiring teams and recruiters don’t think about. They don’t think about.

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (43:21.038)
    how their absence from the process or their absence in not communicating with candidates is actually detrimental and is actually causing candidates to lose interest and maybe start to look somewhere else.

    Mary (43:36.241)
    I totally agree and I think those are two of the biggest green flags for candidates, transparency and communication. Last question, what does success look like for you as a recruiter?

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (43:52.654)
    Success for me as a recruiter looks like bringing together really great talent that solves a really specific problem within the business and alleviates really significant weight from my hiring teams and my stakeholders. And so if I can bring together and help a candidate who, by the way, is the most qualified for this specific role to solve this specific problem at this specific point in time for the company.

    If I can bring them into our world, keep them extremely excited, and then back it up with a great onboarding experience, and then on the flip side, have my stakeholders and my hiring managers thoroughly enjoy meeting with a candidate, thoroughly enjoy the onboarding, and then six months later, come back to me and say, man, what a great hire. Like, this person was just excellent, right? To me, if that process can come together and I can do that more often than not, that is successful to me as a –

    because it’s not just about filling seats, it’s not just about closing a wreck, it’s not just about making someone happy temporarily, it’s about did we really bring in the right person, set them up for success, and help them really kind of establish their next phase of their.

    Mary (45:10.513)
    What’s next for you? What are you up to now and where can we find you on social media?

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (45:16.526)
    Yeah, well, I’m very active on LinkedIn. So that’s probably my most active platform. If you want to follow me, Andrew Lewis, it might show up as just Andrew L. If you’re not in my network somehow, but you’ll find me on the head of talent at Worldly. And I share once or twice a day, usually just based off of, you know, whatever I’m thinking about and whatever content I think is relevant and helpful. I have launched or I am launching a newsletter called Talent Operator, which will be available here in the next few days.

    and it’s gonna be all very tactical and strategic information for those of us that are in the recruitment space that really wanna be better, 1 % better every day. Really just wanted to create a resource that I wished I would have had, you know, as someone a little bit earlier in my career, or even today. It’s really hard for me to find resources that speak to me and give me really practical tactical information. And so it’ll all be focused on, you know, different frameworks, different playbooks.

    different educational resources, things that I think recruiters should be learning, different mindset tips and tricks, that sort of thing. It’s really practical growth information for a day -to -day operator in the recruitment space. So check that out. That’ll be coming out live. You can check out my LinkedIn profile. It’ll be there. And then you can find me on X, Talent Operator there, and then TikTok as well, Talent Operator.

    Mary (46:38.609)
    Thanks for coming on today, Andrew.

    Andrew Lewis – Head of Talent Acquisition (46:40.974)
    Thanks for having me, Mary.