Transformational VS Transactional: How Hiring Managers Can Conduct Interviews More Effectively

As a Hiring Manager, knowing you’re making the best decisions regarding who you hire can be challenging. So ensuring your interview techniques are up to scratch is essential.


You are responsible for ensuring that the interview process is as effective and efficient as possible. At the core of this should be an understanding of what type of candidate you are looking for and then making sure you have the right questions to elicit the most relevant and insightful responses.


Preparing for an interview

Planning is fundamental as preparation allows the interviewer to avoid disorganized issues during the session. Furthermore, a structured approach will enable the interviewer to draw out relevant information from the candidate and avoid reiterating questions.


Before an interview, carrying out an assessment is a great way to help make the interview and the hiring decision more complete. It allows the Hiring Manager to tailor their questions and the interview, in general, to suit the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate. Using assessment results to prepare means you can dig further into what has been presented and make optimal use of the short time you often have to speak to your candidate.


Listening thoroughly to the candidate engages them in conversation and builds rapport – allowing them to open up more freely about their experience and ambitions.


A good interview technique should also combine objectivity and respect for the individual; maintaining a professional tone throughout is critical for any effective hiring manager.


Transformational VS Transactional

A transformational versus transactional approach should be at the top of mind when conducting an interview.


Consider the interview as less of a transaction where you are purely asking questions but as an open discussion where you consider the candidate’s aspirations and long-term goals and engage in a back-and-forth conversation.


By doing so, the firm will stand out positively to the candidate, as most companies will not go to these lengths. This approach will be a transformational experience regarding their future career dreams rather than a transactional interview just for the role in question.


How important is job experience?

Before an interview, ascertain whether the candidate has the skills and experience you’re looking for, being sure to approach it in a way that considers transferable skills. It’s easy to miss out on great candidates if you have tunnel vision in this regard. Remember also that while job interviews are an excellent opportunity to assess a range of qualities, such as motivation and communication skills, they may only sometimes be enough to evaluate whether an applicant has specific skill sets.


Focus on creative solutions – exploring candidates’ knowledge in similar skills or job roles and noting how transferable this knowledge could be to the desired job. Sometimes it is necessary to make a judgment call without having proven evidence of their experience. Often, experience is enough to work on once they’re in, and they can learn how to adapt it to their new role.


Therefore, it’s essential to decide whether they can fulfill the job requirements when given training, guidance and support from others.


Hiring candidates for the long-term

Similarly, to decide if a candidate who has yet to get the exact tools you need can still be good for the job, it’s vital to ask interview questions related to past successes in achieving a goal using different methods. This allows a better idea of whether the candidate can achieve desired outcomes even if working within new parameters.


In addition, employers can make informed decisions about who best fits their job by understanding how well an applicant can think outside the box and assimilate into new situations quickly.


Assessments are also a great way to ascertain where a person’s genus zone is; if it’s similar to the role they’re interviewing for, it’s a great sign that the partnership will be a good long-term fit.


While job skills are significant, it is more beneficial to think ahead and hire a candidate with the potential to learn new things and develop over time. It is also essential to weigh cultural fit – hiring managers should ensure candidates will be comfortable in the work environment and fit well with existing team members. Hiring for the long term means making solid choices to help the business achieve its goals.


Standing out against other firms

Furthermore, a candidate can possess the perfect skill set but doesn’t have the right disposition. Therefore, interviews are a chance to figure out their personality, ambition and tenacity. These meetings should be viewed as transformational rather than transactional by exploring job candidates’ experiences and desires for their future objectives to ensure both parties’ success now and in the long term.


By asking open-ended questions about the job seeker’s goals and ambitions, a better understanding is gained as to why they are interested in the job and how this could help them achieve growth in their career over time. As such, job interviews are much more than just an exchange of information – they are an opportunity for candidates to express their hopes and dreams. If they feel heard, they are more likely to come away with strong positive feelings for the company.


Asking the right questions during the interview

Once again, we can tie this back to assessments and another of the great benefits of carrying them out before an interview. The assessment is a tool to help make better hiring decisions by understanding where a person naturally is happiest and where they struggle. If they show strength in talking with people and providing solutions, they would be a good prospect for a sales position. However, if they are interviewing for an accounting role, this may not be a great fit. So you can use those questions to be very specific to them as it relates to your needs and the job opening itself.


When asking questions in an interview, it is also essential to assess how much of the success on their resume is actually from the candidate’s contributions by asking the right questions. Questions that focus on specific tasks or accomplishments and how the candidate interacted with other team members can help assess whether a project’s success was due to the team or was driven mainly by an individual. Additionally, asking follow-up questions, such as asking for context and additional details about any successes, provides an opportunity for the candidate to take ownership. The more ownership they display over what they did or didn’t do in a situation, proves them to be self-aware and offers more insight.


If a candidate did not contribute much but can explain why and how they would have performed differently, this shows desire and eagerness to learn. It may be that they were not in the right environment to thrive. This self-awareness and motivation are key to deciding whether they will have the space to perform well within your company. It could be a candidate’s previous employer didn’t give them the right opportunity to grow. Again, asking questions about their long-term goals, not just the role they are applying for, can determine whether they are seriously motivated or just keen to say the right things.



Don’t think of a candidate as a number on a checklist. Consider their motivations and aspirations and how these could flourish in the workplace. Use assessments and other tools to assist in helping you uncover what you need and gain further clarity on their experience and skills—approaching interviews as transformational rather than transactional benefits all parties involved and will likely mean a positive outcome and a long-term employee with high job satisfaction and success.

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