The Art of Interviewing

A very wise person once said, “Interviewing is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” Now, I’d like to reclaim the interview as an art form. It might not be the first kind of art that comes to mind, but having a good conversation, one that’s satisfying for both parties, is indeed an art. And interviewing, at its core, is just that—a conversation.

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In the world of recruitment and HR in general, interviews are often seen as a form of interrogation, a rite of passage, a minefield you must navigate without stumbling. But there’s an exercise I love to do: I observe people who are exceptionally good at something, analyze their methods, and use that as a guide to improve myself.

So, who comes to mind as a top-notch interviewer these days? For me, it’s clear: Jordi Wild. He’s one of the best communicators in the Spanish-speaking world today and, in my opinion, the best interviewer. If you haven’t seen his podcast, The Wild Project, where he interviews a fascinating mix of people, check it out.

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What strikes me first is how prepared he always is. And that’s something not to be overlooked. Think of this as Interviewing 101; here we go:

  1. Preparation: Know Your Guest. It’s crucial to prepare in advance for an interview. In our world, the résumé is king, but it’s not the only thing. Articles, posts, even what they’ve liked on social media—all of it helps to better understand the person in front of you.
  2. Script: Have a Plan. Once we have that information, or while we’re gathering it, it’s vital to be clear about what kind of information we want to obtain and not deviate from that path one bit. Often, the information we seek will be marked by the résumé, but there are general questions we’ll always be interested in, such as salary expectations. It might seem trivial, but if we don’t have it written down or well-memorized, we might forget to ask and regret it later. Jordi manages this very well in his interviews. Even though he might not cover everything he wants, he doesn’t miss what he considers important.
  3. Conducting: The Real Deal. Okay, everything’s clear in our heads, but now comes reality. How many times have we had a candidate who talks too much or too little? I’m not advocating bullfighting, but I always think of the same example when this happens: if a bull is tame, it doesn’t matter how many times you wave the cape; it won’t charge. Laconic responses of yes, no, maybe… can wear out even the most patient. That’s why preparation is key, and this is where the true art begins. Let’s take the opposite case: someone who deviates, rambles, strays from the conversation. It might be a good idea to explain the time constraints and the topics that need to be covered, urging them to be more precise in their answers. Here, I find that Jordi has a lot of “art” and is capable of steering the situation assertively.


Remember, no one, absolutely no one, is born knowing everything. The first few times, transitions might be rougher than desired, but don’t get discouraged. Keep at it, and you’ll see it becomes easier much sooner than you expect.

I’d now like to expand on a previously mentioned point: the interview is not an interrogation. Obviously, there are things we want to know, but these should come up naturally. There’s nothing worse than making an interviewee uncomfortable. That will more or less unconsciously close them off, depriving us of the chance to get to know them better, which is the whole point.

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Let’s banish, once and for all, those stupid power games and seeing who holds the reins. The world turns, and today you might be the interviewer, but tomorrow you could be the interviewee. Treat people the way you’d like to be treated. Above all, respect. There are many ways to ask the same question, and if someone is uncomfortable discussing a topic, let it go.

In this sense, being in the IT recruitment world is a humbling experience since often, you end up being the interviewee. The same principles apply.

Unlike a podcast, where communication is mostly one-way, as the goal is to get to know the interviewee, in a recruitment interview, communication is bidirectional. The information given is just as important as the information received.

Our policy is clear. We like to provide all the necessary information upfront. Some people think that doing so can heavily influence responses, as the interviewee might tailor their answers to what they think you want to hear. We don’t worry about that; if it happens, so be it.

To avoid biases, having a good procedure is essential. Designing a competency-based interview, for example, is a great tool. We can all make up generalities, but it’s much harder to invent detailed stories on the spot while answering questions.

But that’s a topic for another day. If you’re interested and want more details on specific questions for an IT interview, let us know in the comments, and we’ll be happy to prepare it.

Happy interviewing!