Depth: Not Too Deep, Not Too Shallow

Most interviewers make "depth" mistakes when diving into candidates' stories. Fundamentally, there are 2 kinds of mistakes here: 

1. Not diving deep enough (no substance)
2. Diving too deep (largely into irrelevant areas)

The first point: the majority of your time in an interview should be spent hearing about stories from a candidate's past. Comments about what they "would" do in the future are far less predictive of success.

Let's say you are talking about a candidate's accomplishment. They led a successful cyber product launch for one of their company's customers. 

There are generally 3 things you want to know: 

1. What did they do? (Not just what the team did—what did the *candidate* do)
2. How did they do it?
3. How big of a deal was it (*calibrate* the impressiveness of the accomplishment)

All three of these are important for having performance data that you can then use to map against a Target in deciding whether or not to hire someone for a given role. 

And once you have these three points, it's very likely that you should move on to the next story.

Often, interviewers will continue squeezing a story for more than it's worth for one of four reasons:

1. Candidate is rambling, and the interviewer doesn't have the confidence or skills to interrupt and move them on.

2. Interviewer is personally interested in a topic and wants to nerd out for fun.

3. Interviewer recognizes that a tangent in the main story touches on a key aspect of the role. Don't go down that rabbit hole. We'll cover why not in a subsequent post.

4. Interviewer is just generally uncomfortable wrapping up a story or moving the candidate on, so they keep asking questions because they are essentially "lost" on what to ask next.

Don't let this be you. 

Have a structured interview guide and get the information you need and then move on. 

This is how professional assessors generally get 3x the data of merely average interviewers.

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