As a hiring manager, one should perceive an interview as an open dialogue and not a test that requires prescribed answers. Any intelligent person will know that any question in any conversation can be perceived in many fashions and so there can often be different responses that are valid.

An interview should not be an exam disguised as behavioral questions. It’s not the particular questions that are important in an interview; it’s how the person thinks and if they know what they are doing. An interview should be a conversation, not a test.

The idea that an interview should be an open dialogue or conversation might scare some managers.  Some might wonder how to have a conversation with someone they have never met and so end up falling back to a list of standard questions with expected answers. The fear lends itself to making a “test” and in turn avoidance of an interview.

It is the interviewer’s job, not to have a test planned, but to be able to listen and react intellectually. If the applicant didn’t give the response wanted, it doesn’t mean they have failed.  If it were a test – yes, but this is a conversation run by the interviewer, which means one can delve deeper into the response via an open dialogue. Sometimes an applicant could be thinking a test question meant something else.  If the interviewer just accepts the response as wrong, both the company and the applicant could lose out a great opportunity.  The interviewer should be able to create a follow up question on the spot to dig and see if the person knows their craft.

It’s the same with how one reads a CV: Some people just don’t make good CVs. Maybe it just takes the slightest effort to clarify a few things between the lines.There is more to a person than their most recent job title, where they went to school, or companies they worked at. If you don’t get the exact response you are looking for, then don’t think, “They failed the test.” It is your job to find out if they know their job.