How to train a manager to conduct a professional interview?

How to train a manager to conduct a professional interview?


The professional interview is not only a legal and administrative obligation: it is fundamental to the personal development of the employee. But too many managers still do not see all the opportunities it represents. To remedy this: train your managers.

The professional interview must be a special meeting for employees: it is the time for them to discuss their wishes for professional development. The professional interview is a structuring and decisive element in employee commitment, in other words, a motivational lever and a vector of meaning at work!

Also, the professional interview is a real tool allowing the manager to sound out the needs and ambitions of each of his employees. Hence the importance of getting away from an overly administrative vision of the professional interview. 

How can you get your managers to have a different perspective on the performance review? What are the tools that can help you, as HR leaders, to train your managers to conduct less formal job interviews? Why does a good performance review involve a managerial revolution through dialogue? That's what we'll look at in this article.  


Communicate on the high added value of the professional interview

Every manager must be committed to the development of his team members (in addition to maintaining a certain level of productivity). Such an action plan cannot decently leave out the professional interview. 

Let's first recall that the professional interview is mandatory from a legal point of view for employees with more than two years of seniority. Under the law of March 4, 2014, it must be organized every two years, starting from the date of joining the company and then from the date of the previous interview. The system is completed by the 2016 labour law, which obliges the employee over a period of 6 years to have - at a minimum - followed a training course or acquired an element of professional certification (diploma or certificate) validating a training course or via a VAE. Moreover, with the COVID crisis, the deadlines have been modified for this year and pushed back to June 30.

After the legal reminder, it is important to remember the main issue at stake in such a meeting: discussing the employee's development prospects.   

Training managers on the importance of such a meeting involves reminding them of the added value of the professional interview, namely : 

Probe the motivation and commitment of the employee. It should be remembered from the outset that this essential moment of dialogue does not consist of evaluating the employee's results (other systems are provided for this purpose). 
Supporting the employee in his or her professional development (training plan, internal mobility, new responsibilities, etc.). 
Increase the People Management in a company. The professional interview is also an opportunity to prove that an evaluation, when properly conducted (with sincerity and respect), should be neither a punishment nor a second-best option. On the contrary, it should be seen as an opportunity for both the employee and the manager to progress and move towards their primary aspirations. And satisfying the needs of employees means strengthening their well-being, thus affirming team spirit and, in the long run, increasing the company's results. 

Train your managers to co-construct their professional interviews

Like any business interview, the meeting must be prepared.

Also, the manager will have to ensure :  

Give the employee sufficient notice of the performancereview . It must be held before the deadline for the professional interview. 
Inform the employee about the role of the interview and its objectives, either when they arrive or during a meeting. 
Notify the person who will conduct the interview. This is normally the head of the company or the N+1, except in large structures. 
To take note of certain elements concerning the employee such as his current position, his main missions but also his date of entry into service, the positions previously held, the balance of his training account as well as the training courses followed or certification obtained previously. 


This logic of co-construction of professional interviews requires managers to redouble their efforts in terms of empathy and assertiveness. To implement this virtuous mechanism, organise round tables or conduct surveys to find out what your employees would like to discuss during their career review. What could be more frustrating than adding one more formality to the employee's life by missing out on his or her wishes?

Train your managers in the art of dialogue 

As mentioned above, a job interview is only worthwhile if the feedback is fluid. To this end, it may be useful to familiarise managers with the benefits of radical candour, the ability to say things without beating about the bush but with respect. 

Candor-Radical
What is radical candor?


The manager must succeed in moving away from the lengthy and administrative interview that simply lists things to create a constructive exchange. To do this, your managers must be trained to ask the right questions during a professional interview.

To achieve this, your manager will need to: 

Focus its communication around the test, which is presented as a real milestone in the employee'scareer
Capture the desires and intentions of each employee, in other words, master the art of conversation.

The important thing is the discussion and the decisions that will result from it for both the employee and the manager. Remembering this is to ensure that this moment is approached with the desire to have an impact on the employee's life and therefore to bring value to it.

  • Participate in workshops/role plays involving a member of the HR team 

But in addition to this practical roadmap, it will be necessary to go beyond that: to change the managerial mode. 

We have to admit thattop-down management (hierarchical and vertical) is outdated. Good management is a more horizontal management. This type of management must be reflected in the professional interviews. Thus, by training managers to conduct new generation professional interviews, we also train them to a different vision of management.

Finally, it is important to remember that the acceptance of such a level of dialogue will be directly proportional to the degree of freedom of expression encouraged by the company's culture. The bottom line is that it is in your best interest to create and develop a culture of feedback internally, as Elevo will always advocate.

As you will have understood, like other types of interviews in companies, the professional interview must be prepared. Fundamental in the career of employees, it also requires more professional tools than a simple Google Sheets. Much more than a legal obligation, the professional interview is a bet on the future and the surest way to audit current and potential skills within the organization. Because feedback on the employee's feelings and ambitions should no longer be a dirty word, it is up to managers to change their software and promote a genuine culture of dialogue








The Guide to Professional Interviews

Transform your business meetings into real moments of dialogue
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How to train a manager to conduct a professional interview?

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