Interview Training for managers

The interview is the most frequently used diagnostic tool. However, recruitment interviews offer far more opportunities to obtain information about candidates – their personality and skills – than are used in practice. The interview training course from md gesellschaft für management-diagnostik teaches you what makes a valid interview.

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In the md interview training course for managers and HR professionals, participants learn how to conduct professional recruitment interviews by focusing on the biographical interview structure and applying targeted questioning techniques, enabling them to assess people accurately.

They also receive an overview of the current status of aptitude diagnostics and personnel selection.

References from over 35 years of experience

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Dr. Olaf Ringelband, Managing Director md

Management Diagnostik

Our consultancy focuses exclusively on management diagnostics and can draw on benchmark data from over 30,000 executive assessments.

Making the right management staffing decisions. Recognize competencies and potentials of managers. Avoid bad investments due to miscasting.

The optimal personnel selection

The accurate selection of applicants is a strategic success factor for companies. This applies both to the selection of external applicants when filling vacancies and to the internal promotion of proven employees.

The interview is the most frequently used diagnostic procedure – however, the validity (i.e. the hit rate of decisions based on an interview) of interviews varies greatly. Unstructured interviews and interviews conducted by untrained interviewers can have a validity close to zero (i.e. you might as well flip a coin) – while semi-structured or structured interviews have a high validity. This means that professionally conducted interviews can prevent wrong personnel decisions and thus save the company money (according to studies, a wrong decision costs around 15 to 25 times an annual salary in terms of direct and indirect costs).

But professional interviewing is also an important skill for managers and HR employees in development discussions. Mastering questioning techniques, empathetic listening and the structured assessment of people are skills that every manager should master.

Interview techniques for managers

In the interview training for managers, managers and HR employees learn how to conduct professional interviews; what structure professional interviews have, what questions to ask, how to create a flow of conversation with the candidate and how to diagnostically evaluate the information received.

Structure of the conversation

The interview concept we teach (and use ourselves) was developed by Prof. Werner Sarges and is described in his book “Das Biografische Eignungs-Interview (B-E-I)”. This is a biographical interview with criteria-oriented questions.

The structure of the interview is based on the candidate’s biography, from early childhood to the present (and looking to the future).

Questioning technique - producing narrative flows

The questioning technique is based on open questions, patient listening without interrupting the interviewee and empathic follow-up questions at the diagnostically relevant points.

The right questions

The questions are based on the STAR method; for each event described, the initial situation, the task, the activities and the result are asked.

Procedure for diagnostics training and interview training

Crash course in aptitude diagnostics

At the beginning, an overview of the scientific state of the art of aptitude diagnostics is given:

Theory of the biographical interview

Demonstration interview

The interview training trainers/coaches regularly conduct interviews with applicants themselves – usually as part of individual assessments and management appraisals. Therefore, after presenting the interview concept, the trainer demonstrates the practice of interviewing to the participants by conducting an interview with a practice candidate. The training candidates are either real applicants or employees of the company (e.g. interns).

Practical exercise of the interview

We believe that the best way to learn professional interviewing skills is by practicing and receiving feedback on how to conduct interviews. This is why the participants themselves conduct interviews with training candidates. After the practice interviews, they receive feedback from the trainer and the other participants and open questions are discussed using practical examples.

Advantage of md management diagnostics for interview training

Due to the close connection to science and research in aptitude diagnostics, md consultants know the current state of science and can explain the latest findings in aptitude diagnostics (e.g. “Why intelligence tests have a higher prognostic validity than assessment centers, but ACs are still important”).

In addition, md consultants are trainers who apply what they teach on a daily basis.

Unlike other training courses, participants learn from professionals who not only have theoretical knowledge, but can also demonstrate what they are teaching themselves.

Interview training for managers

Professional recruitment discussions and interviews using the same proven methodology.


In a one to two-day interview training course, participants learn how to conduct professional job interviews. Companies thus ensure that all managers and HR employees conduct interviews according to the same proven method and that the assessment is less dependent on the interviewer.

At the same time, participants receive an overview of the state of the art in the selection of employees and managers.