A job interview provides an employer with the best chance at getting to know a candidate. Hopefully, it gives the candidate a chance to learn about you too; your culture and the opportunities you can provide.
It’s like a first date. If it gets weighed down by uncomfortable silences or a sudden swerve into a tense topic, a second meeting becomes very unlikely. For that reason, it's important to provide a pleasant experience for the candidate.
The interview is usually viewed as the prospective employee's chance to sell themselves. But it also represents your chance, as an employer, to sell the company. So, in salesperson terms: Always be closing. Maximize your chance to land top talent by optimizing the interview opportunity.
Here are five tips to maximize the experience of the candidates you bring in for an interview.
Give the Same Respect
You get picky about certain candidate behaviors. One minute late to the interview, or a split infinitive on a resume, and you lose interest. Give them the same amount of attention to detail you expect from them.
Don’t force candidates to dress up if you’re going to show up in wrinkled clothes and a baseball cap. Make sure that you’re prepared for the meeting. Keep the conference room or the office tidy, so the candidate doesn’t have to push a bunch of papers off their chair to sit down. In general, be prepared and put your best face forward.
Know Who You’re Looking For
Don’t waste people’s time. Going into the interview stage, have a clear idea of what kind of candidate best fits the open position. Then, only invite people who fit the basic skill set you need.
Meanwhile, keep an open mind about all the candidates. Don’t have a first choice in mind going in and subconsciously treat everyone else as filler. When you meet each candidate, have in your mind the mantra, “This could be the one.”
Leave Enough Time
Don’t overbook the interview sessions. Limit the initial meeting slots to your top candidates. That way, you can slate more time for each conversation.
Otherwise, the process becomes a cattle call. You’re rushing people in and out, and you’re constantly behind schedule. It’s stressful and unpleasant for the candidates. Meanwhile, a rushed process gives less opportunity for you to learn as much as you can about each of the prospects.
Ask Purposeful Questions
Have a game plan going into each interview, so the discussion doesn’t ramble too far off track. A little wiggle room is fine - you want to be responsive to the flow of conversation and open to learning unusual tidbits about the candidates.
But in general, know what you need to learn about the candidates and craft questions to gather the appropriate information.
Take Candidate Questions Seriously
Candidates ask questions for a purpose. The topics they bring up represent topics close to their hearts. Take them seriously.
Provide full answers to the questions. Don’t evade or make an obvious effort to wrap up the interview. If you breeze by a candidate’s questions, it can close out the process on a sour note. No matter how well the rest of the interview went, they might only remember the impression that you had better things to do than discuss their concerns.
Interviews get easier when you’re truly excited by the candidates you’re meeting. Using a top-flight recruiter helps guarantee you’ll meet the highest quality prospects. Contact United Personnel to learn what we can do to maximize your hiring process.