When it comes time for the interview, it is about the candidates and their experience. It is about making them feel like their time matters, that you were ready and prepared for the interview, and that filling your role is not just a bodyfilling process.
How do you run your interviews?
For a lot of business owners and hiring managers, the actual interviews are the most time-consuming part of the process. You worked hard to get here. You established the need for the position, the parameters, built a successful profile, and advertised to get some response.
Decide who will be conducting the interviews. Will it be just you or will it include others? Will others participate in the decision-making, or just sit in, observe and take notes?
What interview questions will you be using? Agree in the beginning to avoid trendy, unnecessary questions. For example, “If you were stranded on an Island, and you can only keep five things, what would they be?” Pointless questions will leave your candidates feeling confused and possibly with a distaste for your company when they walk away.
Using behavioral based or competency based questions (also known as situational interview questions), will definitely help you determine your candidates’ ability to actually do the job.
YES, use the same questions for all candidates you are interviewing for one position. It will help you make an equivalent evaluation after the interview.
We suggest using an interview guide. We create one that is unique to every position based on competencies for the position and some basic requirements. It even has a scoring mechanism to keep track as you go along and to summarize when you have completed the interview.
As the owner and decision maker, your most important job in this process is to be clear on what you want, how you are planning to do this, and then manage all these steps to mirror your decisions.
Are you Ready?
Use these checklists to ensure you are well prepared to interview the candidate and that you inform the candidate of all critical pieces of information.
Day before interview, check that:
- Room is booked or phone interview is on Calendar
- Others know time and location of the interview if there are multiple interviewers
Right before an interview, make sure you have:
- A copy of your interview guide, or list of your questions (remember, we can help you build one)
- Candidate’s resume
- Pens and paper or laptop
Guidelines for conducting the interview:
- Greet the candidate with a warm, genuine greeting. Introduce him or her to any other interviewers present. If appropriate, offer the candidate a beverage.
- Outline the interview by giving the candidate an overview of the process, length of the interview, and what to expect. Indicate to the candidate that notes will be taken during the interview.
- Start with the first question in the interview guide. Make notes directly on the interview guide (written, or typed) for each question throughout the interview. Ask the questions in the order presented in the interview guide.
- Keep control of the interview by ensuring that interviewees do not dominate. Also curtail any irrelevant or long-winded responses from interviewees.
- After all interview questions are asked, ask the candidate if they have any questions.
- Give the candidate a realistic preview of what the job entails.
- After all questions are answered, tell the interviewee what will happen next, the expected time frame, and how he or she will be informed of the outcome.
- Escort the candidate to the lobby (if this applies) and thank them for the interview.
- At the end of each interview, complete any ratings and finalize your notes. Complete your notes and ratings on your own before comparing them with other interviewers.
- Throughout the interview watch out and make note of Red/Yellow Flags.
- Yellow Flags are concerns that need to be addressed prior to proceeding, but they wouldn’t keep you from hiring this person.
- Red Flags are concerns that would keep you from hiring this person.
- Not all candidates will have cautionary flags during an interview. It is important to keep notes in order to identify potential issues with the candidate before they are hired.
- After the interview, immediately discuss the concerns with others involved in the recruitment process: HR Manager, recruiter, interview team, etc.
- FINALLY, please, please follow up with each candidate who has been interviewed. Give them a call once your decision is made, letting them know either way.
- If they are not selected simply say “thank you very much for coming in to meet us and allowing us the opportunity to discuss our opening. The decision has been made to fill the position and you have not been selected to move forward. Again, thank you, and we wish you great success.” That’s it.
- If they are selected, let them know your next and final steps and the timing.
Many recruiters and HR professionals will tell you that a nice note or phone call thanking the candidate for their time can make a huge difference when it comes to candidate experience. That difference can result in more talent coming to your organization — or less if you bungle the follow-up.
Think about this: although a candidate may not have been the best fit for one role, he or she may be perfect for another down the road or the candidate may know others who are a great fit. Building a positive, respectful relationship with that person is key to referrals and engaging them for future opportunities.
Not getting back to candidates is more than bad manners; it’s bad business – on multiple levels. From an employment branding standpoint, not only does this impede rejected candidates from ever applying to your postings again, but it does the same for anyone these candidates talk to (and they will) about their awful experience with your company.
Remember that candidates are potential customers. This lack of professional courtesy is a reflection on the whole company, and snubbed candidates are likely to disassociate from your company completely – as both job seekers and consumers.
Contact us to learn more about our recruitment services.