Your company has open positions. Response to your job posting is impressive. Candidates are coming in for interviews. You’re making offers, but your acceptance rate is low. Does this sound familiar? If so, something is weighing you down in the interview process. Not only are you interviewing the candidate, but they’re also getting a first impression of you and what it’d be like to work at your company. A bad or so-so impression can leave a candidate looking to explore other opportunities. Follow these 4 rules of thumb to make a positive impression on your candidates.
Etiquette – The interviewer should be respectful, arrive to the interview on time and give a warm welcome. Being engaging and polite create a comfortable environment for the candidate, encouraging a productive conversation. The candidate will feel at ease and the interviewer can make an informed decision about the candidate’s ability, style and fit.
Interview Team – Look at your interview team. Do you have the appropriate employees included? An ideal interview team includes the hiring manager, peers within the department and at least one employee from another department. With this diversity, you will gain a well-rounded perspective on the candidate from multiple angles. And, there is tremendous benefit for the candidate to get a taste of company culture through different personalities. The chance of your offer being accepted increases with this exposure.
Preparation – The interviewer should be familiar with the candidate’s resume and job description in advance of the interview. It’s a waste of the candidate’s time and disrespectful if the interviewer is reading the resume as the candidate is sitting across the table. Have a general idea of the person and what questions you’d like to explore with them prior to their arrival.
Interview Questions – You’ve spent time finding qualified candidates to interview. Be thoughtful about how the interviews are structured to obtain a comprehensive evaluation of the candidate. When the interviewer is armed with targeted questions, useful information will be obtained and the interviewer will be best equipped to make the right hiring decision. Because each interviewer has a finite period of time to make an important go/no go decision, help them use their time wisely by assigning unique interview topics to each interviewer.
- Biographical – Focus on career progression, rationale for job changes and explanation of gaps
- Technical – Assess specific skills and experience required for the job
- Behavioral – Evaluate past behaviors to predict future success and ensure candidate behavior is aligned with your company’s core competencies
From the interviewers standpoint, this will also keep them interested, because they won’t be repeating themselves having been asked the same question by multiple interviewers.
Make the investment in proper interviewing to increase your offer to acceptance rate. Additionally, you’ll receive the benefit of hiring “A Players”, increased team performance, higher retention rates and will have more confident interviewers.
Which side of the scale are you on?
Written by Michele St. Laurent, Recruiting Practice Manager. Michele has extensive experience leading full life-cycle searches to source, develop and onboard top talent. She has provided strategic direction to many companies by creating comprehensive recruiting solutions including workforce planning, development of job specifications, identification of talent sources, candidate assessments, vendor management, interview training, offer negotiation and new hire assimilation.