If you’re looking for something to cheer up your this morning then have a quick read of these job interview horror stories over at LifeHacker. We’ve had a few instances of horror interviews over the years so we got thinking about the art of interviews, or more specifically the art of interviewing. While we know interviews are a two-way street we’re going to focus on the employer and how they can attract the best candidate. The first step for the employer is writing a great job description, then the interview should be sealing the deal.
It’s key. You’re potentially looking at an A grade candidate. The candidate has all the skills, no breaks in CV, a fantastic education and he even shares your love of basket weaving. The run down from the recruitment consultant was that on face to face interviewing the candidate he was a strong communicator with a passion for his craft and a real enthusiasm for your company. Excellent should be a match made in heaven. The problem is the candidate has two other interviews lined up for companies of a similar nature offering a similar package. How you address this problem decides where you win or lose. The candidate will have research the company, similarly you should research the candidate. Viewing their LinkedIn and finding out their interests can help you create a desirable rival package against competitors.
It’s a cliché but first impressions are important, and we’re not just talking about your first impressions. Brief staff on the interview and let them know everyone should be on their best behaviour. There’s nothing worst than being greeted by a moody receptionist; it’s unprofessional and is likely to put the candidate off. Staff interactions demonstrate the company culture so make sure the candidate feels like your company is somewhere they would fit in. The small things can really affect a candidate’s perception of the company, getting them polished will help your chances of winning them over:
• Ensuring the front desk are aware of a candidate’s arrival, an uninformed front desk starts the whole interview off on the wrong step.
• Don’t keep them waiting, their time is as valuable as yours
• Go and meet them yourself, get out of the office go down the stairs and press the flesh. Sending your PA down is a little dated.
• Have an icebreaker. Chatting about their journey is dull, ask them something about themselves right from the get go.
• Prepare the room, have some refreshments ready, no need for the champagne and caviar but a flavoured water or a fresh pot of coffee is a good call.
During the Interview
Recently we heard from a candidate who experiences one of their interviewers walking out half-way through their interview. This is a red flag for candidates. There isn’t really any excuse for being unable to take an hour out of your schedule for an interview. If you do have to leave make sure you communication why. Other things you should consider:
• If you’re asking the wrong questions, or more importantly ‘vanilla’ questions you’re going to be poor responses. Check out Interview Questions: A Different Approach for some tips.
• If it’s going well and you think you’re happy you may only get one shot at this so a nice touch is to bring out a member of the team who will act as your ambassador and leave them for 10 mins to ask questions. Prospective employee’s will value this and make them feel a little bit closer to the team.
• Show them the working environment, take them on the “tour”. Doesn’t have to be any more than the long way out so you’ve pointed out some bits your office has over and above competitors.
• Create a presentation to demonstrate the real meaning of being an employee of your company and moreover a demonstration of where this role and your company can take them.
• Try and make it a one stop interview process and get as many decision makers and influencers in on the meeting.
These are all tried and tested techniques we’ve experienced over the years where the feedback has been positive, they truly make a difference and cost no more than 30 mins of preparation time for each role. Ultimately the critical mindset is to trust your recruitment partner. You’ve given them the brief, they know your company culture and environment, you know the questions they’ve asked and the steps that have led to this stage and now you need to look for all the reasons TO hire and be mindful of reasons NOT TO hire.