Welcome to part 2 of our Hiring Masterclass blog series. In this installment, we will look at the considerations recruiters and employers can implement in their recruitment process when you're at the interview stage. Before we do this, let's look at the interview process, what it entails, and what typically happens at this stage.
- Communication before and after an interview is a great way of setting the expectations of a role
- Preparing for an interview is not only reserved for the interviewee but for the interviewer as well
- Making your interviewee feel comfortable from the get-go is a great way of ensuring a valuable engagement, no matter the outcome of the interview
What is the interview process?
"The interview process is the core element of the recruitment process, involving interviews that take place to evaluate candidacy for a role. These may include screening interviews, video interviews (both one-way and synchronous), skills-based interviews, situational interviews, behavioral interviews, cultural fit interviews, and many other formats."
In short, the interview process is the steps and actions the employer or recruiter takes to meet with the selected candidates who have applied for a particular role, and who've met the criteria suitable for the role. This stage of the recruitment process is perhaps the most exciting, both for the employer and the prospective employee. It's an opportunity for both parties to make a valuable impression on each other, and to engage in a way that will hopefully yield a positive outcome for both parties.
This stage is therefore also the most crucial in the recruitment process and preparing for this is important for everyone involved in the interview, including the interviewer. How the interview is communicated, scheduled, and subsequently run provides a lot of insight to the interviewing candidate - insights that can make them quickly feel comfortable, engaged, and confident in their decision to be interviewed for the role.
Here are 5 practical ways you can ensure that your interviews deliver more meaningful engagements and represent your company in the best possible way to your candidates:
1. Communicate your intention to meet timeously
This should go without saying but communicating your intent on meeting with a candidate should be done in a timeous manner. No matter how urgent the need is to fill the role, you should give sufficient notice of your intent to interview a candidate to allow them to manage their schedules, prepare for the interview, and in some instances ensure that they have the necessary technology infrastructure or ability to travel to meet you at a specific location.
2. Communicate the purpose of the interview and your expectations
Be specific not just about the time - but also the reason for the interview; mention how their application stood out to you and highlight specific areas in which you're keen to know more about. What this does is that it shows the candidate your enthusiasm and assures them that the interviewer took the time to get to know them through their resume. It also reassures the candidate that they are suitable for the role, meaning that the interview experience won't be wasted - despite the outcome.
3. Be clear on where, when, and how the interview will take place
In the era of remote working, it's important to take into consideration your candidate's time zones, days of work and where the interview will be taking place, and for how long. If it is a virtual interview, include at least one other platform where you can have the interview if the primary option does not work, this will save you the time and effort in rescheduling the whole interview. In the case of a physical interview at an office or alternative space, try to include the location pin into your calendar request to ensure that your candidate arrives at the right place, and knows who to ask for.
4. Conducting the interview
Resources Workable wrote, "Interviewers, often decide on a candidate’s suitability for a role a few minutes into an interview. This approach may cause you to miss out on great candidates who were just overly nervous at the beginning."
The article also shared some valuable points on making your interviewee more comfortable:
- Start small. Ease candidates into their interview by asking basic questions first (e.g., Why did you apply to this role?)
- Explain the process. No matter what interview format you’re using, briefly explain how the interview will be implemented.
- Ask them if they have initial questions
5. Be friendly, be patient, and remember to say thank you
Contrary to popular belief, sending a thank you email is not reserved for the jobseeker only. When the interviewer sends a thank you email, even before any decision has been made on the candidate, it shows the candidate that you valued their time and the interaction you had with them. Further to this, it fosters a good practice of communication & kindness - which can be beneficial to your company's reputation.
By implementing these 5 easy and practical steps in your interview process, you’re guaranteed better run interviews, more valuable engagements, and an outcome that hopefully yields you a positive result.
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