Job interviews: 5 levers to maximize a candidate’s experience
Finding the right employees for a company is a tough and arduous task. All employers want to be able to optimize the time and effort invested in finding the right person. The only problem is, often they have to sift through hundreds of resumes only to be disappointed that the interviewee didn’t live up to expectations. So here are 5 effective techniques to turn any job interview into a beneficial candidate’s experience – and a good recruiter’s too!
When I first started digging into the concept of candidate experience as a recruiter, I wanted to learn more about the importance of creating trustful relationships between candidates and recruiters. While many articles focused on how technology can streamline the application process, very few mentioned the job interview and the human interactions between recruiters and interviewees. How about changing perspectives so we stop only viewing the job interview as a mere way to evaluate candidates?
Intrigue your candidate
Job interviews are a persuasion as much as an evaluation tool. Make the candidate dream about joining the company, because you mean it – there is a lot to dream about!
How? Be challenging in your questions but friendly in the interaction. Share a lot: tell them about the company’s strategy and vision, what you are trying to achieve, and how the job will help your company get there. Make the job opportunity special: highlight its selective nature, what you are expecting from the future team member, etc.
Adapt to your candidate
All candidates are different and have diverse expectations for a job interview. Some will be receptive to kindness while others will gravitate towards a more challenging interaction. Focus on identifying who you are facing.
How? Be receptive to the signals your candidates send during the first few minutes. Is the candidate nervous or confident? Are they open or cautious? What does their body language tell you? Position yourself accordingly. Be caring. Understanding who you are facing will help you adapt your communication to create the right atmosphere and make the most out of the job interview.
Be a coach, not a policeman
Your goal is to find the best talent for the job, not to be a bouncer at the front door. A job interview should not be a boxing match. Don’t get in the ring. Instead, show the candidate that your role is to support them along the recruitment process. This doesn’t mean you won’t say “no”, but that if you do, you will be able to clearly explain your decision.
How? Have a debriefing with them after the job interview (it can be short!), either they are pursuing the recruitment process or not. Explain WHY and give advice on how to get better. Share your expertise!
Trust is at the foundation of any successful candidate-company relationship. A high level of transparency is necessary to generate trust.
How? Highlight the company’s achievements and accomplishments, but be honest about what needs to be improved. As for the job itself, you may also want to talk about less appealing missions and explain how that serves a higher goal. Being transparent will drastically increase the perceived reliability of every great aspect you mentioned about the job and the company.
As the competition for talent perpetually increases, time can be your best ally or worst enemy. As such, it needs to be carefully managed if you want to retain the best candidates in your hiring process. Not to mention – there is nothing worse for a candidate than not knowing what is coming next (or not).
How? Be clear about the steps and timing of the recruitment process. Explain the professionalism of your recruiting practices and highlight the seriousness of the decision-making process. Emphasize who will be involved in the decision, when it will be done and which main criteria will be considered.
Overall, this is about brand image. The impact of a job interview is never limited to just the people involved; candidates share their experience outside. As a job search is a highly emotional process, feelings and impressions towards a company are intense. Maximizing a candidate’s experience is more than a science, it’s an art. Human interaction and emotional intelligence play just as pivotal a role in the process as technological tools.
Utilize your recruitment process as a powerful brand-image tool! And treat your candidates as you would treat your clients.