No matter how it is packaged, most candidates will be anxious at interview; there is a lot riding on the outcome of the meeting. However, there are steps you can take as a recruiter not only to put them at ease, but to make improvements to the interview process overall.
Here are five top tips:
1) Pre-interview information
When inviting the candidate to an interview, it’s important and professional to provide them with as much information as possible. That way they can prepare as necessary and it’ll make for a far more productive interview. Send a job description and person specification, so that they know precisely what experience you are looking for. It could act as an early-stage screening tool; those lacking the skills may withdraw before the interview, saving you all time.
Also, provide clear details regarding your location and parking so that they do not get lost and arrive late – or not at all.
2) Dress appropriately
Don’t forget that you, as a representative of your company, are effectively being interviewed too and as such, you should want to create a good impression. Just as a candidate is advised to dress smartly for an interview, so should the interviewers. If nothing else, it shows respect and the candidate will feel more relaxed.
3) Book a good room
It’s crucial that you hold your interview in a quiet space which is far away from any distractions. Thus you’ll need to book a good room in advance. Ideally, the room should possess a table and chairs; sitting on a sofa in the staff room can be awkward and uncomfortable.
4) Script some relevant questions
The best interviews use competency-based questions, relevant to the job, which relate back to the particular skills and behaviours associated with the role. These questions ask the candidate to demonstrate when they have exhibited a particular skill, such as when they’ve provided fantastic customer service or when they’ve had to meet a deadline.
Developing and sticking to an interview framework ensures consistency, regardless of who is carrying out the interview. The results should showcase the candidates’ suitability for the role, furnishing you with information with which to make improved recruitment decisions.
5) Don’t drag it out
The recruitment process can be long – and time scales quite often vary dependent on the level of the role you are recruiting for. Reduce that recruitment time by making and communicating your decisions as soon as you can. That way, you can have your new starter on board quickly. Delaying decisions can be dangerous; candidates might accept other offers in the intervening period, meaning you might lose them to the competition. A quick phone call is sufficient, you don’t need to send out the full terms and conditions immediately.
Some of the points above may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised just how much they can, combined, improve the interview process for you and the candidates.