The interview is an essential part of the hiring process. It’s a time where you’re making an impression on candidates, as well as getting to know them better. As a two-way conversation, it’s critical that you put your best foot forward and listen intently at the same time. Here are six things companies are forgetting to do in the interview process, and what you can do instead.
1. Establishing a Defined Process
Many organizations simply don’t have an established interview process. It’s important to have a defined procedure for interviewing candidates. Having a structure allows you to approach the process with more ease and allows you to be fully present. You really don’t want to “just wing it” during the interview. Have pre-determined set of questions to ask them. Show candidates that you are organized and well-prepared.
2. Clear and Timely Communication
Another important thing to remember is to communicate consistently with candidates. Organizations that leave the candidate hanging after the interview, are sure to become frustrated with the outcome. If you say you’re going to call the candidate back by the end of the week, make sure you call them before the week ends. Companies often put the interview process on hold to deal with problems that arise. When this happens, make time to let candidates know the interview process is taking longer than expected so they don’t lose interest.
3. Rolling out the Red Carpet
Roll out the red carpet for candidates. When they come for an interview, you want them to have a good experience. You want them to feel like they are a special guest and not just a random person coming in for an interview. Don’t keep them waiting in a seating area while you get things ready and offer them refreshments such as water or coffee. You want to make them feel important so make sure you call them by their name and show them you are excited to meet them.
4. Getting Everyone on the Same Page
Everyone on your team should be on the same page during the interview. You want everyone to be in agreement on major talking points so you present a cohesive view of the company and the position.
5. Asking the Right Questions
Your questions should predominantly be behavioral based and focus on the skills required to succeed in the position. Unlike stocks, past performance is by far the best indicator of future performance when it comes to talent. So, you want to allow candidates to discuss challenges they faced in previous jobs so you can understand how they would face similar challenges in the future. Ask questions such as “Tell me about a time you had to do xyz.” Then, ask follow-up questions.
6. Making a Competitive Offer
When you find a candidate you want to hire, you need to make them a competitive offer. Many companies are looking to save money, but high-quality talent is an investment not just an expense. You can’t think of hiring as a line item on a P&L. The worst thing you can do is lowball your top candidate. Even if your goal is to leave room for negotiation it is still a risk you shouldn’t take. You don’t want to insult your top pick. Instead, feel things out. Try to find out what kind of offer they are looking for by asking a question like “I’d love to have you on our team and I’m willing to to go to bat for you if you feel the same way. Our President need to approve every offer. If I’m able to get them to offer you a package that includes xyz salary, a 10% yearly bonus and all the benefits we discussed, would you accept that offer”? You want to give them an offer that they will be happy to accept, without going overboard and offering more than you can afford.
Winning candidates over is challenging, but when you find high-quality talent you have to what you can to secure the deal. Having a defined process, constant communication and strong communication skills will help. You also want to make them feel valuable and present a unified vision of the company and the position.
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