You’ve done everything correctly to attract the right candidate. So far, you created a perfect job description, accurately conveyed your culture to the recruiting partner, and they’ve matched your needs with some of the best talent in the field. But after a star candidate spends the day interviewing, they decide to keep looking. What went wrong?

Honestly, it could be any number of things, but what we hear most often is “the interview experience wasn’t great.” This idea might get old, but it never goes out of style: the candidate was also interviewing you. Not always with a barrage of questions, but with silent judgment and assessment. 

We’ve discussed the nitty gritty of an interview. But, here is some wisdom on providing a robust and dynamic interview experience for your candidates. 

7 Ways to Give Your Candidates a Great Interview Experience

1. Give Candidates an Agenda 

From the time candidates enter your doors, they should feel welcomed and valuable. Greet them warmly. Don’t make them wait in the lobby for 20 minutes. Hand them an agenda with suggested break times so they can see the full plan for the day. 

People like certainty – especially on a nerve-wracking day. Every minute of their day should be accounted for in the agenda.

2. Sell Your Organization with Intention.

The truth is, your ideal candidate has options. So, it’s your job to sell them on everything. Why would you be a great fit for them? What does your culture do especially well? Why do you love working there? One of our clients—SitusAMC—does this incredibly well. In fact, every person we’ve placed at Situs is still thriving. And we’ve been partners since 2018. Why? Because they treat job candidates with the same motivation as they treat clients. And it works. Remember that 100% retention means reducing onboarding and training fees as well as fewer disruptions in workflow. 

3. Put Down Your Phone

When interviewing a candidate, give them your full attention. Close your computer screen, put down your phone, listen. Wouldn’t you judge candidates poorly if they were multi-tasking? Recently, we had a candidate lose out on a great opportunity because he placed his phone face down on the table in front of him during the interview. I know, it seems picky. But, the company had choices, and etiquette was top priority. Let’s hold ourselves to the same standard.

4. Come Prepared

Coming prepared to an interview is a basic concept, yet it’s faded in the past decade, largely (we think) due to double-booked schedules and a ridiculous daily work pace. But, you can’t just review the resume right before the interview. (And, don’t even think about reviewing it for the first time in front of the candidate.) 

During the interview, be sure to highlight those experiences or qualifications that piqued your curiosity, and ask the right questions. Check out their LinkedIn profile, read a blog they’ve authored, research mutual connections, and find common ground with sports teams, family, or volunteerism. This will help the interview conversation flow and help you candidate feel more connected to your business.

5. Be Honest with Candidates

Being honest can be easily overlooked, and if you have doubts, err on the side of caution. A woman once told us that she’d made it to the final interview and was competing with just one other candidate. The other candidate went first, and our candidate was never called. It turns out the president hired the other person on the spot and never followed up. Not good. Keep your word and you’ll keep your refined reputation. 

6. Make Sure Everyone is on the Same Page

Candidates rarely come on-site and interview with a single person. So, what’s the plan? Is the HR person covering culture? Is the hiring manager covering technical skills? Is the C-Suite covering leadership and growth potential?  If every interview covers the same topics, it makes for a long day for the candidate, and it’s extremely repetitive! Use your time wisely and have each interviewer focus on a topic to check multiple boxes over the course of the day. A well-executed post-interview assessment with the interviewing team must be timely and bring together the data collected from the team.  

7. Do A Post-Interview Assessment 

Finding the right candidate is a living and breathing process. Interviews often lead to a tweak in the job description or an aha moment about the role. You may uncover soft skills that never got included–or hard skills that were simply forgotten. Maybe you botched the interview schedule and need to make adjustments. 

Finally, spend time as a team to discuss the candidates so that decisions can be made on the next steps.  Whatever you do, be sure to inform your recruiting company about these changes.

Do You Need Help with Your Hiring Processes?

The hiring process is both a science and an art, and you want to make sure that you are delighting your candidates throughout the hiring process. (Who knows. That candidate may introduce you to a potential customer even if they didn’t receive the position!)

Ready to start attracting, delighting, and hiring candidates that are the right fit for your company? Connect with our team at PeopleSuite to get started!

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