Hiring managers don’t have it easy these days—especially when they’re determining how to conduct a job interview with an A-list candidate. Employers say finding talent is their No. 1 challenge, and it’s a candidate-driven market. And, while you’re interviewing them, those candidates are judging you: Roughly four out of five candidates (78 percent) say their candidate experience tells them how the company values its employees, according to recent CareerBuilder research. And that matters when they’re deciding where they want to work.
Whether you have the candidate on the phone, on a video screen, or in your conference room, these question-and-answer sessions are as much of an opportunity to woo candidates as they are to vet them. Use these five tips to conduct a job interview that wins talent.
Do a Self-Check
Just as you should check out your credit score before you apply for a loan, check out how your company appears to candidates who are considering interviewing there. While you’re thinking about how to conduct a job interview, bad reviews or information could be turning candidates away before you get the chance.
Search for phrases job candidates would use such as “jobs at My Stellar Company” or “My Stellar Company sales positions.” Look at your job ads to be sure they’re well written and encourage diverse candidates. And don’t forget to look at review sites and social media.
“Online review sites have increased in popularity and many people frequent them,” says Tom Gimbel, founder and CEO of Chicago-based staffing firm LaSalle Network. Candidates are looking at reviews on Glassdoor, Yelp, and other review sites, as well as social media to help them decide on their next employer. So, find out what people are saying about you to anticipate some of the questions you may receive.
Candidates should know what to expect throughout the process. One Inc. magazine piece recommends outlining a clear progression for candidates so they know what to expect.
For example, your interview process might look like:
- 30-minute telephone screening interview with a recruiter
- 60-minute hiring manager telephone or video interview
- Three hour-long in-person meetings with relevant team members
- One final interview with the hiring manager
When prospective employees know what to expect, they’re typically more engaged in the process and more likely to see it through. So, think through your progression, when you’re determining how to conduct a job interview.
Showcase Your Culture and People
Use your interview time to showcase your culture. One article in Inc. says the most important factor in retention is culture fit, so it pays to make sure they know what to expect with your company. In remote interviews, discuss what makes your company culture strong. When you’re determining how to conduct in-person job interviews, be prompt and make the candidate comfortable. Introduce the prospective employee to others in the office and show them around. Consider arranging for snacks or a meal.
Candidates want to know what the environment is, as well as who their coworkers or managers will be. You might even “invite them to a team happy hour or to shadow an employee for a half day so they have real insight into what it’s like to work at the organization,” Gimbel says. And be genuine, so both the candidate and the company can determine if they’d be a good fit.
Ask Great Questions
Crafting good interviews is an art form. One piece in Fast Company suggests particularly revealing questions interviewers should ask to get better insight into the candidates they’re interviewing. Questions like, “What were you doing on your best day at work?” and “Why shouldn’t I hire you?” require more than pat responses. The first question dives deep into what makes a candidate happy at work. The second is a new twist on asking about weaknesses and requires the employee frame the response in a new way. When you’re determining how to conduct a job interview, think about what really matters to you in new employees and craft questions that will help you discover those attributes.
Stay in Touch
Gone are the days when you could conduct an interview and then leave the employee wondering out the outcome for a week or two. Candidates expect to know where they stand at all times. The good news is that applicant tracking software (ATS) like Jobvite, Bamboo HR, and MightyRecruiter offer affordable and even free solutions to help you streamline the hiring process, track analytics, and automate responses. They allow you to keep in touch with candidates quickly after each interview to let them know the next steps.
Your interview process is the candidate’s first experience with your employer brand. Set up your hiring team for success and win the best talent by making every step of the process the best it can be.
As you make decisions about how to conduct a job interview that wins talent, ezCater’s blog can help you with smart ideas from business best practices to winning food choices.