Client Interview Advice

It is a candidate driven market and all companies are competing for the top talent within their industry and location. Candidates with direct, relevant experience and skillset are likely to have been contacted regarding multiple job opportunities, will be interviewing with a number of different companies and will likely receive multiple job offers. In addition, they will likely be counter offered by their current employer.

Now more than ever, the candidate experience matters. The recruitment journey that a candidate experiences with your company will likely have a significant impact on their decision whether or not to accept an offer of employment with you. Even if they are not the right candidate for this role with you, they are likely to share their experiences (good and bad!) with their colleagues, friends and family etc which could potentially have an impact on your employer branding.

What can you do to improve the candidate experience?

  • Speed up the interview process. If the recruitment process extends out to weeks or months, applicants will drop out of the process and accept offers with other companies or counter offers with their current employers.
  • Avoid a lack of urgency – ensure that due time, consideration and effort is given to the process. Be ready to hire with a sense of urgency.
  • Always provide timely feedback to candidates following interviews, even if the feedback is not positive. The candidate has taken the time out of their day and possibly even taken a day or a half day off work so the least that they would expect in return is to hear something following the interview
  • Work to provide open and frequent communication throughout the entire recruitment process
  • Be careful when cancelling or rescheduling interviews both with notice and last minute and only do so if absolutely necessary
  • Always be professional and treat everyone involved in the hiring process with respect
  • Sell your culture, brand and reputation to all candidates throughout the recruitment process
  • Conduct regular salary benchmarking surveys and ensure that the salary and benefits offered for each role is competitive and in line with market rates or above

Different types of interviews:

There is no right or wrong way to conduct an interview and there are many different types of interviews with procs and cons for each.

Telephone interviews

Many companies are conducting initial telephone interviews with candidates as they are a great opportunity to have a screening interview with candidates without wasting too much of the candidate’s or your time. This is a good option for clients who have a large volume of candidates and/or have significant time constraints. It is also great if the role involves a lot of telephone communication as it is the perfect opportunity to assess the candidate’s telephone communication skills. The disadvantages to using telephone interviews are that you are reliant on communications and phone service etc, you can’t read a candidates body language and you are not giving the candidate the opportunity  to see the environment that they will be working within. Telephone interviews should always be followed up with an in person interview.

Panel interview:

Panel interviews have two or more interviewers in the interview, the main advantage is that it avoids any personal biases that might creep in during an individual interview. It is likely that two interviewers will pick up different strengths and weaknesses and together it is more likely that a will make a more rounded decision.  In order to allow better flow of the interview, one person should lead the interview, asking the main questions whilst the others ask any additional or follow up questions based on the response.

Competency based interviews:

Should you decide to use competency based interviews, they should be structured to reflect the competencies that you are looking for in a particular role. You should spend some time prior to the interview, using the job description for the role to draft questions that the candidate will be required to give examples of.

Face to face interviews:

This is the most popular and efficient type of interview, it allows you to see their body language and their motivations and start building a relationship with them. You can quickly see the candidate’s suitability for the role and your company and you have the opportunity to ask probing questions and dig deeper.