If the interview is a two-way process, then the interviewer should be taking steps to impress the interviewee as well as the other way round. There’s not a lot worse than losing out on an ideal candidate because they were unimpressed at the interview and took another job offer. So how can you ensure that your interview technique wins over the candidate – leaving you with the right person to hire?
Have an initial chat
A bit of small talk prior to an interview can go a long way. It sets the candidate at ease, allowing them to have a more honest and relaxed conversation with you. Being formal is obviously important, but it’s equally important to be able to get to know the real candidate. A great way of doing this is to have a general chat before you get down to the nitty gritty of the actual interview. Make sure you structure the interview by starting with the easier questions. For example, ask if their journey was OK, what their current situation is and then gradually lead in to the interview questions. If your interview style is a bit off the cuff, have a think about whether the questions you ask are in a logical order and will allow the interviewee to perform.
Don’t be too regimented
It’s a great idea to have a standard set of questions prepared before you interview the candidates in order to keep things consistent and ascertain what you need to find out from each person. However, don’t fall into the trap of not allowing the interview to move outside of these questions. Each candidate is different, and some may have something to offer that doesn’t necessarily come under the brackets of one of your questions. Allow the interview to go off on slight tangents and you’ll likely find that you come away feeling you got to know the candidate a lot better. Also, enabling the interviewee to control some of the content of the interview can help some candidates to perform better.
Offer an Insight
An interview is an insight into the company for the candidate just as much as it is an insight for you into the suitability of the candidate. Therefore, it’s a shame if you invite candidates in for interview without letting them get to know the company a little better. This includes an introduction of the interviewers and what their roles within the company are. Also, consider offering a tour of the workplace is a great way to encourage candidates to envisage themselves fitting in. Too many companies invite candidates in for interview without allowing them much information on themselves or the organisation. Sure – candidates should do their research. But giving them a chance to have a closer look at what you do helps them to ask more insightful questions at the end of the interview.
In short, interviews are much more about the candidate experience than a lot of recruiters may realise. If you think this could be you, try and introduce some of these new techniques to see if you get more candidates saying yes to your job offers.