5 steps to improve your interviews today

The most important part of an interview Is to fully understand what you need from that candidate for the role and where the company is. But it is also to establish a good relationship with the candidate.

Why is it necessary to stablish a good relationship with a candidate during a recruitment process?

You may be thinking that is because of this new trend of being focus on employer branding and all those big words like talent attraction that HR and companies use constantly, but those concepts exist because it has been proven that they bring results.

In the end it is all about creating a good atmosphere where candidates feel comfortable and understand if your organisation could be the company where to work or not. 

An interview should be a two-way conversation. It should not be about you are asking the questions but also for them to have the opportunity to fully understand everything that they want to know about the company. Obviously, there are going to be certain things that you will not be able to disclose, or just that you do not want to disclose. However, the more honest you are and the more transparency there is in the conversation the better, so they can fully discover everything that they need to know about the company before taking a decision.  

You may think that this is not important and that you are the one who wants to be having all the information, but today we live in the era of social media, and we live in the era of people sharing information with each other. 

It is not important now, but at some point, in the future, you may have a lot of bad reviews at Glassdoor or somewhere else. These bad reviews could say that the interviews are horrible and the people in there make your life hell just to go through the recruitment process. So why should they apply on the first stage? For sure you do not want to be in that situation in the future so therefore, you need to be making sure that they are happy with the external vision of your company right now. 

How do I improve my recruitment process from today?? 

It is important to make the candidate feel as comfortable as possible so they will tell you everything that you need to know. If someone is in guard and is fearing that you will be judging them, they will not share everything about their past, the future or their expectations. By contrary, if you are nice to them. If you smile and you make them, feel welcome and you explain as much as possible from the company, they will feel that they can do the same from their perspective. So that is why you also want to make it. And now... So how did you do that? 

First step of an interview:  the invitation to the interview 

The concept of the customer journey has been widely developed over the last years and you might have read for sure about the different touch points. However, we tend to forget to treat candidates like another customer of your HR services. You might think that the interview is not important and is not part is not part of the interview, or the communication. But as we talk about touch points when you speak about the customer experience, we could say that you can also apply that concept to the relationship with your potential employees. For that reason, the interview invite is one of the most important steps. What the first email you write to a candidate says, how you say it, how accessible or flexible you are about timings, etc... is sending a lot of information to the candidate that could be defining your future relationship. 

Second stage: Welcoming the candidate. 

What is going to happen? How are they going to be received? Do You have a reception area? Do they need access to the building? Is it going to be a web conference call? Is it going to be just the call? Make sure that they know everything. Make sure that when you introduce them that they are not waiting if it is not needed, make sure they have been told how to manage things and everyone is aware of them waiting.  

Remember, you expect them to have a smile when they see you for the first time. Make sure they receive the same.  

Third stage:  First part of the conversation. 

This is when the real conversation starts. A little bit of chit chat, asking how their day was, if they had any problem getting to the office or connecting with the system, etc...  

The purpose of this first part of the interview is to do 2 things,  

  1. Explain your expectations for the call and define the conversation is going to go? It would be good to mention that you are going to give them time to make as many questions as possible? It is an effective way, and it has been proven remarkably successful in the past by many HR professionals. Be asked the questions first. In this way you give the opportunity to the candidate for them to ask as many questions as possible, and then for you to ask your questions again. This gives them the opportunity to be flexible and to make sure that they understand everything. 
  2.  This first part is also to make them feel more relaxed. If you are a chatty person, it could be good, so they feel that they are not being judge.  
  3. If you are happy with answering questions first, this is also a good moment, it tells you if they have prepared for the call. A candidate that did not even have a look to your website will have 0 questions and those that did their homework will have tons of them. It also relaxes them and proves the transparency we mentioned before.  

Fourth step:  The actual interview- get the questions right! 

The interview is the time where you have the opportunity to know everything about them, it is not just about that gut feeling people claim to have. IT is not about focussing on getting to know their past and whether if they went to a nice school or their ideas in politics.  

You have made the arrangements for them to see you and you need to be efficient. What do you need to know. Can they do the role?  

Get your questions ready in advance. Analyse the job description and make sure that by the end of the time prebooked, they know if they want to work with you and you can say whether if you would like to work with them or not. 

Fifth step of the interview:  Next Steps

The last stage of the process and of the conversation is to summarise how the recruitment process is going to go. Close the call or the meeting in the same way that you would close any other meeting, with “NEXT STEPS” 

The time that you are expecting to take before coming back to them. Are there going to be any other steps? When the last decision will be made.  

Make sure that emails and the communication with your candidates is clear and it is fully aligned with your communication style.  

If you are not sure if your emails are giving you the result you need, please check our list of emails to candidates and implement them from today!

 As a summary, se created this infographic, please feel free to share!

Interview process infographic