One of the biggest mistakes that employers and recruiters make is by simply putting off potential candidates by making them feel like an intruder. An uncomfortable interviewing or hiring process is a sure way to lose the best talent to competitors. If you’re part of the recruitment process for a company, you are likely to make the first impression they will have of what it will be like to work there. Here are some tips for putting candidates at ease during the interviewing process.
Don’t waste anyone’s time
The initial screening process for candidates should include not only questions about what they can bring to the company, but what the company has to offer them as well. While final salary negotiations are usually done towards the end of the whole process, asking an experienced professional to go through an interview process and candidacy, only to learn at the end that it’s an entry-level salary, is insulting. Make sure that the candidate knows whether it is a contract or full-time position, a general idea of what the position pays, and any benefits that they may be eligible for before scheduling any serious interviews.
Once you’ve screened a potential applicant and they’ve accepted an interview, be sure to explain the process in detail. Give clear directions and instructions for locating your office and who to ask for when they arrive. Just saying “be here Thursday at 2:00” is simply not enough info. They need to know the location of the building, if there are other suites they will need to navigate past, and what to expect when they arrive.
Help them prepare
If an applicant thinks they’re coming in to meet with you to go over their resume, and you march them to a conference room where they’re met by the department head and three other team members for a technical interview, you’ve just set them up for failure. Not only will this intimidate your candidate, but they won’t be able to adequately demonstrate their skills if they aren’t prepared. Let them know who they will be meeting with, the purpose of the interview, and what kinds of things they will need to be ready to discuss.
Greet them and treat them as guests
Leaving candidates waiting in the lobby for an extended period of time is never a good idea. Interviews are stressful situations, even when they go well. Being blatantly rude and leaving applicants alone or unattended will build anxiety, which can lead to a negative performance during the interview. Invite them in, thank them for coming, and if you are running behind schedule, find someone who can take a few moments and give them a tour of the facility. If you’ve gone through the trouble of setting up an interview, there must be something in them that you desire. Don’t throw it away by being inattentive and distant.
Try to show them the real face of the business
Remember that an interview is a meeting between two parties, to see how well the arrangement will work. If your office is normally a chaotic and high-energy collaborative environment, don’t stifle your other employees for an hour because you’re trying to make a good impression. On the other hand, if your office is quiet and compartmentalized, don’t try to make it appear to be a fast-paced and fun atmosphere. Trying to be something you’re not will create a tension in the workspace that candidates will be able to feel when walking around.
Let them also interview you
Whether a candidate will fit into a position well has implications for both sides. While they are selling themselves to you, you’re also selling a company to them. Leave space at the end of the interview for the candidate to ask any potential questions, or discuss possible deal-breakers. Both sides need to be comfortable with the relationship if you’re going to avoid turnover.
Interviewing candidates for a position shouldn’t be a question of seeing who will jump through the most hoops. Welcoming potential employees and putting them at ease will help to ensure the best fit, not just for them, but also for your company.