Given the dynamic recruitment scenario, it’s imperial for interviewers and organizations to accept the importance of having the right impact and conducting a productive interview to attract talent. Gone are the days when Employers had an upper hand in the interviewing process #Fact .In this day and age, candidates are well informed and know exactly what they expect to advance in their chosen line of career. In fact, interviews and the entire recruitment process should be able to create the right impact and thus attract talent in the market. However, most employers fail to understand the importance of this process thinking that it’s just a one way process while all along it’s a two way process where the candidate also makes judgments based on his / her experience.
Hence, given below is my perspective on avoiding the most common interviewing mistakes :
• Prepare for the Interview: Take some time and plan on the structure of the interview and look at the candidate’s resume. Note down the questions and keep them handy so that you don’t struggle to think of the questions that you plan to ask. It’s always advisable to be sure of the objective of the interview i.e. what exactly do you want to achieve / learn at the end of the interview. List down the skills / competencies that the job requires and try planning on questions well in advance to help you learn the candidate’s level of efficiency on those specific skills.
• Describe the Career Path: Try to limit the description of possibilities of the role. There is a high chance of the candidate misunderstanding ‘can’ for ‘will’ and thus creating expectations that the Employer may not be able to fulfill. Use the interview to highlight the career path in the form of the role, the possibilities of growth and may be some confirmed projects in line.
• Sell the Company: Every Employer has good and bad things and the Interviewer being an Employee himself / herself may have mixed experiences. Try to avoid sharing the bitter ones. I’m all for being honest in the interview, but highlight the challenges keeping them subtle with solutions that helped you over come and mainly, avoid direct comments. At the same time, do not over sell the company, the candidate may start feeling awkward if the Interviewer displays over passion for the company.
• Be Precise : Some times the interview can get over informative where the Interviewer may share excess information. In an interview, ideally the Interviewer should speak 20 % and listen 80% of the time. Try to be precise and only provide information that is required and DO NOT, over chat with the candidate. It’s one thing to provide information and something else to keep chatting. I once had a candidate who went through a 3 hours long interview just listening to the Interviewer’s experiences. The impression that the candidate had on coming out of the interview was that the Interviewer is indecisive or has no experience at all, this is #NegativeBranding. You certainly want to avoid this result , so keep it precise and short.
• Be Presentable : To start with make sure that you are dressed to represent the organisation’s culture. If your organisation has a strict formal policy, make sure that you portray that. Even if the interview is on the last day of the week ensure that you don’t represent a very casual look because the candidate may feel that you aren’t really serious about the interview.
• Represent the Culture: Let the candidate experience your hospitality. Make him / her comfortable by offering some beverages on a particularly hot sunny day and let the candidate relax for about 5 mins before starting the interview. The bottom line is that he/ she should feel welcome and comfortable. If he / she feels so, he/ she is going to have a good first impression and you may be amazed at the outcome of the interview. It also helps in selling the company whereby the candidate can see and feel the hospitality and Employee centric ‘Culture’. So build it in from the initial stages.
• Interview Set – up : Conduct the interview in a not so busy area of your office with least possible interruptions and a clean meeting / conference room. Make sure that the seating is comfortable and apt for an interview. You don’t want to be in a conference room with multiple people walking past and loud noises which makes it difficult for you and the candidate to hear each other. Most Important, fix an interview time and stick to the time. As far as possible, try not to keep the candidate waiting. In case you know of a delay, it’s always advisable to inform the candidate in advance and seek his confirmation.
Given above are just a few tips from my perspective. I’m sure that most of you have been on either side of the table. So share your experiences or feel free to ask / discuss on any of the points.
By: Deepti Deshpande