Most often when we think of interview preparation, we think of preparing candidates for the interview process. But what about interview preparation for the organization? This is a crucial step that often gets overlooked. In today’s competitive job market, what steps can an organization take to ensure that they are prepared for the interview process?
Before the candidate interview, ensure that those involved in the interview process have thoroughly read the resume and have identified any areas on the resume that they have questions about or need further clarification. You don’t want to be distracted during the interview because you are just then reading the resume for the first time or miss an item on the resume that would need clarification because you are not prepared in advance of the interview.
Take the time to introduce the members of the interview panel and a brief introduction of the organization. This will help the candidate feel more at ease and learn more about who you are and what you do. Share details about the vision, culture, and value proposition so the candidate gets a better understanding of who the organization is and if it aligns with their expectations.
Unless it is an emergency, shut your phone and email off during an interview to provide the candidate with your uninterrupted attention and interest. Schedule the length of interviews properly so that you have enough time to evaluate each candidate and are not cutting candidates short because you have to jump into another meeting.
To ensure a fair and consistent hiring process, have your standard interview questions prepared in advance so you can properly evaluate each candidate. This will allow you to review the skills and experience that should be assessed for the role and help reduce any biases in the interview process. Ensure that your team is educated on what is appropriate to ask during an interview, and how to identify and eliminate biases.
Allow the candidate time to ask any questions they have about the role or the organization. For most of the interview it is the organization asking the questions to determine if the candidate has the right experience and is the right fit but allow the candidate the opportunity to do the same.
Post Interview Follow-up
Provide candidates with the courtesy of knowing where they are in the interview process. I have heard countless times from candidates that they have interviewed with an organization and never heard back. If you are not moving forward with a candidate, let them know. Response time after the interview is also very important. Taking weeks to advise a candidate on the outcome of the interview in today’s market is too long. Many candidates are actively looking and interviewing for new opportunities and most likely will not be available or be disengaged in the process if you take weeks to get back to them.
Keep in mind the interview process is a two-way street. The organization is assessing whether the candidate is the right fit for their job and the candidate is determining if this is the ideal organization for them. Just like candidate interview preparation, the more you practice these tips, the better the interview process will be. Not only will it help you evaluate candidates more effectively, but it will also help create a positive candidate experience.