10 months ago

Make it all about the Candidate

Put more of the focus on what your company can do for potential employees, and you’ll attract candidates who better fit your needs.

A candidate attending a face to face interview uses the meeting as a basis for them to understand the working relationships and the culture of the organisation. First impressions count as much for the hiring organisation as they do for the applicant looking to work there.

How much thought is put into directions and access to entry, meet & greet, refreshments and general attitude to welcoming a potential new team member?

At this stage, the candidate is critically appraising the employer as well as being judged. For the candidate, the interview is a critical stage in which to assess:

– The extent to which an organisation has suitable hiring practices

– Possible working style of the hiring manager, the working environment and the office culture;

– The extent to which the candidate feels respected and valued.

Candidates want the business to sell them the job as well. In the interview process it shouldn’t only be the interviewee jumping through hoops.

Candidates also value the chance to be shown around the office, meet some of the staff and to gauge the culture and atmosphere of an organisation. Unsurprisingly, this provides the candidate with a rounded view of the organisation.


Keep the Interview Relevant

As with the job description, candidates express a preference for interviews that tested the candidate on skills and aptitude relevant to the job itself. Candidates viewed wild card questions for example, “If you were a newspaper, which newspaper would you be?” with scepticism.

Generic questions are not viewed kindly either. Candidates welcome an interviewer who has taken the time to look through the CV and who asks probing questions based on the individual’s experience.


Use Video but only at First Stage

The REC highlighted in their report, The Client Paradox (REC 2013), the use of video technology has become prevalent. However, the views expressed in some focus groups suggest that employers should proceed with caution in using video technology as candidates highlighted a number of concerns about this approach.

Candidates acknowledge that a video interview allows for flexibility, particularly if people live abroad or have to balance their priorities (for example childcare) around their schedule. The use of video technology can be cost – and time – efficient. However, the following drawbacks were identified:

– It is harder to gauge whether you “click” with the hiring manager. Video interviews can hinder rapport

– It limits the immediate feedback that you establish through having rapport with the interviewer

– It is unclear what the rules of engagement are: do you dress formally?

– The candidate has to have a suitable space and suitable equipment to hand

– It provides a personal insight into someone’s living arrangements: should this be taken into account?

Candidates think it is important that they have an opportunity to meet with the hiring manager, even if it is only for ten minutes at the first interview.


In Summary

All in all, the impression of the organisation imprinted on the candidate leaving the premises will stay with the candidate after the interview. How the company felt, how helpful were the staff and how thorough the interview process was.

Ideally the candidate should be leaving the organisation feeling extremely positive about their experience, wanting to work there and looking forward to starting their future career with the company. This should be the case even if the candidate wasn’t going to be offered the role.





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