Interviewing is definitely an art form. Not only do you need to discover as much as possible about the person you’re speaking with, but you need to do so in a way that makes your company and team appeal to the candidate.
At ALRA, we don’t just get asked to coach candidates for interviewing, but we’re also often asked if we have any advice for how to land those amazing candidates.
Some of the tips we believe in for getting the right person on board include:
1. First Impressions Count
Just as you will receive an immediate impression of the candidate, they receive one of you. A few things to think about include:
- Is the office clean / presentable?
- What do candidates see, hear and feel when they walk in?
- Are you, as an interviewer presented well?
- What culture are you trying to present? Is it reflected in the surroundings?
Remember – the interviewer creates the candidate’s first impression of the company and the kind of talent you want to attract will almost always have multiple options. Putting your best foot forward for that first impression will go a long way towards getting them on board.
2. Ask the Right Questions
“Well, duh” we hear you say but you’d be surprised how often interviews either go far out into left field, get too personal or have no structure to them whatsoever.
Be prepared as to exactly what questions you want to ask and what answers you are hoping to hear from the interview. Be specific in regards to skills and asking the candidate to relate examples of how they’ve used them.
Use the same overall structure for ALL candidates you’re speaking with as it provides clear profiles from which to compare.
Try to keep the interview well balanced between technical / situational and behavioural style questions. Both are important for establishing skills and personality traits.
3. Cultural Fit
Get this right. Easy enough to say, but can be difficult to establish in an interview. Trust your gut, if you feel that this person isn’t going to work with existing team members, don’t hire them.
A candidate could be the prefect technical fit, but if they’re a douchebag, they will cause you more headaches than solutions in the long run. They might also cause other skilled employees to leave, which will cost you money and productivity.
For their sake as well, you want to ensure they will be happy in their job. Numerous studies have proven that employees that enjoy their working lives are more productive and stay with companies longer than those that don’t.
4. Sell, Sell, Sell.
One of the biggest mistakes we see employers make during an interview is that they forget or don’t realise that they have to sell their company to the candidate just as much as the candidate has to sell their skillset.
Whilst most employers realise the importance of securing the right talent, there still seems to be a few interviewers here and there that think candidates should ‘just want to work with us because of our reputation’ without offering them any impetus to do so.
So sell your company. Tell the candidate the things you’re proud of about the company, what you love, some of the interesting things that you’ve done and the potential options that are open in the future for their career. Give them a well-rounded feel for the place they’ll be working at and what they can expect.
The more they can envision themselves in the role from interview stage, the more likely they are to accept an offer.
5. Don’t Stuff about Post Interview
If you want the candidate, chances are another company does too so don’t adopt the attitude “that if they want the job they’ll wait”. They might, but chances are they’ll get annoyed or worried that they’re not hearing anything from you and go somewhere else that is offering certainty and security. If there are timing issues, or the process is taking longer than expected, regular feedback will be appreciated.
Remember, silence is deadly.
If you know that you have a lengthy post interview process to go through before the hire will be completed, tell the candidate during the interview so they know what to expect.
The same is true if you decide not to hire the candidate. Make sure you’re timely in telling them they aren’t proceeding and and are clear about why. People talk and you don’t want to invite negative press. The candidate will most likely be grateful for the constructive feedback.
Looking for further interviewing advice or have a role you’d like advice on?
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to answer any questions you may have.
Error: Contact form not found.