Why is Interviewing so Hard?
Finding great candidates is hard. Getting them through the interview process can be even harder. According to a global survey by Sterling, over 70% of candidates have either dropped out or thought about dropping out of their most recent recruitment experience because it was too long, too complicated, or had too many touch points.
You want the process to be thorough enough that you feel confident about the candidate’s skillset, but efficient enough you don’t lose anyone to an overly complex process.
In this post, we’ll explore a few tips to consider when conducting your next round of interviews:
- Have a Plan and Designate Roles
- Interview in Waves
- Research Candidates
- Set Timelines
- Be Ready to Sell Your Brand
Have a Plan & Designated Roles
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” - Benjamin Franklin
Preparation is the key to every aspect of running a successful business. Why would interviewing candidates be any different?
No one is saying you need to spend hours developing your interview strategy either. Following this simple lay out, paired with the right questions, can prove to be a super effective strategy:
- First Round Interview: Learn about the candidates background while you provide more details about the company and specific project this person would work on. Make sure this sounds like a good fit for both parties.
- Second Round Interview: Ask more specific questions about projects they’ve worked on, technologies they’ve used, etc. This is where you test their aptitude for the role.
- Final Round Interview: Go through some situational questions to see how they’d react to projects getting behind schedule, dealing with unruly stakeholders, etc. Think about real situations your company deals with regularly.
On top of having a plan laid out for interviewing, it’s important to decide who’s involved. Who’s approval do you need to feel comfortable extending an offer?
Give those people a designated role in the recruitment and interview process. Needing to throw in an extra round of interviews at the end because you forgot to include one of your team’s decision makers can be costly.
Interview in Waves
Interviewing, as you may know, is very time consuming. You need to prepare, conduct the interview, and then provide thoughtful feedback within a reasonable time. That’s why we recommend interviewing in waves when possible.
For example, dedicate time to completing your first wave of interviews over the course of a few days. This can be incredibly useful to both you and your candidates. Not only is it easier for you to compare and contrast candidates, but you’re also able to deliver feedback much quicker.
- Interview Waves = Faster Feedback = Better Candidate Experience
Recruiting candidates in this market is extremely competitive, especially within IT, and that’s not changing any time soon. Being able to deliver feedback and move candidates through the interview process quickly can be critical to nailing those key hires for your company.
This tip may seem obvious, but study up on your candidates prior to the interview! Especially for key hires in your organization.
Just as candidates are coached to research a company prior to an interview, it’s equally as important for you to research your candidates. Read their resume, check out their LinkedIn profile and other social media (almost 75% of managers are already doing this!).
A few things to look out for when researching your candidates:
- See if you have any common industry connections. They may provide additional insight into your candidate’s soft skills and job performance.
- Take notes on areas that stand out, good or bad, in the candidates background so you can follow up on them during the interview.
- Prepare specific questions tailored to the candidates prior experience.
Following these steps, you’ll be able to pull more insightful information from the candidate which should result in better hiring decisions.
Candidates lose interest in positions when it takes too long to get feedback or the interview process is too long. The longer you wait, the higher your chances of losing your candidate.
We understand that you have a job to do outside of interviewing candidates. However, executing on an effective recruitment strategy means executing your interview strategy. If you want to keep your top candidates engaged throughout the interview process you need to set a timeline for feedback (and stick to it!).
Information you’ll want to share with candidates:
- When should they expect to hear feedback?
- Who should they expect to hear from?
- If they’re moving forward in the process, how many rounds of interviews are left?
Candidates will not only appreciate your accountability, they’ll be able to set realistic expectations with other companies they’re interviewing with. If they don’t know where they stand in your process, you run the risk of them accepting another offer or just losing interest altogether.
Be Ready to Sell Your Brand!
The first thing almost every candidate asks when we talk to them about your open position is “Can you tell me a little bit about the company?”
Household names like Amazon, Comcast, and Apple don’t have to sell themselves to candidates. People know who they are and what they do. However, chances are that your company isn’t quite there yet.
The good news is name recognition isn’t everything. There are plenty of other things that you can use to sell your brand to candidates.
Here's some things to consider:
- Are you working with new technology that people are looking to get experience with?
- Is the project meaningful? Does it have some sort of global impact?
- Does your company offer great benefits, stock options, parental leave, etc.?
- Are there continuing education and career development opportunities available to employees?
- Is there anything special that sets your company culture apart? (Please don’t tell candidates you’re like family)
More and more candidates care about company culture when interviewing. Being able to express to them how your values are in line with their own can be the difference between them accepting an offer or not.
The candidate market is competitive and that isn’t changing. If you’re not prepared to interview candidates and provide feedback in a timely manner, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Your prep work doesn’t need to take that long either. The key here is just being thoughtful of the candidate experience.
Prodigy Resources has been helping clients master their interview techniques and recruit their ideal candidates since 2007. Connect with us here if you’d like to get a free evaluation of your company’s interview process.