How to Wow Your Best Candidates with a Bulletproof Interview Process
November 26, 2018
Written byLoretta Jones
When it comes time to recruit new hires, it is not just the candidates that are being judged. The interview process enables potential new employees to get insights into how things are done at your company, and ultimately, their early perceptions of your business can be shaped by the interview experience.
Many companies agree that their recruitment process could be improved. And a straightforward and efficient interview process will not only help you internally, it will also impress your top candidates.
Research from Leadership IQ found that 82% of managers reported that during an interview, the candidates dropped signs that would indicate they are not the right fit for the position. However, the interviewers were distracted by other issues or were otherwise lacking the time or confidence in their own abilities to conduct high-quality interviews.
It’s important that your business puts its best foot forward with your candidates and a consistent, streamlined hiring process can help.
6 Steps to Developing a Better Interview Process
Having standardized processes in place will make the whole thing run smoothly, especially when you are dealing with a lot of candidates.
Here are some essential steps to make everything easy to manage.
1: Use the Job Description to Focus on the Essentials
You don’t need a lengthy wall-of-text to describe the position available. Instead, hone in on the core essentials that the ideal candidate needs for the role.
By highlighting the baseline experience and skill set, you can weed out any pretenders and give candidates a clearer insight into the nature of the role, and what is expected of them.
Also, let your brand voice shine through. You can even brag about how great your company is – this can connect with more of “your type of people” so the candidates are better suited.
2: Base Your Questions on the Job Description & Prepare Your Questions
Let’s say your job description lists ‘customer service skills’ as essential. Use this as a roadmap to direct your questions. For example, ask the candidate about a time they received or provided exceptional customer service.
Make sure all questions have been written out and edited completely prior to the actual interviews. This effectively gives you a script for your interview, which can be used for every candidate so that every candidate has the same experience and a level-playing field.
Not only will it make it easy and free-flowing, it will provide a consistent score card to rate all applicants.
3: Take Notes in the Interview for Reference Later
After a few interviews, it will get harder to remember who said what. By making brief notes as you go, you will have a reference to work with later in the decision-making process and fresh, accurate reviews to enter into your applicant tracking system (if you are using one).
This ensures early candidates who make a great impression with solid answers aren’t lost in the haze of a hundred other interviewees.
4: Clarify Salary Expectations
While many may think is uncouth to ask about money so early on, it’s obviously a big question for every candidate.
As such, it’s important to make sure that you and the candidate are on the same page where salary expectations are concerned. Many people will hope a new job earns them more money than their current one, and for some, this aspect of the job can be a deal breaker.
Finding clarity early in the interview process helps you determine if they are a suitable candidate, and lets them know if this is a role they will be interested in for some time.
5: Be a Good Listener
Many candidates may feel a little nervous, and this can pave the way for interviewers to dominate the conversation. Try to avoid this if you can, as you need to discover more about them.
As you’re taking notes, you can focus more on paying attention to them. By all means, answer whatever questions they have, but you should try to keep the focus on candidates and their abilities.
6: Be Consistent in Your Email Communications And Minimize Meetings
For the most part, you may update candidates with information pertaining to their interview by email and/or text messages. It’s important that everything is consistent throughout your emails and nothing falls through the cracks. You can achieve this by using email templates and automated email sequences to communicate with applicants.
You can create email templates for each role and track which candidates have opened the emails. Then create automatic workflows to send one type of follow-up email to candidates that don’t respond to or open an email, and a different type of follow-up email to candidates that open your emails. Finally, using an email application that is integrated with your calendar means that candidates can quickly schedule times to talk over the phone or come into the office.
Strive for professionalism throughout by staying true to your brand voice and communicating on a regular schedule. Exhibit your reliability by following up as expected by using automation, or having the courtesy to explain when there are any delays. Remember, no one likes to be ‘ghosted’ and doing this to a candidate might result in a negative online review.
In addition to emails, many meetings go into hiring a candidate. Internally, your recruiting team may meet several times as a group and then also with each prospect and hiring manager. Streamline the process by using an application where you can quickly set up meetings on hiring managers’ and co-workers’ calendars. Emails can include meeting times that the candidates can confirm with a single click helping your company look polished.
The Case for Automated Workflows
We’ve already touched on email templates during the interview process. By creating email sequences, you can make it a lot easier to manage the recruitment process, especially when there are a lot of applications.
For example, you could have a sequence for each of the following groups:
Unsuitable candidates – A simple acknowledgment of their application that explains they have not progressed to the interview stage.
Unsuccessful interviewees – A sequence that welcomes applicants to interview, provides the essential information and follows up in the event that they do not progress past the initial interview.
Successful interviewees – A sequence that welcomes applicants to interview, provides the essential information, schedules a phone screen, and follows up in the event that they are deemed suitable for the role.
The last group could be further segmented depending on whether there will be further stages in the interview process. In addition, if your email system has an integration with your ATS that can also improve streamline the process and improve productivity.
That being said, it’s important not to create too many hoops for people to jump through, as you may only deter people from pursuing the role.
In the end, automation can let you analyze open rates, track communications with prospects, and send more personalized emails to your candidates.
Find Candidates That Take You Forward
Traditionally, the typical interview process places great focus on finding people who have several years’ experience in the role and can demonstrate technical competence where required.
However, you shouldn’t overlook other factors such as motivation, emotional intelligence, and communication skills.
By keeping an open mind and allowing candidates to ask some important questions during the interview, you’ll find out what is important to them, and what unique skills they can offer your business.
Ultimately, the interview process should be streamlined with automated processes and a solid script that allows you to track and reference each and every candidate. Another benefit of detailed tracking is that it may help you find a great candidate for a future role that is already in your database –someone that may not have been right for one position but might work out for another role — so you can save time and money filling your next role.
Give Mixmax a Try
If your sales, customer success or recruiting team needs a better approach to outbound communication perhaps it’s time to give Mixmax a try. You’ll see improved productivity, more conversions and business growth. Affordable, user-basedpricing makes Mixmax a low-risk, high-reward option for scaling your sales, success and recruiting teams and ensuring standardized customer processes.