How to set your candidates up for interview success

Posted by Amanda Augustine

June 25, 2014

Make more placements by properly preparing your candidates for interviews.

Interview_DeskWhen it comes to the interview process, many argue that the onus is on the job candidate to do all the preparation. “If they don’t know how to prepare for an interview, I don’t want them on my team.” I’ve heard more than one hiring manager say these very words. However, I beg to differ with this sentiment.

You’re not hiring the person to be a professional interviewer; you’re hiring them to code your site, manage your budget or sell your product. While you want them to demonstrate their interest in the position by doing their homework, not everyone is a natural in the interview room. It never hurts to provide some helpful guidelines to ease the nerves and allow your candidates’ true talents and personality to shine.

This is especially true when you’re recruiting recent college graduates. Up until this point in their lives, students were handed a syllabus that explained what they’d study and how they’d be evaluated; the process was quite transparent. You can’t expect these applicants to be comfortable with an interview process that is cloaked in ambiguity.

In addition, prospective candidates are also potential customers of your services and ambassadors of your employer brand. When you help create a positive candidate experience, everyone wins. Use the tips below to set your candidates up for success and improve your placement rate.

Outline the interview process

When you and the applicant schedule a face-to-face interview, explain how the process will work. There are a number of ways this can be done. If you have the resources, outline your interview process on your company’s career site like Forrester Research did. If that’s not an option, you can publish a blog post on the company blog and point candidates to it or include a short list of Q&As in an email to the candidate. 

Provide resources

Whether there’s a write-up on Glassdoor about your organization’s most common interview questions, a video about the company culture or an article with your favorite interviewing advice, don’t be afraid to share your career tips with applicants. If the candidate still shows up ill-prepared for the interview, you’ll know exactly how to handle their candidacy.

Introduce the players

Whenever possible, provide a list of people who will meet with your candidate and include links to each interviewer’s relevant social media accounts. There are multiple benefits behind this move. First, it will help the candidate put a face with the name and prepare relevant questions for each person they meet. Second, it will give your hiring managers added incentive to clean up or establish their online professional brands. By incorporating this practice into your interview process, you’re killing two birds with one stone. 

Highlight the essentials

Let the candidate know if the hiring manager or other stakeholders are especially interested in hearing more about his experience in a particular area or a skill he possesses. When an applicant is made aware of the most important requirements for the job, it’s easier for him to demonstrate his qualifications.

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Amanda Augustine is the Job Search Expert for TheLadders. She provides job search and career guidance for professionals looking to make their next career move. Her keen understanding of job seekers’ habits also provides insight into how recruiters can best find and acquire top talent. Catch her moderating TheLadders’ talent acquisition event series, JobMobile, and follow her at @JobSearchAmanda on Twitter for up-to-the-minute job-search advice.

Topics: Recruiting & Sourcing