6 Sheep to Count Before the Interview of Your Dreams

The perfect interview… a dream come true. For a recruiter or hiring manager there is almost no better feeling than a perfect interview with a dream candidate. Unfortunately, the hiring manager can’t really control the quality of the candidate. You can, however, control the quality of the interview. First, actually take the time to read the resumes before the interview. Yes, before. It will make the candidate feel like you are interested in them for the position, and it will save wasted time during the interview. The steps that follow keep the process moving, keep the candidate interested and keep it legal.

1. “Now let me look at your resume…”

In math class, if you told your teacher, “Now, let me just finish this one equation first…” it simply wouldn’t fly. You would either get the question wrong or a late grade on the assignment. Why should your interview be any different? Yes, your candidate came to the interview to be considered for the position; however, waiting until the very last minute to closely examine their resume makes you look extremely unorganized and unprepared. Interviewers spend an average of 5-7 seconds per resume before the interview. With that said, read their resume before the interview; don’t waste their time or your time filling a position when it can take anywhere from 26-51 days depending on the industry.

2. “What do you think?”

You’re not the only person who should have a say in a candidate’s potential position at the company. On average, 3 to 6 other stakeholders should have input as well, as they are the ones who will most likely be working closely with the candidate.

3. “Lost time is never found again.”

If you’re on time, you’re late. If 58% of candidates are dismissed from consideration because they are late to an interview, doesn’t that mean the interviewer should abide by his or her rules? Being late gives a poor impression of company priorities and the worth of candidate’s time. Canceling interviews, especially last minute, also wastes a candidate’s time.

There’s a lot to be said for body language during an interview…. Your body language. Candidates know when you’re looking at the clock, or your phone, seemingly uninterested in the interview. Ultimately, they feel the interview was a waste of their time.

4. “I don’t think I can ask that.”

There are some typical questions you would use as an icebreaker during a normal conversation. However, it’s not a normal conversation; it’s an interview. Think of the interview as a professional discussion about a person’s skills, and not their personal life. Here are some examples of questions you just can’t ask:

  • Do you have kids? It is illegal to deny someone a position because they have children or if they plan to have children down the road.
  • Where are you from? Accents are interesting and can be telling of a person’s origin. But if you are unsure of their accent, you can’t ask. Although you can ask if the candidate can legally work in a certain country, it is illegal to ask where they are from.
  • Are you married? It sounds like a small talk or an icebreaker question, so why is this such a big deal? Well, it can reveal how much time they will commit to the job and the candidate’s sexual orientation.

5. “You like me, you really like me!”

Much of the candidate experience rides on that precious interview. Therefore, you should put your best happy face forward, be present in the interview, and overall, be likable. Sounds rudimentary, but you are the ambassador to the company and often the candidate’s first impression of the type of people who work at your company. Employers are split as to which is more important, fit or competence; 45% of employers feel skill is more important, 55% feel you can teach skill later, so hire for fit now. If you’re looking for a skill-fit and cultural fit, then shoot for the middle ground and sprinkle some of your company personality into the interview.

6. “So… what’s next?”

Keep it simple for you and the candidate. Let them know when they should expect to hear from you, and that they will hear from you. Surprisingly, 60% of candidates never hear back from the employer after their interview. Give the candidates regular updates, even if that means you won’t be considering them for the position. Delineate the process during the interview, allowing them to formulate their own timeline.

A smooth interview is a good interview, and an informed candidate is an interested candidate. The more you keep your candidates informed, the more they will appreciate your time. You can perfect your interviewing skills by following these 6 steps.

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Tags: Corporate Recruiting, Human Resources, Interviewing, Job Seekers, Recruiting Tools / Sourcing, Video Interviews

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