A job interview is a great opportunity for a company to gauge a candidates’ suitability to the position they applied for. It is also an opportunity for your company to make a positive impression, which can increase the likelihood of an applicant accepting an offer. A positive impression also improves brand image in the same way that an exit interview can, as pointed out in one of the Workplace Happiness blog previous post called ‘Conduct Exit Interviews to Create a Healthy Workplace Culture’. The goal then is to make the interview process as positive as possible. Here are some pointers on how you can do so:
Start with a thorough selection process
Creating a positive interview process begins long before that first handshake. TechSmith Corp co-owner Susan Heathfield told The Balance Careers that candidate selection should be your starting point. In other words, screen everyone thoroughly. Review every candidate’s résumé and cover letters, and look for signs of whether they are suitable for the position you are offering. A candidate may be good during the interview process but their paperwork could show them in a different light. In high pressure industries like business or law mistakes can be very costly. A guide on writing cover letters by U.S. legal firm Special Counsel explains how spelling and grammar errors are a sign that a candidate doesn’t pay attention to detail. That should be an immediate red flag. Remember, you want to bring in the very best talent, and due diligence in this step helps ensure that. If you know the candidate pays attention to detail you are much more likely to be positive towards them in the interview process. It is also a good sign that they too will arrive prepared.
Just as candidates want to make a good first impression, the organisation should, too. So in order to make sure that the process is pleasant from beginning to end you need to be prepared. It pays to anticipate questions the candidates may have about the company, like salary structures, benefits, and procedures for promotion. Imagine the impression you make if you can’t answer questions about the company you are part of. You should also have a set of relevant questions ready to help you find out if the candidate has the qualities you are looking for. Failure to take into account these basic pointers can put your organisation in a bad light and lead to a negative and frustrating interview process for both parties.
Let the interviewee interview you
Dr. Maynard Brusman of consulting firm Working Resources recommends that you let candidates interview you as well. Letting them ask questions gives you the opportunity to discover what is important to them, and if these fit with your workplace culture. Just as important, allowing the process to be a two-way street allows the candidates to self-assess whether or not they are a fit for your company. Just make sure that you are open and honest in answering questions. “You want to give a realistic preview of the work environment,” Brusman points out. A good two-way dialogue will also give the candidate confidence in both the interview process and the company they are applying for.
It also pays to commit to a follow up. Tell the candidate when you will give them feedback, and then follow through on that commitment. It is a good sign of professionalism. More importantly, it shows respect for the candidate’s time and effort.
Follow all these tips and your interviews will be a much more positive experience for all parties.
Author of this post is Cärolyna Tamm who is a business blogger with an interest in following the latest trends in the corporate world. Her main goal is to provide tips that will help businesses create a positive workforce environment. She also hopes her articles will be useful to job seekers who are trying to find the right career path to follow. In her free time she likes to go on hikes and explore new places.
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