How to ensure candidates have the opportunity to perform at your job interviews

An insight into the steps businesses can take to improve the interview process. So candidates perform to a higher standard and result in the right choice.

Recruiting
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12
 Min read
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August 26, 2021

For businesses, the interview stage is the end of a lengthy recruitment journey. 🚵‍♀️

You've analyzed CVs and applications, tested candidates, and now have a shortlist of who you consider the best-suited individuals to fill the position. Now is your chance to meet the candidate and learn more about who they are face-to-face. 🤝

And for candidates...

For candidates, too, the interview stage can be the culmination of a process that may have taken weeks or months. And is often the most stressful and nerve-wracking hurdle. 

Why is it so stressful?

Well, you are trying to present yourself in the perfect light.  Answering very specific questions with answers that show the qualities and skills you can bring. As well as remembering your body language is just as powerful as the words you say. So it can be quite a challenge! 😇

As a business therefore, how can you help candidates perform better in the interview stage? What steps can combat the inherent stresses of the job interview stage and provide candidates with the platform to showcase the best version of themselves? 🤔

This article will explore how businesses can support candidates and give them the best chance to perform well at job interviews. You could do the following:

  • Pre-interview, provide the candidates with the specifics to minimize stress and help preparation
  • Ensure you have the right questions to understand better your candidates and how they would fit into your organization
  • Provide a warm, friendly welcome into your office
  • An interview process that focuses on the candidates
  • Conclude the interview positively, outline the following steps, and when the candidates can expect to hear news

So, let's learn more about the interview process! 👍


Prepare the candidates

You have selected your pool of candidates whom you would like to meet for the job interview. These candidates all have a chance of becoming the newest member of your team.

The specifics and details of the interview day can be massive preoccupations in a candidate's mind. How will I get to the interview? What if there are travel delays? What do I wear? 😕

A candidate's mind can be distracted by these issues. It results in them not focusing on the actual interview and how they should answer the questions posed. 💦

So, alongside informing the candidates that they have progressed into the job interview stage, you must provide them with the specifics. An itinerary of the day, you could say. As well as your warm congratulations, your email or phone call could also include details on:

  • The address of the interview. Providing directions if a candidate is travelling by bus, car, train or walking. 🗺️
  • If the interview is online, a working link to the platform where your recruiters will host the interview.
  • The time of the interview
  • Dress code, smart casual or full-on suit 🤵
  • Name of the interviewer(s)
  • The types of questions they may face

To help a candidate perform better in a job interview, a business or recruitment team can take care of these details or provide the answers to questions a candidate may have. For example, candidates will know what to wear, how to plan their journey to arrive with plenty of time, and who they will be meeting at the interview. 

This level of specific detail can eradicate many worries for candidates. In addition, it removes possible distractions that could hinder their effective preparation before the interview, resulting in candidates performing better in the job interview by reducing stress and helping them feel comfortable. 😌


Prepare the questions to get the right answers.

Before the interview, it is essential for recruiters that you have the right questions primed to ask your candidates. These questions are vital to finding the candidate who can fulfil the role's requirements and bring value to your organization. In the job interview, you want to strike into who the candidates are, their skillset, and their personality type. 

You must think of questions that can provide practical responses from your candidates. For interviews, scenario-based questions can help better understand what type of person and worker your candidate is. How candidates would deal with certain situations can show you if they have the skills and knowledge to complete the vital tasks for this role. 📋

Vague questions won't help you find the best candidate. Anyone can recite an answer, selecting enough keywords that they think interviewers want to hear. You want candidates to provide solutions with a purpose, to see how they would deal with everyday problems they may face at work. You never know, you may learn something!

Get the right advice

Furthermore, it is wise to listen to your co-workers with experience in the field or department you are recruiting. They know what the job requires and what attributes and traits are sought after in an ideal candidate. 

This insight can help tailor your thinking and arrive at questions that focus on finding out whether these candidates possess the skills and experience necessary to fulfil the job requirements.

In addition, by engaging with your existing teams, you can contemplate what they have in common and their defining skills. For example, what the teams are like, how they work, and their personalities. What does this group need? For example, are they in need of a younger voice or an older head? 

This insight can also help to construct relevant lines of questioning. And start to compile a list of criteria of what the team may need in a new team member that you can use within the job interview. 💡


Welcome to The Office

It's Interview day!

For many of us, the interview will always be a genuinely terrifying experience. 

  • The adrenaline in your stomach that won't go away. 🤢
  • Being alone in a small meeting room with people you don't know. 
  • The in-depth questions, the constant analyzing of each word that comes out of your mouth to try and portray yourself in the most favourable light.

So, it is your job to put your candidate's mind at ease as an organization.

 By offering a warm welcome to candidates can help alleviate these fears. A candidate who feels comfortable can express themselves and perform well during a job interview, which the interviewer wants to see! 👋


The Eagle has landed

Upon arrival at your offices, it is vital that, as an interviewer, you are one of the first faces the candidates see. Unfamiliar offices can be intimidating, and the interviewee will be looking for a friendly face or even a name that they recognize. Introduce yourself and partake in a bit of small talk to build familiarity and ease, which can help the conversation during the interview to flow better. 😃

Let’s take a walk

It is crucial you offer candidates an insight not just into what the job is like but also the overall company. For example, in what could be their future workplace, it is helpful for the candidates to understand the office, its people, and how the business operates. Provide a break from the confines of the meeting room and show the candidates around the office. You can also briefly introduce them to those you pass by, more friendly faces, particularly potential bosses and co-workers. 

These are excellent ways to show candidates the daily life of your business. And a culture and work environment that is excited to embrace new members into it. 🧑‍🤝‍🧑

What a great place to work 

Everyone wants to feel wanted and welcome. That people are interested in them. So these positive interactions,  a tour of the office space and all its marvellous features can help sell the job and your businesses' culture. Thus enhancing a candidate's desire to work for you. Which could drive them to perform even more superbly in the interview. ⚙️

When it comes to interviewing candidates, friendly gestures go a long way. In a competitive job market, the best candidates often have multiple employment options, so marginal points of difference can direct talent to prefer one company over all others. So, businesses should pay close attention and strive to present themselves as fun and supportive. ☝️

The Interview

So, you are all seated in the meeting room. Ready to commence the interview. You have done your speaking; you've made the candidates feel comfortable and provided a tour around the office. To help the candidates perform in their interview, you could:

The stage is yours

The focus is on what the candidate has to say. 🎤

This is their opportunity to speak and teach you more about them than written on their application. So, it is essential you listen attentively. Actively listening to what the candidate has to say allows you to assess their qualities and potential better. 

Two is the magic number

Moreover, sometimes it can help to have two people in the interview. Both interviewers could look out for different things, focussing on specific areas relevant to the role, so you can combine your notes to create a compelling overview of a candidate's performance.

How and Why

An interviewer's best friends during an interview. These should be your favourite interview words. 

🙋 Why? 

Because it will get your candidates explaining their thought processes, challenging them to delve deeper into their answers about who they are as people and workers. 👨‍🏫

This approach will help your candidates perform during the interview process. It compels the interviewee to consider what they have to say, provide concise reasoning and show why they are suitable for the position. Through challenge, the right candidate will rise, and you will have found the person to help your organization improve.


To conclude a job interview.

You have worked through all your questions and are reaching the end of the allocated time. It might be an excellent opportunity to provide the candidates with a window to ask some questions. To learn more about the company or anything they may have on their minds regarding the position. Or even offer them the chance to provide a final sell of themselves. They may not have been able to say everything they wanted with the line of questioning you followed, so give them the last shot. 

Thank you, and the next steps

Thank the candidates for their time and promise to stay in touch. Explain the timeframe of when they can expect to hear news of what will follow. 📆

It is essential you keep to this commitment. It is not fair for candidates to be left awaiting news. Choose a date and keep to it, so they can move on with their lives or buy the champagne! 🍾

This correspondence can also allow you the chance to garner feedback from the candidates. For example, you can learn how the candidate found the interview process or even the recruitment experience in general. Which can show your organization what is successful and works and what needs to improve to help candidates perform at their best. 📖

Remember, end it positively. 

You can quickly tell if the candidate will or won't be an excellent fit for the company. But regardless of this, you should still offer them your full attention and respect for their efforts and time. Big smiles and friendly attitudes!

🙋 Why? 

To provide an excellent candidate experience!

The chances are your candidates will be reviewing you just like you are them. And whilst your opinions of their performance are shared with a few within the office, the candidates may share their experience with friends, family, social media, and the Internet. 🌍

So, a negative experience can have wide-reaching implications with everyone hearing about how bad you treat your candidates. So, ensuring a positive interview experience where candidates enjoy a welcoming environment can do wonders for your reputation. Likewise, making sure others still wish to apply for your jobs and spend their money on your products and services.

 

What businesses can do to support candidates in the job interview stage

Ultimately, it is to a business benefit to create a perfect job interview stage. The better the candidates feel, the better they will perform. A positive interview experience will convince a talented person that yours is the right working environment for them. Help candidates shine, make your selection process more challenging and result in you choosing the right candidate to bring value to your company.

The best candidates have options. A negative interview experience can tarnish your company's reputation. It could result in candidates favouring another job offer over yours, resulting in a costly hire of the wrong person for the role. Your organization has the means to prevent this, so act accordingly. Here are some steps you could follow to ensure every candidate has the opportunity to perform and enjoy their job interview:

  • Prepare the candidates with the information they require before the interview.
  • Have the right questions primed. Consult with your teams and departments to learn about what they would like to see in a recruit.
  • Welcome Candidates! Present your business to the candidates, offer a taste of the culture and working environment.
  • An interview that focuses on the candidates. You listen and delve into their answers and reasoning—all warmly and cordially.
  • An interview that concludes amicably. You provide your candidates with the following steps and can wave them off with a smile on their faces. You have done everything to provide them with a stellar candidate experience.

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