Mastering the interview process is key to a speedy and successful hire – our tips for employers
Are you an employer looking for interview tips to help you maximise the efficiency of your process? After HR or your chosen recruiter has sourced and screened promising candidates, the interview process is the next priority to get right.
Devising a clear interview strategy is the key to a speedy and successful hire. But where should you start? Here are MasterSearch’s top interview tips for employers looking for their next hire.
Communicate a positive candidate experience from the start
Do you want to ensure your candidates have a positive experience of your company? Then take preparation seriously. The more positive the whole process, the more likely the right candidate is to accept, and the better it will reflect on your employer brand. Remember they are interviewing you too.
It’s easy to let things slip when you’re busy, but poor communication is a sure-fire way to deflate a candidate’s excitement about joining your company.
Similarly, do not underestimate the importance of speed. In our experience, a long interview process that drags on longer than 6-8 weeks is too long and can damage the candidates’ interest or faith in the company. If you have invested in a recruiter that has quickly sourced a list of highly relevant candidates, then a long interview process will undo this advantage. Strike while the iron is hot!
Steering the conversation in the right direction
Plan a loose interview structure based on the key skills you’re looking for. Using the job description is a great start, or ask your recruiter for help. A standard set of initial questions for all candidates makes it easier to compare, and means they’re all on a level playing field.
If relevant, consider using scenario-based questions or a skills test to measure practical knowledge of IoT, automation, artificial intelligence or a skill relating to your focused fields.
The future of industry 4.0 depends on flexible thinkers, so don’t ignore soft skills like customer focus, commercial awareness and problem-solving. Taking these skills seriously will help future-proof your company.
As well as your loose structure, prepare some tailor-made questions for each candidate. Use their CV as a guideline, but don’t waste time asking information already contained in their CV. As well as wasting time, you’ll seem unengaged. Keep a copy to hand in the interview for easy reference.
Where candidates are entering from another industry, you’ll want to make sure they’ve researched the company and role. This shows they are genuinely interested, even if they don’t have a perfect grasp of the detail. Try to avoid confusing jargon.
Read more: smarter hiring decisions for industry 4.0
Managing unsuccessful interviewees
Unfortunately, sometimes it’s clear early on in the interview that a particular candidate isn’t the right fit.
Ending the conversation abruptly is disrespectful and will not do your employer brand any favours. Remember that candidates often take a day off work and might have travelled a fair distance. While your instinct is to cut the conversation short, it’s only fair on them to use your allotted time.
Instead, treat it as a learning opportunity. You may be able to work out what went wrong in the earlier process to avoid it happening again. If the candidate is a good fit for the company culture but not the role, perhaps they’ll suit another opening in the company.
After the interview, constructive feedback is critical. And while informing a candidate they’ve not been successful is not fun, not letting them know is impolite. If you’re working with a recruiter, the more detailed your feedback, the easier it will be for them to adjust their search strategy to ensure future success.
Avoid these painful pitfalls
Just like a long interview process, too many interviews can be counterproductive. We recommend a phone interview and one or two face-to-face interviews, at most. If different stakeholders are involved, a panel interview works well. Just make sure you coordinate so you don’t ask the same questions.
Be mindful of natural biases and try not to let them influence you. This can be difficult – a shared sports team can warm you to a potential candidate over others. One way to try and avoid it is to ask all candidates the same small talk questions at the start of the interview.
Are you looking for your next hire? MasterSearch is a world-class recruitment agency specialising in the Automotive / Industrial sector. We are dedicated to making your job easier and supporting you across your entire business. Get in touch on +44 207 101 9623 or email email@example.com.