What’s Going Wrong with Your Interview Process and How You Can Fix It Today3 min read

January 8, 2019 Candidate Experience


While every part of the candidate experience is important—from the initial hello to the final offer—the most sensitive component of the entire process is the interview. The interview is where things get personal. When candidates come to your space to meet with the hiring team face-to-face, you need to get everything about the interview right.

Candidates invest time and effort in interview preparation and when they arrive to discuss why they’re the best person for your job opportunity, the stakes are high. If your interview process is broken, you not only risk losing talented candidates—you risk diminishing the quality of your recruitment brand. Here’s a list of what could be going wrong with your interviews and the fixes you need to get back on course.

1. You Never Established Evaluation Criteria

Make sure everyone on the hiring team agrees about the requirements for the role and how the candidate will be evaluated when they’re sitting on the other side of the interview table.  

It’s as easy as saying, “To make it to the interview, a candidate must satisfy requirements A, B, and C. Once we meet them face to face, we need to see if they meet requirements X, Y and Z.”

2. You’re Not Training Interviewers

Nothing will squander a candidate’s enthusiasm for your company like a bad interview experience, so put as much effort into prepping your interview team as you do your candidates.

Don’t let a careless comment, question or gesture sour a candidate’s perception of your organization. Train your interviewers to be sensitive to the candidate’s position and teach them how to ask interview questions focused on your evaluation criteria.

3. You’re Not Being a Very Nice Host

Treat your candidates the same way you would a guest at a dinner party. Don’t just send the day and time of the event—provide directions on how to arrive at your location and give guidance on the appropriate attire for the occasion. (For example, “We have a casual dress code, and most team members wear jeans. Please don’t feel like you have to dress up on our account—we want to know more about you, not your wardrobe.”)

You should also ensure the candidate knows who they will meet at the interview. A list of names, job titles and LinkedIn profiles can go a long way. 

4. You’re Dropping the Ball on Post-Interview Communication

At the end of the interview, provide candidates information about the next steps in the process and the anticipated timeline. To the extent it is possible, give feedback to the candidate at each stage.

To keep candidates engaged and excited about the possibility of working with you, include an outline of your decision timeline. Explain when you’ll conduct phone screens, proceed with interviews and make your final decisions.

Also, while every candidate knows there’s a chance they won’t be a good fit for a given position, you should never ghost a candidate after the interview. Although you’re trying to source top talent for your role, you should also strive to treat every candidate with the respect they deserve. Besides, the candidate who isn’t right for the role you’re looking for now might be a perfect fit for a position that opens down the road.

You owe interviewing candidates a phone call if they won’t progress any further, and you should also follow-up with a compassionate let-down letter thanking them for their effort and encouraging them to keep in touch. Post-interview engagement enables you to keep potentially great candidates in your talent pipeline to tap for a future role.

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