Is Your Company Bad At Interviewing?
asks Max Mackin, Director of Black Fox Solutions
We were recently inundated with responses to a recent post on LinkedIn about candidate interview etiquette. I was explaining how some people just don’t take a job interview as seriously these days, and for a number of reasons don’t place the same emphasis on what an interview means. We were surprised by the number of responses to the post and in particular the number of people who cited equally bad interview experiences, where the fault lay with the potential employer.
In response, I spent some time surveying candidates across several industries who had recently registered with ourselves and had interviewed for positions offering salaries from £23,000 £35,000. We found that most businesses do take interviewing seriously, but we also found lots of examples were companies came across as disrespectful in how they treated or spoke to potential candidates. Having been in recruitment for longer than I would care to admit, it still shocks me that companies, in some instances place so little importance in conducting a professional interview process.
If you have made the decision to employ a new member of staff, someone who you are going to spend quite a bit of time with, and who is responsible for doing a job that is important enough for you to pay them a salary, then surely it makes sense that to attract the best people, you need to promote yourself and your business in the best possible light.
The most consistent complaint was employers booking an interview at a set time and then keeping the candidate waiting, sometimes up to 60 minutes after the interview was due to start. At the very least, this makes an employer look poorly organised and unprofessional.
Other examples included interviewers failing to have read or not having a copy of the candidate's CV, and employers using the majority of the interview time to talk about their own accomplishments and what makes them successful!
Many spoke about some companies lacking any real interview techniques, such as, asking open or leading questions to allow candidates to give structured answers about past work experience that relate specifically to the vacancy at hand.
When interviewing a prospective employee, it’s important to present the right image. The candidate you are interviewing could potentially be a brilliant employee who will give you years of good service, so it’s essential to prepare properly.
Show the candidate you are professional and prepared by following these simple rules:
1) Work out exactly what type of person you want to hire before you start the interview process. The successful candidate will spend a considerable amount of time working alongside you and your other employees so be mindful that they need to be a good fit personally, as well as having the necessary experience and skills needed to do the job.
2) Confirm the time, date and venue with the candidate and ensure that you have allowed enough time in your diary so you won’t be interrupted, disturbed or double booked.
3) Review the candidates CV and cover letter again before the interview, and structure your questions on their experience and relevant skills.
4) Have an outline of how you want the interview to go, you will need to question this person in relation to their previous work history, their ability, and what the role entails. You also need to promote your business and what type of company you are. So spending a bit of time beforehand, to prepare good questions will help give your interview structure.
5) Be polite and ensure you make the candidate as relaxed as possible. Bear in mind that nerves can sometimes get the better of people but that doesn’t neccesarily make them a poor candidate. You are looking for the best person for the job, not neccesarily the person with the best interview skills.
We recently spoke to a person who had an interview for a role as a Business Development Executive, where the employer kept them waiting for 50 minutes, apologised by saying he was really busy, and kept forgetting the person’s name throughout the interview even though he had a CV. Not surprisingly, the candidate completely lost interest.
It’s so important to start a relationship off on the right footing; demonstrating respect and courtesy are small things to implement but make huge differences to how a future employee will view your company. Proper interview preparation is not a chore, it’s an opportunity to add the best possible talent to your team, and it’s no secret that a businesses’ success is dependent on the quality of their staff.
For more information or advice on hiring a member of staff or finding a new job, visit www.blackfoxsolutions.co.uk or call 028 9099 4111.