Abraham Lincoln said about preparation: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” For interview preparation, we expect candidates to have done it. So, hiring managers are surprised when candidates don’t seem like they did.
Instead, maybe the problem is this–candidates are preparing for interviews the wrong way.
Candidates are taught to practice relating their past experience to the requirements of the new position. However, there are more skills needed to have a successful interview. Foundational skills need to be practiced, so a candidate can perform well during the interview. But, does every candidate know the importance of them?
Companies that share what they’re looking for throughout the interview process are being rewarded with a deeper talent pool of qualified candidates, and providing a more positive candidate experience. Therefore, it’s important for a company to know how to prepare candidates for interviews.
1. Culture Deck
Candidates should begin their part of the interview process by researching the company. It’s critical for them to understand what a company sells before they can discuss how their skills will help the company sell it. However, that’s not the only aspect candidates need to know about potential employers.
Sharing your company culture deck lets candidates understand critical aspects of the company.
Your company culture deck should include your company’s mission statement and values. For instance, Nasdaq used a video featuring its CEO discussing how she went from an intern to her current position. This video demonstrated growth opportunities that early-career candidates have, as well as its company values and culture.
This is a good opportunity to share any recent press about your company. Reading these articles can help candidates create their own interview questions. Besides, it increases top-of-mind awareness–if candidates better understand what your company does, a positive candidate experience may turn them into a customer (even if they don’t get the position).
2. Foundational Skills
Also, your company should offer foundational skills tips for its interviewees. These are helpful reminders for candidates that focus on the proper way to answer the phone, or how to dress for the interview. A quick refresher never hurt anyone.
For some candidates, this may be the first time they’ve ever been told about these aspects of an interview. Unfortunately, the lack of foundational skills prevents 60 percent of candidates from getting a job. So, offering some foundational skills guidance ensures more qualified candidates.
3. Question Guide
Your candidate has done the research, and they know how to act professionally. But, what about the interview itself? How can companies ensure that qualified candidates are performing to their potential throughout the interview process?
Sending candidates several of the questions in advance helps.
If your company provides its candidates with a handful of interview questions, the candidate can prepare their answers. They’ll be comfortable, so they can focus on answering the question instead of trying to figure out which experience paints them in the best light.
4. Who’s Interviewing The Candidate?
No one likes to worry about forgetting someone’s name. Provide your candidate with the names of the interviewers before-hand. It’ll ease your candidate’s nerves, so they can focus on making a good first impression.
On top of that, the candidate can research who they’re meeting. Remember, the best recruiting tool is your staff. This gives candidates the opportunity to see the top talent on your team. An important part of early-career recruitment is illustrating how your company gives its employees professional growth opportunities. One way to provide this is having someone at a company who can teach an employee more about their profession and industry.
Instead of complaining that your candidates weren’t ready for the interview, follow these tips how to prepare candidates for the interview. Remember, it takes a long time to sharpen an axe if you don’t know the right way to do it.