Maybe you’ve been interviewing people for so long that you forget what it’s like to be interviewed. For candidates, it’s a high stakes game of poker, because a good job wins them the pot. Oh, and the pot just happens to be a life-changing job with your company.
Naturally, when people have so much on the line, they’re nervous. So it helps candidates if the interviewer makes them feel comfortable.
But there’s another empathetic aspect that affects the candidate experience: Interviewers should think of themselves as the ones being interviewed. Why? Because they are.
In this tight labor market, candidates have more options than ever before. A negative experience costs companies top candidates and revenue. So companies should remember the following tips to avoid creating one.
Don’t Be Late
Just like candidates are told to be punctual, interviewers need to be too. No one wants to be kept waiting. So if you’re late to the interview, you’re wasting the candidate’s time. And wasting a candidate’s time is a big factor in a negative candidate experience.
Hiring managers dismiss candidates who aren’t prepared. But turnabout is fair play. Interviewers need to be prepared, or they risk having candidates drop out of their company’s hiring funnel. Candidates can sense when they’re not being seriously considered as a potential hire, which is another time-waster.
To prepare, anyone who’s involved in the interview process should meet with the hiring manager to discuss what the role entails. This dictates which qualities interviewers want the candidate to have.
And you should research any candidate you’re interviewing. Review their resume to avoid spending a majority of the interview only learning about the candidate’s work history and likes. Instead, you’ll be able to focus on whether they’re a cultural add or can perform the tasks needed for success.
Finally, being prepared prevents interviewers from repeating questions, which gives candidates a bad impression of your company. If everyone is asking them the same question, candidates think that your team isn’t organized. This creates a negative candidate experience and hurts your employer brand.
Consider Your Body Language
Good posture is the sign of a confident candidate. The same goes for interviewers. In fact, expansive posture demonstrates power, so be mindful of what your body language is conveying.
While you want to showcase some authority as an interviewer, you don’t want to remind the candidate of this disparity. Often, sitting across a table from someone inherently does this. Instead, consider sitting to the side of a candidate. You can ease the candidate’s nerves while still staying in control.
Practice Active Listening
According to Monster, one of the biggest mistakes an interviewer makes is not actively listening to candidates. Interviewers need to be engaged in the conversation. It benefits the interviewer because they can ask follow-up questions to interesting statements.
The main takeaway? Think of yourself as the one being interviewed, and you’ll create a more positive candidate experience. That, in turn, makes three people happy: you, the candidate, and your manager!
Three cheers for candidate experience!