As an interviewer you are pretty confident. After all, the interviewee is the one in the hot seat right? Wrong.
Both of you are in the hot seat. With the war for talent we are in right now, candidate experience is key. You need to be sure to impress the candidate just as much as they need to impress you. Regardless of whether they get the role or not – you want them to have a good taste in their mouth leaving the interview. If they are not your next hire, they might know who is!
Here are seven steps to ensure you are prepared for the interview:
Step 1: Read the Resume!
As silly as it sounds, a lot of interviewers see the resume for the first time when they sit down to talk to the candidate. By reading through the resume ahead of time you will have a better idea of the areas you want to dig in on, which leads into step two.
Step 2: Prepare Questions
You don’t need to write down every question you plan to ask, but after reviewing the resume, write down some questions you want to remember. You should also have a standard set of questions you ask each candidate for the position. This way you can make a more informed decision when deciding whom to hire.
Step 3: Do Your Homework
Has this candidate spoken to someone else in the company? If so, get that person’s rundown of the candidate. You should also ask if there is anything that person forgot to ask or anything they think you should dig deeper into.
Step 4: Plan Ahead
Don’t leave to grab lunch 15 minutes before your interview is supposed to start. Be on time and don’t be rushed. The candidate will not be impressed if you come running in, out of breath, with crumbs on your shirt.
Additionally, leave extra time after the interview. If it is going well you may want to chat longer and shouldn’t have to cut off to run to another meeting.
Step 5: Bring a Notebook
This is a piece of advice that goes both ways. Taking notes on a candidate will not only help you remember key points in the future, it will also let the candidate know that you are listening and interested in what they have to say.
Step 6: Bring Business Cards
Make sure to hand the candidate a business card at the beginning or end of the interview. This way they have your contact information and can easily send a thank you note.
Step 7: Put Your Game Face On
Were you just reprimanded by your manager? Did you have a fight with your significant other? Just not feeling like interviewing? Suck it up, this candidate took the time out of their schedule to prepare for the interview and meet with you. They deserve the same courtesy from you.
Also, even if you know within the first five seconds that the person is not a fit, chat with them, ask them about their background. If you show that you are not into it, they will see that and the candidate experience will be soiled.
Being prepared for an interview is a crucial piece of ensuring a candidate has a great experience throughout the interview process. Like I mentioned above, they may not be the right person, but someone they know might be!