8 Interview Techniques to Help You Become a Better Recruiter

October 10, 2016
8 Interview Techniques

It’s normal to want your company to be the kind of company people want to work for. If you admire companies with incredible employer brands (such as Google), then this article is for you.

Recently, Forbes posted an article covering the “Ten Warning Signs of a Cheap and Tacky Employer”. We’ve flipped some of these on their head, and worked out what you should be doing instead.

Here’s our list of 8 things you can do to become a better recruiter:

1. Treat Candidates as Individuals. Instead of herding as many candidates as you can into your lobby, and calling them through one by one, you should aim to select a smaller number of candidates who you really think could do the job well. Applicants will feel better about you knowing you’ve selected them specifically – they’ll feel a better sense of pride knowing they got as far as the interview stage, which is a great way to kick-start your relationship. If you really must interview lots and lots of candidates, then at the very least stagger the interview times well enough that there is minimal crossover.

2. Let Candidates Behave How They Feel is Best. If you’re tempted to send candidates a list of instructions or expectations – such as what to wear at the interview – then don’t. Sure, you might hope that candidates will exhibit certain behaviours – such as a professional dress code and polite communication – but sending them a list of what to wear and how to act on the day not only makes you appear to be a control freak, but it suggests that you don’t believe they are capable of working it out themselves. Besides, what if they are not capable of working out the appropriate way to behave in an interview? All that sending them instructions does is cover this up. Most good candidates will have a grasp of basic interview etiquette, and by letting them go with what they know, you’ll get a glimpse of their personality, too.

3. Let Candidates Know What to Expect. While you shouldn’t be giving candidates step-by-step instructions detailing how to dress, talk, act, think and breathe during the interview, you definitely should let them know what to expect to be faced with. If you want to give candidates a competency test, for example, then tell them in advance – it’s only fair. You should only spring a surprise test on a candidate if the job role you’re advertising is a “Surprise Test Completer” – and if that’s the case, I’m sure they’ll be expecting it anyway and the surprise will be gone!

4. Lead the Conversation with Role-Related Skills and Responsibilities. Find out about the candidate’s skills and abilities before you even think about talking price. Leading a conversation by talking about salary expectations gives off an impression you’re your priorities are all skewed. Make the candidate your priority, not the amount you can hire them for.

5. Give Candidates Your Contact Details. After the interview is complete, don’t shy away from giving out your contact details. Many candidates will be apprehensive about how the interview went, and will feel better if they can drop you a quick note to say “thanks for the interview”. If you’re really worried about your inbox filling up with requests asking “did I get the job?”, then maybe a job in recruitment isn’t for you. Besides, you can easily set up a dedicated email account for this.

6.  Communicate! After the interview has been and gone, make sure you keep ALL candidates in the loop no matter what. If you’ve struck somebody off your shortlist, don’t leave them in suspense – send a polite rejection email as soon as possible. Some HR systems will let you do this easily and automatically via an Applicant Tracking System. Oh, and if you’re arranging a second interview, give plenty of notice! Job seekers have lives, you know – don’t assume they are hanging on your response with every fibre of their being, ready to jump up and sprint to the next interview with just a few hours’ notice. Even if they’re available, it sends off a negative vibe that you will expect them to jump through hoops at your every command.

7. Give Clear Salary Details. We mentioned avoiding leading the conversation by talking money, but with that said, you shouldn’t try to hide the salary on offer. Explain clearly what the salary is for this position, otherwise it might look like you are trying to negotiate a lower amount than you are willing to pay.

8.  Stick to Your Start Date. If you offer a job to one of your candidates, and give them a start date, stick to it. If you don’t know the start date yet (or feel like it is subject to change), don’t give it out! Maybe you’ve forgotten what it’s like to apply for a new role, but generally, once a candidate has a start date and they’ve accepted your offer, they will need to hand in their notice, turn down other offers, and make all sorts of other arrangements. Don’t mess them around!

What else do you think you can do to become a better interviewer or better recruiter? Let us know in the comments below.

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