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When you’re looking for a candidate to fill an open role, you want to be confident you will choose the best person for the job. Part of choosing top talent comes down to your interview process.
Keeping the process short enough to keep candidates engaged whilst also asking the right questions to find essential information are two ways to maximise your interviews.
When meeting a candidate for the first time - virtually or in person - both yours and their time are valuable, so it pays to be prepared. The time during an interview is limited, and multiple topics must be covered.
Karina Guerra, Xref’s GM of Customer Intelligence and Marketing, shares her advice on how you can maximise your interview time to result in better hiring decisions.
Considering that during a one-hour interview, you spend time meeting and greeting in the first few minutes and leaving time for your candidate to ask questions, there is little time left to go into the detailed answers.
To ensure you cover as much as possible in your interview, break down the time allocated to the interview and give rough time portions to each section.
For example, in a one-hour interview, spend three minutes on introductions and 10 minutes at the end for questions. This formula leaves you with 47 minutes to dive into the candidate’s skills and experiences.
It’s not much, but keeping track of time means you're less likely to get sidetracked and miss out on discussing essential points.
An option is to have multiple interviews and add skill assessments as part of the selection process.
We know that in an interview, a candidate will frame themselves in a positive light to help themselves get the job.
Skills assessments can give you confidence that your candidate is not only telling the truth about their experience but also allowing them to demonstrate their skill level.
However, be warned, candidates don’t enjoy long hiring processes or too many steps in the interview process, and they can be a drain on you as well.
Multiple interviews are not ideal. In times of talent shortage, the selection process has to move as fast as possible.
Top talent gets hired quickly, so you don't want a candidate halfway through your selection process only for them to reach out and say they’ve accepted another role. The challenge is to do it fast and do it right!
While exploring a candidate’s resume is helpful in understanding if they would be suitable for your role, an interview can bring out much more if you ask the right questions.
An interview framed more as a conversation allows you to understand a candidate’s passions, motivations, workplace culture suitability, and more.
The interview time is an excellent opportunity to clarify circumstances and learnings the candidate has experienced through life circumstances.
Resumés don’t explain why a person's career has shifted in one way or another.
A candidate can tell if you’ve turned up to an interview and you’re reading their resume for the first time, and it’s not a good look. They’ve prepared for the interview, so you should too.
Remember that hiring a candidate is a two-way street. They get benefits like growing their skills and getting paid for their work. But in turn, your organisation can grow and thrive with their expertise.
During my time as a hiring manager, I have learned a few lessons that have been useful to maximise the interview time. It always pays off to take the time to do the pre-work before jumping straight into the interview.
These are some points that you could incorporate to optimise the interviewing experience:
Consider when and how you share relevant information about the role so the candidate understands the role well. This is sometimes done as part of the ‘screening interview’ or short phone interview that your talent acquisition specialist conducts before recommending a candidate to the hiring manager.
When scheduling your interview, select a day of the week and time of day that is mutually beneficial for the candidate and anyone else taking part from your organisation.
If conducting in-person interviews, give yourself extra time to secure a meeting room and set yourself up. Offer the candidate water, tea or coffee - they’re likely to be nervous, so small gestures like this can help put them at ease.
Here are some tips that have worked for me to make the most of the interview time. These points are suitable for different types of interviews, including video interviewing.
An interview is an opportunity to find great talent and make a great impression of the organisation you represent. Remember that as the interviewer, you need to follow good etiquette and basic principles such as punctuality and maintaining eye contact.
The interview process for managers can be very time-consuming, and often managers need to find time for multiple interview slots. You will rarely find the perfect candidate with just one interview.
The pressure of moving fast with hiring decisions is still a challenge. For optimal results, it’s ideal to follow a format that ensures crucial questions are asked. A clearly defined interview method provides consistency to the process and optimises the interview time to delve into relevant points for smart, confident hiring decisions.
With these tips, you should be able to get your job offers out faster and reduce your time to hire.