Recruiters know to prep their candidates for an interview – a great resume only gets you so far. Sometimes, the best person for a job isn’t the best interviewee. Similarly, hiring managers aren’t always the best interviewers, and may not leave the best impression on the potential hire they interview.
At the end of the interview, the hiring manager often asks “so, do you have any questions for me today?”, and many recruiters take this opportunity to arm their candidates with penetrating questions in order to make a lasting impression. So if you have a hiring manager who isn’t prepared to answer these questions, the candidate might doubt the leadership at this company and lose interest in the role. It’s a candidate’s market, and in today’s fierce recruiting environment, you have to make sure your client sells not only the role, but themselves, to the candidate.
Here are some tips to give your client regarding the interview process:
- First, is making sure everyone is on the same page by using a calendar invite or similar software to get the interview on both your candidate’s and client’s calendars. Trying to coordinate calendars by calling or emailing back and forth with available times is a big hassle and time-waster. Get interview scheduling under control with something like Calendly or SimplyBook.me to find times that work for everyone and reduce cancelled or missed interviews. With scheduling software, your client can set their availability preference, share the link with you and the candidate(s) they want to interview, and let them pick a time, which is automatically added to you and the candidate’s calendar. It’s efficient and simple.
- Second, the interview itself. Sometimes recruiters are so good at prepping candidates that the interviewer isn’t prepared for the interviewee’s questions! A corporate headhunter told me a story of a time the hiring manager was at a loss for words when a interviewee asked about potential financial risks of the company’s that they garnered from the company’s public financial statements. Be prepared to answer questions about the company, its culture, career development, reductions in force, ethics, etc.
- You want every interview to be a dialogue, not just bombarding the candidate with questions. You want the candidate to feel comfortable opening up to you. Build in time during each interview for candidates to ask questions, and for the interviewers to thoughtfully respond to them.
- If you don’t know the answer to a question, tell the candidate that you will get back to them. …And make sure you actually do follow-up within 24 hours.
- Many candidates do not want to waste time waiting, as they may have other interviews/offers on the table, so be prepared for direct questions like “When may I expect an offer?” or “When will you decide on filling this position?”
And importantly, if a candidate doesn’t ask questions, that is a huge red flag. It shows they didn’t take the time to research the company and shows a lack of interest. You want candidates who ask questions because that shows they have a genuine interest in your client and its success.