How can employers improve the interview experience?

Jeanette Maister from Oleeo gives some advice for employers looking to improve the recruitment experience.

Interview Techniques


The recruiting process can be long and tedious, especially if you are stuck trying to figure out how to manage the interview process successfully. Interviews are crucial to your recruitment strategy and it’s important for both candidates and recruiters to have the best interview experience.

Before: Prepare for the interview
Before you can begin preparing for the interview, you have to get the job ad right. The description of what type of candidate you want, along with skills and experience, needs to be specific. After you have reviewed the candidate’s submission and picked the talent you want to interview, you can begin the process to align the candidate with company culture. Come up with key questions to ask each job candidate. If you ask each candidate different questions, it will be hard to determine which one would be a better hire than another.

It will also be beneficial for you to not schedule interviews back to back, but rather to space them out. This will give you time to think about each possible hire, as well as help to not confuse one with another. Personality can also be a good predictor of short-term and long-term success at a company.

During: Focus on what matters most
Recruiters used to only care about skills and experiences, and while those are still relevant, personal attributes and culture fit play more of an important role. Personality can be a good predictor of short-term and long-term success at a company. During the interview, hiring managers need to focus on what matters most to them. Make sure you go through an overview of the role the candidate applied for. Asking the job candidate tailored questions to showcase their personality –  in addition to asking questions about their abilities – will positively add to the interview experience.

It will also be beneficial to you to simply have one in-person interview. It already takes an average of 42 days to fill an open position. Because of this, you might want to do a phone interview before the in-person one, but several in-person interviews are unnecessary. If the candidate didn’t impress you the first time, chances are they won’t have anything new to show in a second in-person interview; likewise, if the candidate really impressed you, there’s no reason to double check in another in-person interview.

After: Recap the interview
Now that the interviews are done, you can move to the next step in the recruiting process: hiring the best talent before the competitor. It is likely the same candidates your company is interviewing have also applied for a similar position at a different company. At this point in time, you probably have something known as “the maybe pile” (i.e. the pile of candidates’ CVs or resumes who you maybe want to hire). It is time to make a decision and secure your talent.

Right after the interview, recap with your team. This way, you don’t forget or miss anything about the candidate. Take the time to learn from what went well and to improve other aspects. It is unprofessional to not give candidates a reply, so make sure you not only give your best candidates a job offer but also clue in the other candidates as to why they didn’t get the job. This will overall improve the candidate experience with your company. After all, 80% of executives think the experience is very important.

For the best interview experience, recap right away, make an informed decision on the best talent and let all candidates know where they stand.

*Jeanette Maister is Managing Director – Americas at talent experts Oleeo.

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