Adrienne MollorIt’s no secret. Employees are on the move. With intimidating terms like “The Great Resignation” floating around, the need to attract and retain key talent is more critical to an organization’s success than ever, and getting those people in the door starts with a great interview experience. A recent Forbes article shared, “Over four million people have been quitting their jobs each month. There are more than 11 million jobs open. Businesses are having an exceedingly difficult time finding, hiring, and keeping workers.”  

The reason for these employee migrations can be attributed to many factors. Candidates are expecting a lot from a company be it their mission, vision, values, brand, job flexibility, work life balance, growth and more. With so many moving parts to finding and keeping a successful hire, it is critical to make the best interview experience possible from the start. The next generation of interviewing is as much of the candidate “selling” their skills and experience as the hiring team “selling” their organization, as well as the opportunity itself. A successful interview should be a winning conversation for both parties.  

How then, in today’s super competitive market, can you create a winning interview experience?  

Define the role.

Make sure you and your team agree what is most critical in hiring for the role. What experience, soft skills and attributes are important to have for success? You need to ensure your team is thinking about hiring the “whole” employee – head, heart, and briefcase – which translates to the right talent, skills, and cultural fit. According to author, speaker, and market guru Simon Sinek, “If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.” 

Make sure your team is prepared.

You want the candidate to know you value their time as much as they value yours. By checking off the below items, you can ensure that your team is ready to host a successful interview: 

  • Have copies of the job description, goals, candidate resume, and any other essential information available to your team in advance and the logistics of the interview be it in person or virtually. 
  • Offer interview options – 1:1; panel, presentations. 
  • Provide your team with a list of talking points that will help them ask insightful questions while trying to prevent question overlapping.  
  • Suggest using business cases based on the job level or give the candidate the opportunity to talk about situations where they applied skills such as problem solving or decision making.  
  • Consider role plays that allows a candidate to demonstrate skills and approach. Remember that an ideal interview is designed to get the candidate to do most of the talking, and thus exemplify if they’re capable of taking on your company’s open role. Situational role plays with a candidate can give insight as to how an employee would function in the role, as well as give the candidate a chance to envision themselves actually performing the job.  

Let the candidate know the expectations of the interview process in advance so they can prepare. This includes timing, who will they meet with – name, title, contact information; logistics, dress expectations (Are you wearing business casual?) and anything they should prepare in advance to create a comfortable and successful experience. By communicating effectively, you are demonstrating a culture that values transparency and preparedness. 

Be Cognizant of Body Language.

In the interview, be sure you and your team are aware of non-verbal behavior such as body language, facial expressions, and not being “distracted” with multi-tasking. If you are conducting the interview virtually, ensure you are not looking at another screen, checking your phone, watch or otherwise disengaged. Remember, employee engagement starts at the first meeting. 

Provide a Tour.

Give candidates the opportunity to get to know your company with a tour of your office so they can begin to visualize themselves at your company. If the interview is virtual, consider a video with messages from some employees or leaders, share pictures of company events or community involvement.  This gives a great sense of who the people at your company are, how they interact and how your new hire will be part of a winning team.  

Follow up.

Provide each candidate you interview with a timeline and next step expectations. The employment market is hot. If you do not provide feedback, candidates may assume you were not interested and move on to the next opportunity. Keep the candidate informed so they are engaged in the process and your company. This goes back to point 4 – Communicate. A recent survey by Greenhouse showed: 

  • Almost 58% of candidates expect to hear back from companies in one week or less regarding their initial application. 
  • Over 70% of job seekers want feedback on an interview. More than 60% said that receiving feedback during the interview process, even if they do not receive a job offer, would make them more inclined to apply to future jobs at that company. 
Debrief timely.

Gain feedback, comments, and questions from your team in a timely fashion and in a manner that one opinion does not overshadow others. Consider using a standard interview feedback form or decision-making rubric where you can culminate the data. Synthesize your feedback to make actionable next steps. 

In the ever-changing landscape of hiring, implementing new techniques, strategies and timelines in the interview process are key to ensuring you can obtain and keep the right talent to reach your organization’s goals. “Selling” your company to the potential hire is just as important as the candidate displaying the skills required to perform the job at hand. By taking the time to address these seven points, you can ensure that your company delivers an exceptional interview experience for every candidate. 

About BANKW Staffing

Through its portfolio companies, KBW Financial Staffing & Recruiting, Alexander Technology Group, The Nagler Group, Sales Search Partners, and KNF&T Staffing Resources, BANKW Staffing, LLC is the leading regional provider of temporary and direct-hire staffing services in the areas of finance, accounting, information technology, office and administration, legal, human resources, and sales.

BANKW Staffing companies have received over 100 awards for rapid growth, business excellence, and workplace quality. Recognition includes Inc. 500, Boston Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work” and Business NH Magazine’s “Business of the Year”.

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