My colleague, Dave McKillop, posted an article recently regarding candidate interview preparation, which was incredibly well received by people at all levels of seniority willing to take advice that will improve their interview performance. It prompted me to consider the flip-side and whether the interviewer is as open as the interviewee.
We have found a dramatic shift in the market this year back in favour of the candidate. Individuals are often comparing multiple opportunities with a frequency not seen since before the GFC. Although this is not universal, it is certainly prevalent in the engine rooms of company growth, junior and mid-level roles, where demand for candidates very quickly outstrips supply.
The key consequence of this is that the interviewer, who may have not previously experienced these market conditions, needs to be just as prepared as the candidate for the process. Here are my thoughts on the basics of interview preparation from the client perspective:
How many interviews will there be? Who will be required? Are there any business issues / leave issues which will interrupt the process? What is the purpose of the second interview and what makes it different to the first? How will each interviewer sell the opportunity? Failure to ask these questions will inevitably cost you time in a process, but it could also cost you real value in terms of candidate experience and may ultimately mean that you do not secure your ideal hire.
– Book a meeting room
– Invite all attendees to the meeting
– Read the CV (in full, before the meeting)
3 things that seem so very simple yet are still frequently forgotten. There is a lot of copy written about the candidate requirement to be “sold” to, over their willingness to “earn” the role, but this is a 2-way street and I have heard more anecdotal stories about under-prepared clients than I have under-prepared candidates. Be someone that a candidate wants to work for from the outset.
I ask candidates to arrive no more than 10 minutes early and no less than 5, to ensure that a meeting starts on time without disturbing the client too soon. It is not uncommon however, for them to have to wait 15 minutes to be seen by the interviewer, exacerbating nerves and negating excitement.
I ask candidates to be warm, open and honest however, if an interview takes place in an office rather than a meeting room, with varying heights of chair and a desk in between, the environment will not encourage these behaviours.
I instruct candidates to turn off their devices but I am not sure all clients will follow this advice. If you are looking at emails, or even responding to them (as I have had in one case), it cannot be surprising when a candidate decides that you might not be someone who would prioritise them and their career development.
If you feel that you and your colleagues could benefit from a 90-minute interview workshop, then let me know as I am happy to run a session on-site or at our offices.