In a tight, candidate-driven market, it’s important for hiring managers to maximize their opportunities for finding exceptional tech talent. One of the best ways to do so is to prepare for and conduct effective interviews. What are some key dos and don’ts to consider throughout the interview process? In the information below, we’ve listed interview tips in the form of “dos and don’ts.” Fill your open positions with the best candidates by getting the interview right.
Interview Tips (Before)
- Do appear organized. In a candidate’s market, you want to convey your company’s professionalism and consistency to each applicant that you interview.
- Do plan ahead. For instance, you need to answer key questions such as: How many people will be involved in the interview process? How many “rounds” will it involve? What specific questions need to be asked by your interviewers? Make sure you distribute a list of key questions to your interviewers, as well as a basic agenda for each interview (e.g., how much time should be spent on intros, how much time should be allotted for each question, and so forth).
- Don’t evaluate candidates based solely on “gut reaction.” Instead, develop a scoring system that will allow your interviewers to grade each candidate within a consistent framework. This will make it easier for you to compare one candidate to another.
- Do spend time reviewing each candidate’s resume. It’s important to know who you’re talking with, and what skills and experiences they bring to the table. On your agenda, leave some room for questions that relate to each candidate’s specific work history.
- Do ensure that everyone knows their role in the interview process. For example, if you’re going to have more than one interviewer sitting in for each session, make sure that each one knows in advance which questions they’ll be taking the lead on.
- Do set expectations for the interview. For instance, it may be good to state how long the interview session is scheduled to be and to provide a brief overview of how it will work.
Interview Tips (During)
- Don’t show up late. Extend the same courtesy to the candidate that you expect them to show toward your company.
- Do make introductions. Clearly state your job title, and your role in the overall hiring process. If another interviewer is sitting in with you, make sure you introduce them as well.
- Do review the role and responsibilities of the job in question. Clearly, you want the candidate to fully understand what would be expected of them if they land the job. For example, one way that some companies strengthen their interview process is by outlining what a typical day on the job would look like.
- Do leave time for questions. It’s usually a good idea to set aside at least a few minutes at the end of the interview agenda for questions the candidate may ask. This will not only help them to gain a clearer picture of the role’s responsibilities, but will also help you to discern their level of interest in the position.
- Don’t get complacent. Remember that while you’re interviewing the candidate, the candidate is also “interviewing” you and your company. In a candidate-driven market, one poor interview session could mean the difference between winning top talent vs. losing that talent to a competitor.
Interview Tips (After)
- Do make it clear when you’ll make a final decision. This is not only a courtesy to the candidates, but also a great way to streamline the overall hiring process.
- Do assign someone to communicate your decision to the candidate. Whether it’s you, the recruiter, or someone else, make sure that there’s a designated person responsible for communicating your final decision to the candidate.
- Don’t be afraid to re-evaluate a candidate based on their interview. For example, a candidate may have looked merely adequate on their resume before the interview; but during the interview they may have demonstrated a high level of emotional intelligence — a quality that could be a huge asset.
- Do give feedback. Even if the decision is to go with someone else, mature candidates appreciate any candid, impartial feedback that a prospective employer offers. After all, they may be able to use that feedback to make their next interview a success.
- Do be flexible. You may have to adjust your “requirements” to match the reality of the market. Be willing to re-examine whether the hypothetical candidate you envision hiring is really the candidate you need to hire. In addition, consider whether you’re really offering a competitive salary and/or benefits for the job seekers you’re targeting.
- Don’t expect perfection. There’s no such thing as the “perfect candidate” in the absolute sense, no matter what the position is. Depending on the role you’re hiring for and current market conditions, you may not even be able to find a candidate that checks all the boxes on your list of qualifications. If you need to fill a role quickly, it may be better to pick the most qualified candidate available and invest in their training, as opposed to continuing a potentially fruitless search.
Learn More About Attracting Exceptional Tech Candidates
If your hiring team implements these interview tips throughout your candidate search, then you’re much more likely to find top tech talent that will meet your company’s needs. For other helpful suggestions on attracting exceptional candidates to your organization, reach out to our team of experts at The Doyle Group today to begin the conversation.