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Interviewer Preparation Essentials

Creating an exceptional candidate experience whenever your company interviews candidates is extremely important. Why? Because quality candidates are in demand. They are interviewing for many different roles at once.

So you need to form a positive impression of your company via your recruitment process. And interviews play a key role in this process.

What every interviewer should do before any candidate interview

Here is a list of things EVERY interviewer should do before they meet with any candidate:

Read the candidate’s resume

Ever been interviewed by someone who hasn’t read your resume? I am sure you have. Candidates find this seriously unprofessional. And for good reason. Take the time to familiarise yourself with the candidate resume – candidates know when you don’t!

Be trained to interview professionally

Interview bias is rife when interviewers are not trained to interview professionally, consistently and effectively. Every interviewer your company nominates to interview candidates should be trained to get the most out of every interview. And to ensure that interviewers can fairly and competently compare candidates interviewed.

Brush up on company values and the employee value proposition

Each interview is a billboard of sorts for your company. So interviewers need to know what your company values are and how they are brought to life in your workplace.

For example, let’s say that innovation is one of your company values. Each interviewer should 1., know that is one of your company values, and 2., be able to articulate that this value is instilled via regular hack days where new ideas are nurtured and celebrated.

Understand your company recruitment process in detail

This is essential so that when the candidate inevitably asks, “What happens after this interview?”, the interviewer can answer that question confidently and professionally.

Understand specific role requirements

Each interviewer must understand what is required in the role being interviewed for. Without this knowledge, interviewers are unlikely to be able to assess each candidate against the key skills, experience and core competencies required for the role.

Review the standardised interview template

To consistently compare candidates being interviewed for a role, standardised questions should be asked of every candidate.

All interviewers should work with a formalised interview form that carries questions to address candidate skills and experience, situational and behavioural questions and cultural/values based questions. Pre-reading these questions is essential to deliver them with confidence in the interview itself.

Be able to articulate role benefits

Take the time to understand why the role is likely to be interesting to candidates considering it. The role needs to be “sold” during the interview. Each interviewer needs to be clear about what the key role benefit messages are that need to be communicated to each candidate in the interview.  

Be clear on next steps

Candidates often complain that the interview process is too slow. The recruitment process is often slowed down by delays in interviewer feedback after candidate interviews.

Each interviewer should be very clear on how they need to provide feedback and to whom within the company so this part of the recruitment process moves as quickly as possible.  

Preparation Pay Off

By taking some time to prepare for a candidate interview, each interviewer is signalling to the candidate that they are important.

By preparing well, the interviewer will have a better chance of actively listening to candidate responses, rather than worrying about the next thing they need to ask the candidate. Or being distracted by reading resume content during the interview itself!

Proper preparation ensures that you optimise the candidate experience and their perception of your company. This is paramount to keeping top talent engaged in your recruitment process. Ideally this will result in securing talented individuals who will help your company to thrive.

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