You’ve dedicated the time, money, and resources to recruiting your ideal candidates. When you finally find hard-working, skilled recruits you’ve been searching for, you want to make sure you’re doing everything in your power to guide them through the recruitment process and keep them on board. Sounds simple enough, right?
Investing in your interview process might seem like common sense, but most organizations aren’t doing it. After all, you’ve spent time marketing your employer brand and checking references. Is the interview process really that important?
The interview is critical if you want to hire the right people and reduce employee turnover. Interviews give you the opportunity to learn more about an applicant’s technical experience, along with their personality and values. This is critical when you want to assess how well a candidate fits into your company culture.
So, how can you maximize your interviews and fill open positions with the right people? How can you speed up the hiring process and improve your interview response rates so you can quit playing phone tag?
Here’s what you need to know to start converting qualified recruits into loyal, long-term employees.
1. Offer Flexibility for On-the-Go Candidates
There’s no denying that convenience is a priority (after all, most of us would rather text than call). So, it only makes sense that your ideal candidates are looking for the same convenience during the job search.
That’s where recruitment technology can be your MVP.
By offering convenient, mobile-friendly options to apply for jobs, schedule interviews, and communicate with hiring managers, organizations can create a seamless recruitment cycle. That means reduced application dropout, higher interview response rates, and a faster hiring process.
Automated scheduling technology offers a flexible approach to interview scheduling, allowing candidates to schedule an interview at their own convenience. Meanwhile, on-demand technology for virtual text and video interviews allows candidates to complete an interview at any time, including nights and weekends.
And if that’s not convincing enough, automated scheduling technology can save you time and money. According to Yello, interview scheduling is the number one challenge for recruiters—and recruiters typically spend two-thirds of their overall hiring time on the interview process.
Automated scheduling technology helps accelerate the interview process because you’re vetting, communicating, and moving candidates through the talent pipeline faster. Say goodbye to waiting days to schedule an interview—it’s time to start hiring without the headache of playing phone tag and waiting for email replies.
2. Don’t Take a One-Size-Fits-All Approach
To make the most of your interviews, you need to tailor the interview to the specific role they’re trying to fill. Are you hiring a new machine operator? Are you trying to fill a truck driver position? The term blue-collar worker is broad. It encompasses skilled and unskilled roles, and most blue-collar employees work outside of the office.
To hire the right people, you can’t take the easy route—and that means ditching your one-size-fits-all approach to interviews. When new applicants are interested in your company, they want action—and they want it fast. If you’re taking days to review applications, send out skills assessments, set up screenings and interviews, and finally meet in person, you risk letting your best candidates opt out of the process.
You need a targeted approach that meets your candidates where they are.
Chances are, your candidates are probably interviewing with a few different companies. You want to spark their curiosity and show them how much you value their time before their first day on the job.
So, what’s the secret to mastering interviews? Flexible scheduling options typically generate the best response rates. Candidates are completing interviews at their own convenience, typically with a smartphone, and don’t need access to a computer. When the interview is tailored to the position, candidate responses soar, leading to faster hiring decisions.
3. Research Your Applicants in Advance
Whether you’re talking over the phone or meeting in person, it’s essential to prepare for the interview. That means researching the person you’re interviewing. By preparing for the interview and thoroughly reading your applicant’s resume, you’re showing them that you respect and value their time—and that might just be the finishing touch your candidate needs to accept the job offer.
Before the interview, review all of the information you have about the candidate, from their work experience to any other details listed on their resume. It’s also worth considering how deep you’re willing to dive into their social media activity to paint a more detailed picture of them.
4. Ask the Right Questions
Some of your interview questions will be the same for every interviewee.
For example, if you’re interviewing for a construction manager position, you might ask:
- What were your main responsibilities at your last job?
- Here’s a construction workplace scenario. How would you handle it?
- How do you prevent mistakes on your projects?
- How do you deal with difficult coworkers?
When it’s time to conduct the interview, you should have a clear idea of how you want the conversation to flow and what you want to learn from it. Most businesses focus on three main aspects—job fit, boss fit, and company fit—to find the right person for the job. This way, you’ll build a holistic picture of each person’s competencies, as well as their compatibility with the company and current employees.
In the interest of consistency, we recommend asking a few core questions to each person. Of course, you’ll need to tailor some questions to specific positions and individuals. You might want to ask about gaps in an applicant’s employment history or details about past projects, safety protocols, and responsibilities.
It’s also a good idea to ask some open-ended questions that encourage candidates to “think outside the box” and communicate more naturally. This is the perfect chance to learn about individuals by encouraging them to move away from overused answers.
5. Prepare to Answer Questions
Interviews aren’t just a great way to learn more about your candidates—they’re also a valuable opportunity for candidates to gain insights into your company. Basically, they’re another way for you to market your company culture to recruits.
When the interview starts, take some time to introduce yourself and talk about your background and role with the company. You might also talk about the business itself, touch on the company’s history, and let your candidate know why you’re hiring for the role.
Make sure you’re prepared to tell candidates more about your company and answer any questions they might have. Some common questions that applicants ask include:
- What’s the story behind your business and brand?
- What’s the company culture like?
- What challenges does the company currently face?
- How do you recognize and reward hard-working employees?
6. Don’t Forget to Follow Up
After you’ve finished conducting the interview and given the candidate the opportunity to ask questions, it’s time to conclude the interview. Thank the candidate for taking the time to attend, and outline the next steps so they know what to expect. It’s especially important to let the candidate know how and when they can expect your decision.
As soon as the interview is over, jot down your first thoughts and impressions while they’re still fresh. It can be useful to ask:
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- Can gaps in their experience be filled through training?
- Does this person seem like a good fit for the company?
Once you’ve written down your thoughts, you can share your results and insights with relevant colleagues before making your final decision.
Remember that candidates invest their own time to attend the interview. They’re waiting for your decision, and you want to let them know as quickly as possible. If you choose not to move forward, provide some feedback on their performance and let them know why you made your decision.
Maximize Your Interviews and Hire the Right People
Companies can’t afford to follow the same hiring practices they did in 2021—and that includes the interview process. If you’re tired of hiring the wrong people or struggling to schedule interviews, it’s time to upgrade your interviews.
Ready to take the next step? Schedule a discovery call with our team to make the most of your hiring process and grow your company with top-quality talent.