Coffee Break with a Consultant: Why Is It Important To Do a Compensation Analysis?
August 5, 2022
The Purple People Leader: DiSC vs. CliftonStrengths
August 16, 2022

In today’s candidate-driven market, employers often focus on the shortage of qualified candidates. We get caught up with how and where to find candidates. These are valid concerns, and it is important to be strategic about sourcing. However, finding candidates is just the first step. Are you being strategic about the next phase of the recruitment process?

The 1-Star Interview

When I was a senior in college, I had an interview with an insurance company, and it was a big deal to me. I interviewed with them on campus and was selected to go to an onsite interview at the headquarters. I bought an expensive suit, had to skip a couple of classes, borrowed a friend’s car, had a fender bender on the way, drove over an hour to the big city (with a paper map, not Google Maps), and was still really excited about this interview.

Upon my arrival, I was led into a large office where a guy had his feet up on the desk. He grabbed my resume (clearly for the first time), then shouted to his assistant, “Why are we interviewing English and Communications majors?”. He went on to ask me inappropriate questions (in fact, illegal questions) and treated me with a lack of respect that deserved a 1-star rating on Google.  Oh, do I wish I could have left an online rating.

The 5-Star Interview

A few months later, I interviewed with a large bank and was sent a detailed itinerary with directions and timelines, put up in a 4-star hotel, reimbursed for mileage, picked up for breakfast, given a tour of several branches, treated to lunch by a program ambassador and HR rep, and introduced to multiple people who engaged me in meaningful conversations and structured interviews. They treated me with respect and wooed me. I felt challenged by the interview questions and knew it was a competitive selective process. It was amazing! I got the job and later worked as a recruiter and ultimately managed the college recruiting program where I could continue the woo.

Certain industries, like home health care, nursing, retail, restaurants, and social work are finding that candidates have many career options. If you are in a competitive industry, it’s even more important to differentiate yourself from the competition. Once you connect with an applicant, every interaction is important. Hopefully, if you make a great impression, it will help you convert applicants into candidates into hires into star employees.

Be strategic with sourcing, create a positive candidate experience, and continue being strategic regarding the interview experience and process.

In my first story, that hiring manager was an embarrassment to his company. Did he know better? Maybe. Did he realize I could have sued him? Maybe or maybe not. Was he lucky that I couldn’t give them a horrible review on social media and spread the word? YES! Regardless, the company invested money in interviewing on campus, selected me to move forward, lost time and money scheduling the interview, and they lost a potential top-performing candidate.

Interview training can help to ensure a positive candidate experience. Candidates feel that they’ve been challenged, properly vetted, and given an opportunity to showcase their skills. They have an opportunity to meet several people, make connections, and get a feel for the culture. They get their questions answered and have a good understanding of the timeline for receiving an offer.

Interview training should teach hiring managers:

  • To ask open open-ended questions that reveal critical job-related information, not leading questions that tell the candidate what we want to hear.
  • How the past behavior a candidate reveals in their responses to behavioral questions can predict future behavior.
  • About the biases that we all have – some are as simple as the “recency factor,” where we like the most recent person we interviewed.
  • How to give a realistic preview of the job.
  • How to sell the job and be a brand ambassador for the organization.
  • Who should be in the interview.
  • How to structure the interview.
  • How making hiring decisions based on the “beer test,” where interviewers choose candidates they think would be fun to have a beer with, is a recipe for failure.

Especially in companies with decentralized hiring, where branch managers, regional managers, or field managers are hiring, it’s important to do the following:

  • Create SOPs regarding the interview process.
  • Conduct interview training as a part of manager training, or as a yearly training program.
  • Create an interview guide that has questions that are targeted for each role.
  • Create a way of assessing candidates, a scorecard, or a process for evaluating them objectively.
  • Discuss how to create a positive candidate experience so that when offers are made and accepted, the candidate is more likely to actually show up on day one.

If you are busy handling the busy day-to-day responsibilities of your own work but want to make sure your team is poised and equipped to deliver a great interview experience, make a case for training. If you’re having trouble finding the time or making a business case for paying a third party, consider the cost of losing one future star. What’s the cost of hiring one bad employee who can potentially become a cancer on the team or create problems with a client? What’s the cost of a social media post about a bad interview experience? What’s the cost of a charge of illegal questions or discrimination? Creating a solid interview process and providing training is a great investment and a part of your risk management plan.

If you want to learn more about interview training, reach out to us at Purple Ink. We’d be happy to discuss how it can help your team!

Peggy Hogan
Peggy Hogan
Peggy is the Vice President of Talent Services at Purple Ink. Peggy enjoys connecting the right person to the right place, whether she’s career coaching, recruiting or working on-site with a client. She is motivated to help create positive workspaces by offering creative solutions to problems in the workplace, resulting in reduced turnover, higher employee engagement and increased productivity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.