News Article

How Interviewers Can Make A Better Experience For Job Candidates

Posted 16th May 2023 • Written by Jack Kelly on •

The interview process doesn’t have to be dreadful. Hiring managers and interviewers can improve the process by making job seekers feel appreciated and respected. They could start the interview by offering a sincere and friendly greeting, sharing their name and title and thanking them for taking the time out of their busy schedules.


Then, the interviewer can manage expectations of how long the process will be and how many people the applicant will meet with. They can offer information about how the interviews will be conducted, as well as the color and context of the organization. For the nervous applicant, offer a polite smile and small talk to make the person feel comfortable.


Provide Full Disclosure, Even If It Turns Off The Applicant

After the initial pleasantries, it would be fair to share why the position is open. If it is due to a manager who bullied the former employee and pushed them to leave, this should be properly disclosed. If there are any other issues, such as lack of growth potential, financial difficulties or possible layoffs in the near term, these matters should be brought to light, especially as the person will soon find out and feel they were purposely misled.


The salary, bonus, corporate title, vacation time, remote, hybrid or in-office work styles should be shared upfront, so there is no bait and switch at the culmination of the interview process. The interviewer should ensure they are fully aware of the job description to hold an intelligent conversation.


Be Genuine, Empathetic And Caring

Interviewers often fall back on the traditional cliche questions, such as “Where do you see yourself in five years? How many windows are there in New York City, and why are manhole covers round?” While they ask these questions, the hiring manager will recite it in a robotic, corporate manner that lacks sincerity and authenticity.


Instead of asking trick or “gotcha” questions, the interviewer should politely ask the candidate to tell them about themselves. Ask open-ended questions so that the person can provide a complete response instead of only a “yes” or “no” answer.


Rather than interjecting, intently and actively listen to the applicant without getting distracted. Don’t grill the candidate as if they’re on the witness stand. Be polite, courteous and demonstrate your interest. Throughout the conversation, the hiring manager needs to interject and ask the job hunter if they have any questions or need additional information.


Manage Expectations Of How Long It Will Take

The human resources person, manager, manager’s manager and folks from other divisions you’ll be working with will be involved in the interview process. Each person should have a copy of the résumé in advance, view their LinkedIn profile and gain a sense of the person. There is no reason to come into the interview unprepared and look at a résumé for the first time in front of the applicant.


One of job hunters' biggest justified complaints is that they are left in the dark for weeks or months. They are told to meet with three to 10 people for up to three-plus months. The amount of time and energy going through endless rounds is unfair. There should be a valid reason for each person with whom the candidate meets. A senior-level person should oversee the process to ensure it progresses seamlessly. If not, there must be a point person the interviewee could turn to for help getting feedback and keeping the interview on track.


Be Transparent About The Next Steps

When wrapping up the interview, tell the truth. Cut your losses and move on without stringing the person along if it's not a fit. Additionally, since they put in the time and effort, it's only fair that the person should receive feedback and constructive criticism, if warranted.


If the hiring manager says they’ll keep the résumé on file for the future, they should mean it, not just say it to appease the applicant. Should the candidate be asked to return for additional interviews, make it clear how many more rounds there will be and if there are any changes to the list of people.

Click to see more Interview and CV tips from People First Recruitment to help in your search for a Mandarin speaking job, a Japanese job, a Language job or a job in Supply Chain, Procurement or Demand Planning in London & the UK