Recruiting

The candidate you are representing has made it to interview stage. You made sure that you asked them all the preparation questions and they seemed ready to go, ticking all of the boxes! Now that they’re out of the interview you’re keen to get all the details, right?

It’s important to have the candidate give you a call straight after the interview; this is a great test of commitment, as if they are interested in the company, they should give you a call immediately, full of excitement about the prospect of being successful! It’s also great to get feedback while it’s still fresh in their head! When they call make sure you ask approach the following topics:

How do you feel it went?

It’s important to be able to have an honest conversation between you and your candidate. It’s unlikely that during an interview a candidate will have answered every question perfectly and as a recruiter you know that the perfect candidate isn’t out there! This means that you need to be able to effectively feedback to the client and overcome their reservations by reassuring them that the candidate is competent in this area. If they didn’t answer the question correctly get them to talk you through how they would have answered the problem and feed this back to the client.

How does it compare to your current role / company?

Discuss the pros and cons of the candidate leaving vs. staying, hopefully the pros will far outweigh the cons but if it doesn’t make sense to you then it probably doesn’t make sense for the candidate to move either! If a candidate is torn you could get them to create a spreadsheet which encourages them to think about it in detail, they can rank areas of importance or split into pros/cons – although it’s not ideal you need to know before generating an offer for the wrong candidate and risking a drop out further down the line!

Do you have any reservations?

Make sure you’ve overcome these before delivering any offer to a candidate, you won’t be able to close a candidate on accepting a position by strong handing them into it, even if you do there’s a high risk of the candidate dropping out as these reservations eat away at them over time. Better to ask additional questions and gain flexibility from the end client which you can incorporate into an offer. There are usually things that you can have added to an offer to get them across the line, simply by bringing them up with the hiring manager first (maybe another company is offering +5 days holiday allowance… is this something your client can offer so they don’t lose out on a great candidate?)

What did they say the next steps were?

What did they tell you about the next steps? Timeframes / other applicants in the process are good to know about and a good indication of how the candidate has done and should mirror your conversation/s with the client.

How was your journey to the office?

The interview could have gone well but if you don’t know how this would work logistically then it could be a massive issue which crops up out of nowhere later down the line! If the journey wasn’t great and they’re thinking of discounting the position based on this get them to do it again – if it’s still bad you can always speak to the client about the flexibility to work from home!

How does it compare to other roles you’re interviewing for?

Make sure that the candidate isn’t holding out for another role, especially if you have another person in the running who would jump at the chance of joining the organisation! Whilst you want the best technical candidate, somebody who is really fighting to get hired and has a great attitude could be great for an organisation and I would usually push for this candidate ahead of a person who is better on paper.

Additional questions you might like to ask:

  • What reservations do you think they have about you at this stage?
  • Can you talk me through the questions which they asked?
  • How many other candidates are in the running?
  • What did you think about the company structure?
  • Was there anything you could have answered better / feel you didn’t address thoroughly?
  • Were there any surprises about the role?
  • What does your gut feeling tell you the outcome will be?

Why do these questions matter?

Effective questioning works two-fold. It helps you extract the relevant information to discuss with the client in order to sell the candidate effectively and it means that you can use their feedback to gauge whether you need to address anything to the client on their behalf, i.e, ‘they felt they could have gone into more detail about their sales methodology’.

If a candidate is interested in the company I would always recommend for them to follow up with a personalised email to you outlining what they liked about the role and what areas of expertise that they could bring to the company and sending this onto the client with a recommendation to offer. If they didn’t answer a question as well as they could have get them to explain this, how they would have approached it and, if relevant get them to send through examples of their work – this will really help them to stand out in comparison to other candidates!

About Naomi Baggs

Senior Account Executive at Link Humans, London's employer branding agency.

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