Talent Acquisition Workplace

What You Should be Telling Your Candidates Before a Job Interview

When you get to the stage of inviting a candidate to come in for an interview, you are already halfway towards employing them, sometimes even more.  You have read their CV, liked their qualifications and experience and their references are solid. Maybe you have done pre-screening on the phone and they ticked all the boxes.  So you want to employ them – but then things go wrong in the interview.

Sometimes this is because this genuinely isn’t the right person.  And when you meet them, you realize this. But there are often times when we don’t tell the candidate something before the interview that they really need to know.  So here are some examples of things you should consider telling them before the interview to help everyone get the right end result.

Only they can talk themselves out of the job

If there’s one thing you should tell your candidate before the interview, it is the fact that only they can talk themselves out of the job.  That’s because you have done your homework, you have checked their qualifications and references, you feel like you know them – all they need to do is live up to their promise.

There’s a case for not telling them this, of course.  You don’t want the interview to seem like a formality – you want them to work for it, show their best and to impress you.  But they don’t need to work as hard as they might think because their background has already helped them out.

You want to click with the person

Your new employee doesn’t need to be your next best friend, but you do want to feel that click, the sense that you can get along, especially if you are going to be working with someone on a daily basis.  This means you want to relate to them as a person and they need to make the most of this.

It is also why those classic answers to interview questions are often a big fail.  Being a ‘perfectionist but a workaholic’ doesn’t tell you a thing about the person apart from the fact that they might be of a problem than a benefit.  If you could tell them something before the interview, it would be to be themselves.

How they look does matter

It’s true, we shouldn’t judge someone on how they look but if there’s something you should tell your candidate before the interview, it is that how they look does matter.  No, it isn’t about whether they are ‘pretty’ or ‘handsome’ but it is about how they prepare themselves for the interview.

Dress code is a real thing and how people interpret it is something we respond to, even if we don’t realize it.  For instance, if someone turns up to an interview without being well groomed, there’s a subconscious belief that they don’t really care about the job.  Without meaning to, we are influenced by how people present themselves.

So if there was something you should tell them is that the dress code isn’t a suggestion – it is a guide to how you expect people to appear and that it does matter.  The make of the suit you wear isn’t important but the fact that it is well pressed, smart and fits you does.

You will negotiate with the right person

Because you invest time in getting to the interview stage, there’s always a little room for negotiation when it comes to pay or benefits for the right person.  People often fear to negotiate or to ask for what they want because they might seem pushy or demanding. But the reality is that most of us employers are willing to negotiate a bit if someone ticks all the other boxes.  You want to get the vacancy filled, you need to ease the pressure on your other staff who are covering, and you don’t want to have to go through another round of interviews. If the person is right, then you can work with the package a bit – if they ask!

The things you should tell them

In a way, employers should send a checklist with an interview invite that tells the candidate things like these:

  • Be yourself
  • Make sure you nail the dress code
  • We are really looking for someone and you already have ticks to your name
  • We have invested time in getting to this stage and we want to employ you

Maybe if candidates knew these things before the interview, they would be more themselves and worry less about being what they think the employer wanted.  And then everyone would be better off – and working happily together. This useful infographic has been brought to you by Live Recruitment.

About the author: Paul Gordon is a digital & content marketing specialist at 720 Digital Ltd.

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