Hawaii’s unemployment rate sits at 3.2%, which means there aren’t a ton of unemployed people looking for jobs. As an employer, you want to hire the best possible candidate and a huge piece of that is pulling off a successful job interview. The way you treat the candidate during the interview process can have a big impact on whether an applicant will choose your company or go with a competitor.
7 Tips for Running a Successful Job Interview
Here are seven tips for converting great applicants into employees:
1. Avoid long wait times to schedule an interview
It’s almost useless to find a qualified candidate and wait to interview them for 3-4 weeks. By then, they will most likely have found a job somewhere else or they may simply forget they even scheduled the interview. Ideally, reach out to a candidate and schedule an interview that same week.
2. Communicate, communicate, communicate!
After scheduling an interview, follow up with an email that provides information about what they will need to know for the day of the interview, including:
- Date, time, and location – or the teleconference link if the interview will be virtual
- Who they will meet with (especially if it will be with more than one person)
- How much time the interview should take (approximately)
- What form(s) they will be asked to fill out
- What they should bring
- Parking instructions if the interview will be in person
3. Confirm the interview more than once
Even if you schedule an interview for the same week, you should confirm with them the day before the interview. If the interview is scheduled for further out, you should confirm at least once more through phone, email, or text message.
4. Test your setup
If you are running a virtual interview, it’s a good idea to test your setup and connection the day before to avoid delays or technical issues. Test your camera view, clean up or blur your background, make sure you have the latest version of software downloaded, and make sure your mic is working. You will also want to make sure your device is fully charged.
5. Do your homework
It’s discouraging for job applicants to sit in an interview where the interviewer has clearly not done their homework about them. Take the time to study the candidate’s resume and tailor your questions accordingly. Don’t ask if they have experience with Microsoft Office if it’s plainly written as a skill on their resume, for example. Instead, ask them to elaborate on the skills they gained in a prior position or how their prior position will help them succeed in the position they’re applying for.
6. Be prepared to answer questions
An interview is not only for an employer to get to know a potential candidate. The applicant is also assessing your business and whether it will be a good fit for them. Be prepared to answer questions about what a typical day would look like or about how your mission and values play into how the business is operated.
7. Outline next steps and follow through
If you are happy with the way the interview is going and you think this might be the right person for your open position, don’t let them leave without outlining next steps. Let them know if there is anything else you will need from them or if you have more interviews lined up. Also, be clear about how long it will take you to make a decision and follow up to let them know whether they got the position or you chose another candidate. It’s not a good look to leave people hanging or to ignore promising candidates who were almost the right fit. If you treat an applicant well, you can keep them in a pool of potential candidates for positions that open up down the road.
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