Thanks for Coming In to Interview – We’ll Start With Monotone, Followed by My Phone Ringing…

Jessica Lee Culture, Interviewing, Jessica Lee, Recruiting

All right. So, I’m kind of superficial. I’ll admit it. Appearance, presentation and overall packaging mean a lot to me and I believe they make a pretty big impact. Even when it comes to interviewing, I feel like I represent my company and therefore, I want to make a great impression on candidates. I put on a suit for most all interviews, I put my best foot forward, and I’m out to make sure each candidate I meet likes me and likes my company.

Trust me. You will want to work for APCO once I’m done with you.

As recruiting and HR practitioners though, do we all do this? Because truthfully, I feel like I myself have Sleeping_at_desk interviewed with HR pros who just don’t seem to take things as seriously as me. I mean, you are the ultimate ambassador for your company – so why don’t you welcome candidates just as you would welcome a guest in your home?  Or have you become so routine with interviews that it’s like calling customers out at the butcher counter? “Neeeeext..”

Lots of HR folks have given up on the marketing side of the biz.  Or maybe they never got it…

I’ve been thinking about impressions we should make as interviewers, especially since one of the junior staffers on my team is gearing up to start interviewing candidates on her own. I thought about the way I’d like to see her approach an interview and came up with a list of things to consider. Here is some of what I parlayed to her:

  • Make the interview a comfortable and safe place. Welcome them. Make sure they know you’re excited and pleased to be meeting with them. Interviewing shouldn’t be a drag on your time- it’s an honor to meet them, in fact.
  • Take their coat. Offer them a beverage. I think you should treat the visit no differently than you would a guest in your home.
  • Make it a conversation. We’re not here to interrogate. The candidate is already nervous as it is.
  • Every question must have a purpose. What are you trying to solicit with each question? What is the desired answer? Have you covered all the major competencies for the position?
  • Have some follow-up questions to your original question(s). Don’t be scared to dig for details. Your original question, in and of itself, is not good enough. You’ve got to keep digging.
  • Be their champion as much as you can but still remain fair and objective.
  • If the candidate is meeting others in the organization, prep them. Make sure they understand how these people fit into the bigger picture and why they are meeting others.
  • Make sure they understand the position, the team it is with, and how their role fits into the bigger picture of the company.
  • If you aren’t feeling the candidate, don’t let it show. I want every candidate to have a positive experience, even if they are bombing it. You can cut the interview short if they are that horrible, but don’t let on. EVER. You never know when you might encounter them again or when there might be a different position that they could be a great match for.
  • Be enthusiastic. You’ve got to sell the company, but don’t be sleazy about it. Your authenticity will be enough. If you love where you’re at, this should be a no-brainer.

So what do you think? Did I miss anything?

Based on some of the HR and recruiting pros I’ve met with myself, I have to say, we don’t all walk the talk… but I’m curious what other nuggets of advice you’d pass on to someone new to interviewing.

Or maybe you don’t think that the impressions we make matter?