Is your interview process correct?
Posted by Jake Hearn
In a candidate driven market it’s key for clients to get their interview process right, but what is the right process, how many stages should there be, who gets involved and at what stage and what level of detail do you go in to? Some clients surprisingly present an offer after just one meeting, this can create problems, particularly if you’re interviewing a candidate who is either; Making their first move from practice They are not actively on the market and they have been headhunted for the role They have other interviews happening over the space of a few weeks This is the first interview they have attended It can be a bit overwhelming, seem pushy and candidates don’t feel like they have seen enough of the business or the people at the firm. More importantly, it can make a business look desperate! On the flip side, some clients will do a five-stage plus interview process which involves significant testing, a technical grilling, meeting with various different people in the business which can sometimes make candidates lose interest, particularly if they are interviewing at another company which has a shorter process, obviously this is level dependent and if the investment is significant then more senior candidates will understand this approach and structure to the onboarding process. The most effective and engaging process I’ve found, are those which are three stages: First Stage Get the technical grilling done if they are not technically strong enough then there is no need to progress. Second Stage The more traditional interview stage, a fact-finding exercise for both parties, going through the CV, getting under the skin of what the candidate really wants and selling your business to them, in the current market this is so important. Don’t make the mistake of assuming all candidates want to work for you, it’s a two-way street and it’s as much them selling to you as it is you selling to them. Third stage The meet and greet, invite their peers, people from other departments that they would interact with, this ensures that both parties get an insight into the personalities of each other. This may well be offsite and it is a more informal stage, but this is the key time to cement the decision for everyone. Time between interviews is really important to candidates, especially if they have other options, it’s important that things come to ahead at roughly a similar time. In this market, it is key for clients to communicate feedback to candidates as you would expect feedback from them in a timely and detailed fashion. In summary, your interview process shouldn’t be too long or too short, do the technical at the start, ensure there is passion and personality in your interview process and make sure that candidates are not waiting too long for decisions or feedback.