The Two Way Interview: Selling To Top Candidates

Recruiting is a dance. Hiring the best person for a given role requires two parties, working together to truly determine whether the needs of one can be met by the needs of the other, and vice versa.

Let that sink in. Vice versa.

It really is a two way street, and it begins well in advance of the interview itself.

The first impression starts the moment they read your position description or visit your website – do they see an environment they want to be a part of? It continues through the first email correspondence or phone call – is it professional, genuine, and engaging? If travel is required, is it arranged and communicated professionally? How are they greeted when they arrive?

The second impression is the interview itself. Is there an effective agenda? If there are multiple interviewers, are each assigned various topics or are they all covering the same ground over, and over, and over again? Is information being exchanged two ways? You could have the best candidate in the world sitting across the table, but if their questions aren’t getting answered and they are not feeling engaged, you won’t land top talent.

Perhaps the most important impressions are the last – and lasting – impressions.

For the chosen finalist, are you providing appropriate, timely feedback during the process? If not, you could have the best candidate, with every intention of moving forward with an offer and bringing the person on board, but if that feedback and your interest are not communicated – if there are dead spaces, with no interaction – their interest in your organization will wane. It’s important to strike while the iron is hot. Candidates have a shelf life. If you’re not mindful of keeping them engaged and maintaining momentum, candidates will die on the vine.

For those not chosen to join your team, are you providing closure? Any feedback is typically very much welcomed. They didn’t make the cut, and they’ll appreciate knowing why. If you’re working through a search firm, give your consultant all of the feedback – the good, the bad, the ugly. The good recruiters out there are very adept at passing along even the toughest feedback in an appropriate, constructive way.

The kiss of death is no feedback at all. It leaves a bad taste in candidates’ mouths and can really hurt a company’s employer brand, as the individuals who are not selected return to their job search and networking efforts and are only too happy to talk about the negative impression they came away with from their interaction with your company.

At every step of the way, you can either choose to structure the interview process in a way that enhances your employer brand or neglect it and have it destroy your employer brand.

Which path does your organization choose?

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