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FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT

Whether interviewing potential senior managers or early career program candidates, what happens before the interview itself is just as important.  This is the first impression that someone will have of your company so make it a good one. 

Whether interviewing potential senior managers or early career program candidates, what happens before the interview itself is just as important.  This is the first impression that someone will have of your company so make it a good one.  Whether it is directions, car parking, dress code or simply letting them know who they’ll be meeting on the day, make sure your communications are clear and that candidates know what to expect – this gives a good platform for the next bit…a great conversation.

One of the first things you could ask is what they know about your business. A standard question you probably assume, but if you ask with the intent to potentially learn something new then asking for their feedback on what they found, how easy was it to research your company, what impression did it give them…gives you a great opportunity to find out what your external brand says about your business.  It also gives you a sense of why they wanted to work for you.  Not to mention how comfortable they feel about delivering feedback!

We sometimes find that interviewers are looking for questions that make them look smart or try to catch candidates out, however focusing on the things you really need and want to know about someone to ensure they would be a good fit and this starts by putting them at ease.  Being interested not just interesting. If you have clearly defined cultural values, ensure you ask competency-based questions that allow the candidate to demonstrate whether their behaviours or experience match your company’s DNA. Try and include a scenario-based question. Leaving the scenario open to interpretation allows the candidate to explain their own rationale and judgement in a situation – after all that’s what you’ll be relying on day to day if you hire them!

When you’ve whittled down your candidates and decided who is going forward to the next and/or final stage we recommend using some sort of profiling tool, preferably one that your team or business has already adopted.  This has two major benefits 1) you’ll be able to ask questions about how they manage their own preferences and how adaptable they might be within a team and 2) the candidate leaves with something tangible from the process whether they are successful or not. 

And finally, it’s really important to follow up and offer feedback post the interview, this leaves all applicants with a positive, professional impression of your business and importantly the care you take with all your people interactions.

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