Fine-Tune Your Interview Process

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interview tips and techniques

A recent study suggests “difficult” interviews lead to the hire of more satisfied employees.  What does that mean?

Our on-demand software helps HR professionals and recruiters more effectively and effciently recruit, onboard and more. These are products that save time, money, and help you onboard the right talent for your needs. While our software helps you move candidates through your pipeline, the interview process is the first meeting of culture and candidate.

The study by Glassdoor compares the quality of the interview process using a panel of more than 154,000 respondents in six countries.  Overall, results of the study suggest a difficult interview boosts job satisfaction later on.  Still, results from more difficult interviews—and improved job fit—varied by country:

  • Australia: 3.6 percent
  • Canada: 3.0 percent
  • United Kingdom: 2.9 percent
  • United States: 5 percent
  • Germany: 4 percent
  • France: 1.5 percent

These interesting results seem to indicate a difficult interview process brings out, and allows you to hire, the best.  But is that the message?  The study discusses that satisfaction drops off with interview methods that are too simple, and too difficult.  Too few contact points result in loss of interest, while a too-complicated process suggests unnecessary rigor and a company unprepared to offer a thoughtful selection process.

Tips to Craft a Meaningful Interview Process

The Glassdoor research looked at “difficult” interviews.  What does that mean?  Making an interview process hard may not be your best move to attract top talent.  Highly motivated, skilled candidates expect the candidate journey to mirror the experience they could have working for a company.  Too difficult?  Poor response?  You could lose a good opportunity, and so could your job candidate.

Look at your methods and ask if your interviews truly reflect your company culture, and whether they reveal which candidate is the best applicant fit.  Consider these tips to introduce complexity, without pushing difficulty:

  • Know what you need: Identify the real needs of the job to be filled.  Resist the urge to recycle an earlier posting and fly with it. To fill a critical position the right way, cast a critical eye on how you word or express your job opening.
  • Make sure you are capturing the right leads: Use the right ATS to cultivate appropriate candidate pools. Be mobile, be responsive, and keep the chain of communication clear by using the right tech.
  • Know your talent pool: Always be improving your candidate pool resources. Whether it is job-boards, recruiters, referrals, or professional associations, tweak the destination of your job posting to fit this position, not the last three positions that required a different skill set.
  • Pre-filters: Telephone and video interviews are a super way to scale your interview list. A phone interview offers valuable time with a prospective hire, and establishes rapport.  Video interviews, whether live or recorded, offer additional economies. Testing in the form of skills test, survey feedback, and personality assessments offer rich information—so long as they’re conducted with careful attention to matching the open position and optimizing for candidate comfort.
  • Setting up interviews: Reduce stress around the in-person interview process.  Let candidates know approximately who they will meet with, for how long, and what realm of questions they might expect to answer.  If they will be tested on site, give them the heads-up.  Everyone is nervous at a job interview. You get a better view of your recruit if they have some idea of what they can expect.
  • Interviews: Google, now a company under Alphabet, is well known for its rigorous—and welcoming—interview methods. Like most companies, Google realizes the future is in its workforce, and how they perform on internal teams. By taking the time to research the questions, skills, and aptitudes needed for each position, Google offers a standardized, yet customizable, interview process to support the journey of recruit to hire.  The Google process attempts to eliminate the 10-second knee-jerk decision that dooms many good candidates and replaces it with a thoughtful rubric for accomplishing the goal—hiring the best candidate for the position. Interview panels involve a supervisor, co-workers, individuals who may work for the potential recruit, and an individual from outside the subject area.
  • Post-interview: Close each interview with a clear message on what occurs next.  Field all questions and leave the interview with the candidate having the last word, if needed.  Keep candidates informed as the selection process winnows—and provide prompt feedback if a candidate is not selected, or if you intend to make an offer.

It is a two-way street.  Develop your recruiting cycle to meet your workforce needs—and offer an excellent candidate experience.  While a more complex recruiting process may take more time—you can enjoy the payoff in higher employee satisfaction, engagement, and productivity.

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