Hiring is one of the most essential processes in company building. The right team is crucial for creating culture and success. In order to do that, it’s just as important to consider the candidate’s interview process as it is to think about the company’s needs. Being empathetic, communicative, and transparent about the process and the organization will help create an overall positive candidate experience. From there, accepted offers will follow.
1. Maintain clear and transparent communication throughout the interview process.
“I like when there’s clear and transparent communication during an interview process. As a candidate, it’s frustrating when interviewers are cryptic about their expectations. It’s a better overall candidate experience when you’re able to speak candidly about everything from salary ranges to upward mobility.” - Charles Yang, Fundraising Analyst
2. Provide tools for candidates to convey their thoughts through various mediums.
“Having a whiteboard or any other means of being able to communicate with mixed media is helpful for me. This may be specific to my role but I think a lot of people, not just designers, are visually-minded and can explain certain things better by drawing them or putting them down on paper and it’s nice to have the option.” - Christine Jun, Designer
3. Deliver real feedback when the interview is done to help the candidate in their overall job search process and show you’re invested in the outcome.
“One simple way to create a good candidate experience for me is by giving real feedback afterward. It costs nothing, takes only a minute, and can provide a ton of value to someone in their ongoing job search.” - Matthew Melville, Partner and Legal Advisor
4. Aim for a conversational tone to keep an interview from feeling transactional. This is a time to share your—and the company's—personality.
“I had a phone interview once where the interviewer was very impersonal—almost robotic. Instead of having a normal conversation it felt more like a transaction. For instance, they asked me about salary expectations five minutes into the interview. This gave me a pretty negative first impression of the company. I think interviewers should be more conversational with candidates so you can get a sense of the company’s culture.” - Kathya Pineda, Account Manager
5. Don’t flaunt your company’s dedication to diversity and inclusion during the candidate experience unless there’s a true commitment to it in the day-to-day work experience.
“I appreciate when a company asks for your gender pronouns at some point during the interview or application process. Unfortunately, though, a lot of companies don’t use that info in communications about you after you’ve been hired, especially if your pronouns are not the usual he/him or she/her. It’s important to be considerate, but it’s even more important to follow through with these practices.” - Renee A., Records Clerk
6. If you want to know how candidates would react in certain scenarios, consider asking a series of relevant behavioral questions rather than discussing company culture.
“One of the worst experiences I’ve had as a job candidate was for a sales position. The interviewer was so rude to me on the phone that I have to think they were testing me to see how I would handle a tough sales call with a prospect or a client. I’m not sure this is really an effective hiring strategy though because that phone interview took away all the excitement I had about that opportunity and made me not want to continue to the onsite interview.” - Hunter Lux, Sales Development Representative
7. Opt for thoughtful (and free) gestures instead of flashy and costly gifts.
“Companies can make people feel welcome at their office without cutting into their budgets by just thinking of the little things, like writing 'Welcome Cassie!' on a whiteboard in the reception area—gestures that are simple and thoughtful." - Cassie Pallesen, Head of Corporate Marketing