Interview prep is not just for candidates! In today’s market, hiring managers must consider how they will attract and secure their ideal candidates as much as candidates need to think about connecting with their ideal workplace. Impressions matter and while you need to be yourself, there are some simple things you can do to accurately represent your company and the positions you are offering.
Hiring Manager Interview Preparation Checklist:
- Get the Lowdown from Your Recruiter: Review the candidate submittal and any other materials your recruiter has sent regarding the candidate. Go into the interview knowing this information:
- Why are they interested in leaving their job?
- What can you offer them that they aren’t getting from their current employer?
- What will it take to get them (responsibilities, compensation, team structure, etc.)?
Armed with this information, you will be able to speak to what will attract them to you, which will put you ahead of the competition when it comes to making offers.
- Think About Zoom/Office Impressions: While we used to focus on reminding hiring managers to make their offices welcoming and reflective of company culture, the rise of remote work has shifted that slightly. But similar questions still apply.
- Is your attire and video conferencing background representative of your company culture, norms, and values? (If you are in person, does the office reflect your culture and values?)
- Do you look into the camera (not stare at another screen to your side!)? Do you check that the interviewee can hear and see you well?
- Does the interviewee feel welcome? Do you take the time to introduce yourself and others on the call? Engage in friendly conversation?
- Be Respectful: Help provide a calm, predictable environment for the interviewee.
- Ensure interviewees have the link and any system requirements for your video conferencing software at least a day before the interview.
- Keep to your schedule and provide breaks for interviews that last up to a day.
- Conduct the interview in a private setting without distractions, including answering phone calls and replying to emails.
- Don’t forget to silence all of your auditory computer notifications and reduce interruptions from family and pets (or have your pet say hello if that accurately represents your company culture!).
- Remember the 50/50 Rule: Speak as much as you listen. Provide room for the candidate to talk and create space to talk about the company and the opportunity. Make explicit time for their questions either at the beginning or end of the meeting.
- Give Prompt Feedback to Your Recruiter: Time kills deals! Top candidates will have multiple options, even if they aren’t currently interviewing with other companies. All feedback also helps recruiters refine their search and present candidates with what you need if the initial candidates miss the mark.
Final Thought: Avoid giving too much weight to your first impression. Balance your experience with references and notes from other interviewers. We’re all human and although first impressions are important, you’ll want concrete facts and a 360° perspective to ground your hiring decision.