I’ve seen too many managers schedule a 15 or 20 minute interview. They do it because they are pressed for time. They feel if they have more questions they can always call the candidate back in for another interview. Bad idea. Interviews that are too short just wastes everyone’s time. You don’t learn anything meaningful about the candidate and you prolong the interview process. You also run the risk of alienating the candidate, especially if the candidate is currently employed and has to rearrange her schedule to meet with you multiple times.
Remember, top talent has a lot of choices and you only have one chance to make a good first impression.
Make sure the people on the interview team know for which role the candidate is interviewing. Avoid exposing your candidate to a hastily assembled, unprepared interview team. Everyone who is interviewing the candidate needs a copy of the job description, the candidate’s resume and time to review these documents. Feedback from candidates who have been interviewed by people who were unprepared is never positive. Not only does it waste everyone’s time, it is seen as disrespectful. It looks like you’re not taking the candidate or the position seriously. It can also give the candidate the impression that neither you nor your team have a clue. Either way your company looks bad and the candidates is less likely to accept an offer.
Anyone who is interviewing your candidate should have a list of relevant questions and all candidates for this position should be asked the same questions. Having a list of approved questions will help ensure:
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Are you trying to hire a Data Scientist? Data Engineer? Analyst? I don’t need to tell you how difficult it can be to recruit top talent. Your team is over worked and your projects are falling behind, so you are under the gun to hire quickly. Upper management is hinting that if you don’t use the open requisition you may lose it.
Under circumstances like these it’s tempting to cut corners and work around the hiring process in order to speed things up and hire someone faster. However, you need to avoid that temptation at all costs. Finding the talent you need is hard enough, you can’t afford to burn through candidates with ineffective interviewing procedures. Having a system in place doesn’t have to slow down your hiring efforts. In fact, incorporating a few common sense rules into your recruiting strategy can actually speed up your time to hire!
Here are some easy to implement ideas that will help you hire faster and better.
Sounds pretty basic, right? But you’d be surprised how many hiring managers don’t have a clear picture of the skills the candidate needs or even what the new hire will be doing. Some hiring managers waste a lot of time reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates when they don’t know what they want or need. This is a huge time waster. It wastes your time, your recruiter’s time, the candidates’ time and your team’s time. You need to think through the requirements of the role you are trying to fill. If you’re not entirely clear on the skills and experience needed to be successful on the project, consult with your team. Those who are closest to the project will know what’s needed. Don’t be the guy whose philosophy is “I’m not sure what I need. But I’ll know it when I see it.” Believe me, this doesn’t work.
Try to get back to your candidate within 24 hours if at all possible. You don’t have to give an offer immediately, but you do have to get back to the candidate. It’s okay to say you have other candidates to interview and will get back to him/her within a specified time frame. If he is not a good fit for the position, this is the time to tell him.
The point is you don’t want to leave the candidate hanging. Too many hiring managers seem to think they can bring a candidate onsite for interviews, neglect to offer any feedback and call the candidate back in a month or so to continue the conversation about the job. Believe me, it doesn’t work. You will likely lose the candidate and hurt your reputation.