COVID-19 has transformed the way companies do business today. While many businesses pulled down their shutters during the pandemic, tech companies opened their doors to digital solutions. IT employees continued to work from the comfort of their homes to help businesses adopt digital technologies, especially in customer and supply-chain interactions.
2021 saw a boom in the IT industry. But as the demand for digital requirements increased, talent acquisition teams struggled to match it with the right supply. The best talents were often fielding multiple offers simultaneously. There was a spike in offer dropouts, with candidates rejecting an offer to take up a better one.
Under such stiff competition, how can tech companies recruit successfully? Do interviews play a significant role in the recruitment process? Yes, they do. Is your in-house team doing it right? Maybe not, and this is probably why you see many dropouts post-interview.
Interview Tips for First-time Hiring Managers
Here are some effective interview tips that can help first-time hiring managers navigate through the interview rounds and help them significantly bring down dropout rates. Let’s start by breaking the interview process into three parts and see how we can prepare for each of them:
- Before Interview
- During the Interview
- After the Interview
Read the CV
Take time to read the candidate’s CV a couple of hours before interviewing them. This helps you understand if they have the skill sets required by your company. Just as candidates prepare for the interview by learning as much about the company as possible, companies should put in the same effort. Chances are that if you’ve called someone in for an interview, you believe they have what it takes to get the job done. Make them feel like you are appreciative of them by mentioning some of their previous work experience or asking thoughtful questions about it during the interview.
Keep Questions Ready
Note down a set of questions to ask in an interview that will help you assess if the candidate is a right fit for your company. Doing a thorough background check of the candidate will help you assess what their strengths and weaknesses are. By asking the right question, you will be able to gauge how aligned they are to your company’s business model. Preparing questions beforehand will help you focus on their answers and ask better follow-up questions.
Prepare Your Space
If you conduct a face-to-face interview, be present in the room before your candidate arrives. Place a bottle of water in hand. Your candidate might need it, and it shows your thoughtfulness. Ask them to make themselves comfortable and do not directly start asking them questions. Allow room for some pleasant interactions before getting down to business.
If you are conducting a virtual interview using a video conference platform such as Zoom, Google Meet or Webex, log in at least 10-15 minutes before the interview. This gives you enough time to check if your audio and video are working properly. Check in with the candidate a few minutes or an hour in advance as a reminder for the interview.
Put Aside Your Mobile
Keep your mobile on mute to avoid distractions during the interview. The candidate will appreciate your undivided attention. Reschedule any other calls or meetings that might be clashing with the interview so that neither you nor the candidate feels stressed to wrap up the conversation sooner than needed.
During the Interview
Tell them your reasons for being with this company and why you like it here. This will help them relax before moving to the main part of the interview – the technical round. If you feel like the interview is going well, ensure that you are as open with the candidate as possible about the work culture, timings, and pay scales, so that your candidate doesn’t feel like they are being kept in the dark about crucial information.
Be Polite and Courteous
Smile and look them in the eye when you speak to them. Your body language should convey your interest in them. Take a genuine interest in the candidate’s answer. If they are showing signs of nervousness, help them feel comfortable so that they can bring out their best self during the interview.
Ask Your Questions Thoughtfully
Adopt a conversational tone rather than an interrogatory tone that will make them feel inferior right at the start. Avoid bookish or syntax type questions which require memorization. It is better to ask questions about real scenarios that can help you assess their analytical and problem-solving skills.
Allow Time to Think
Give the candidate time to think before responding to your questions. Don’t appear impatient if they are not able to answer you right away or are unable to give you the right answer. By giving them enough time to think about their answers, you will be able to gauge their competency levels. Do they have the required skills? If they don’t know about the desired technology, are they willing to learn it? How did they resolve a problem in the past? Are they passionate about what they do?
Allow Them to Ask Questions
Candidates ask questions to gauge if your company is a right fit for them and if they see a future with you. Answering these questions requires some marketing skills but don’t try to oversell. Treat candidates as you would like to be treated. Do not be judgmental if a candidate is unable to answer your questions. The interview should be a pleasant experience for the candidate.
After the Interview
Rate the Candidate
Rating should be based on their technical knowledge, mathematical and logical aptitude, communication skills, trainability and attitude. If the candidate is good but not suitable for the current position, inform your company so that an alternative offer can be made.
Don’t keep them waiting to know if they are selected. Take a decision and inform them as soon as possible. If you don’t do it immediately, they are sure to look elsewhere. Roll out your offer letter at the earliest or as soon as you’ve done your background checks.
Your proactiveness, pleasantness and professionalism throughout the interview process will go a long way in creating a favourable and memorable experience for your company. Many candidates post their hiring experience on social media, so this can be a driving factor in creating a brand name and encouraging others to apply to your company.
Good luck with your next recruitment drive!