How To Make a Good First Impression With Your Candidates
Written by Geoff Newman on 26/01/2015
With unemployment rates dropping, the battle to recruit the best staff available is getting tougher. So you want to ensure you make a great first impression at the interviewing stage. Remember that they are interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them. They will pick up on the things you do and say which could determine their decision, should you offer a job. So how do you make a good first impression to candidates? Well there’s so many articles available on how to make a great first impression for candidates, but not as many for recruiters. Here we have listed below the ways to make a great first impression and excite candidates about your job position.
When a candidate applies to your position, make sure you are courteous and acknowledge their application. Even if you are inundated with applicants, you should still let them know you have received their application. To do this you could send an automated response, which thanks them for their application and that you will be in contact. Or you could include a disclaimer at the end of every advert saying “due to the large volume of applications, if you do not receive a reply within 3 days then your application has been unsuccessful”. That way if the candidate doesn’t hear back, they will understand why. Keeping candidates in the loop makes them feel appreciated. You don’t want to deter a great candidate just because you lacked keeping them informed about their application.
Don’t leave it till the last minute to re-read your candidate’s CV. It isn’t very professional to look like you are in a rush trying to skim read their CV as it looks like you haven’t prepared yourself. This could make a candidate feel less important and that you or the company are disorganised. To eliminate these impressions, ensure you have plenty of time to read through their CV before the interview. Familiarise yourself with their work history, experiences and skills. This is a great opportunity to prepare key interview questions that are related and will give you a great insight. You should also ensure the interview room is tidy and clean too ready for their arrival. You expect them to be prepared and to make an effort, so you should do the same.
Think back to when you were interviewed for the job you’re in now, remember when you were nervous and hoping it went well? Those will be the feelings your candidates are likely to experience too. As a recruiter you need to make them feel comfortable and relaxed. A great well to do this quickly is to not keep them waiting. If you arrange to meet at 10am, then make sure you too are on time to greet them as soon as they arrive. Many candidates tend to arrive early so it is worth keeping a 15-minute slot free when pending their arrival. Doing this will reduce anxiety and help ensure the interview runs smoothly.
Though first impressions are important, they can be deceiving. Sometimes you first impression or gut feeling can be wrong. That’s why when interviewing candidates, you should be fair and spend at least half an hour with them each. They may have stumbled a bit on the beginning of the interview however this could be down to nerves. Holding out a bit longer could make them calm down and in return they could really knock your socks off. Furthermore, as the saying goes “never judge a book by it’s cover” judging someone on their appearance is not only discriminatory but could also cause you to lose a great candidate. Workplaces are becoming more diverse with employees having freedom to express their individuality. So hear them out and give them a chance, ask them key questions and talk about their past experiences. The candidate who gave you a bad impression at first could in fact be a stellar employee.
Candidates tend to put effort in when preparing themselves for an interview. They will research your company, prepare themselves for what questions you may ask, think about their key skills and their weaknesses. With this is mind, you don’t want to waste their time by asking them ineffective and pointless questions that do not relate to the position. Asking them what superpowers they would have and why will not show you what kind of worker they are. Whist you may think these questions are interesting they will not help you accurately assess whether they are a right fit for your company. Focus on questions that determine how your candidate would perform in certain situations and how they performed in the past. These questions will provide you with the information that will actually help you when deciding who to hire.
After interviewing all your candidates, it is time to decide who is successful and who isn’t. If the candidate has been successful you will take pleasure in speaking to them verbally to offer them a job. However, if they haven’t been successful it can be a tricky phone call to make. The worst thing you can do is delay their fate. Respect the fact that they probably took a day off work to come in so ensure you let them know where they stand. Don’t just send an automated rejection email, instead provide them with positive and constructive feedback. They will be grateful for this and will respect you for being honest with them.
Giving your candidate a great first impression is vital in ensuring you conduct an effective recruitment process. Remember that though the interview is to determine whether they are a suitable for for your company, for a job seeker they will determine whether they want to work for a company like yours. You may be impressed with their skills and experiences however they may not be impressed with you. And remember that it will be you who is representing the company when they are being interviewed. So make sure you follow the above steps in order to assure you leave a positive, lasting, first impression with candidates.
What do you do in order to ensure you give your candidates a great first impression? Please leave a comment below: