How to Prepare Your Candidates for Job Interviews


At Belong, we interview hundreds of amazing and talented people every month. But some interviews haven’t worked as well, purely because the candidates weren’t comfortable enough or did not have sufficient knowledge to prepare for our process. We realized a great way to help our candidates is to clearly document our process with helpful guidelines, and zip it to them in our interview invites at least a few days in advance.

While it’s easy to believe that the burden of preparing for an interview rests with the candidate, we have seen that helping them is a win for all.

And here’s why:

  • Not every candidate is a born performer in job interviews. Tell your candidates what to expect and make them comfortable and you will help your team see their real personality and talent.

  • Proactively helping your candidates sends a terrific message about you as an employer. Candidates will see that you actually care about their experience and their success even before they join you.

  • Engaged candidates are less likely to drop off. Here’s what we saw: before our customer success team started sending out their pre-interview documents in June, their pipeline suffered an average drop-off/no-show rate of 11-15% every month. Over the last two months, however, their drop-off rates have been less than 2%.

Over the last two months, however, our customer success team's drop-off rates have been less than 2%.

So now that we know what makes a pre-interview document so critical, how exactly do you build one? Here are five things to consider.

1. Tell them (almost) everything there is to know

Tell them (almost) everything there is to know

Explain your recruiting process clearly -- how does it flow, whom are they going to meet, do they need to come prepared with something, and are there any specific parts of their experience you would like to focus on?

Talk about your organization’s culture and what they should expect when they come over. Link to helpful resources -- your team page, press gallery, videos of employee testimonials -- things that will help them better understand who you are.

2. Outline the parameters on which you are evaluating them

Outline the parameters on which you are evaluating themWhether it’s an assignment or a face-to-face interview, let your candidates know exactly what you are looking for in their answers, and what parameters they will be evaluated on. It will help them focus on things that are important and relevant to you, and demonstrate their qualifications more easily.

Let your candidates know exactly what you are looking for in their answers, and what parameters they will be evaluated on.

3. Answer the ‘Why’

Answer the ‘Why’Marketing research has consistently shown that there is only one element that connects with a person, which gets them to take action i.e. knowing why.

Similarly, for candidates to participate in the best way they can, it’s important to know the why’s behind your process. For example, why have I been assigned a particular task? Or, why am I being evaluated in this way? Knowing these answers helps build their confidence in your process and makes the benefit of participating clear.

4. Encourage them to come with questions

Encourage them to come with questionsEncourage your candidates to make a list of things that matter to them about their future workplace. Get them to ask your team about how well you do on each of them. This not only prevents a (potentially costly) mismatch of expectations in the future, but it also shows you as an organization that truly responds to the needs of its employees.

5. Keep it simple

 Keep it simpleMake sure to avoid any internal jargon. Better yet, avoid all jargon. Keep the structure logical and clear, and the language simple and direct. Give the final version a thorough proofing -- after all, it’s your brand on the line!

All this aside, make sure you show extra care when your candidates come to visit you for the interview. Ensure there is someone to greet them when they arrive, and show them around while you and your team prepare. Introduce them to the hiring team in person even if they have already spoken with each other on the phone. As Maya Angelou once said, people may forget what you said or did, but they will never forget how you made them feel!

So, are you doing anything different to help prepare your candidates? How is it working? Do let us know in the comments! 

Recruiting Interviews
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