Wood Words

Finish Strong: End Candidate Interviews on a High Note – and Land the Best Middle TN Talent

You worked so hard to get to this point.

After weeks spent recruiting, screening and interviewing candidates, you finally found a great potential hire – someone with the right skills, experience and personality to thrive in your organization.

You’re home free, right?

Well, not so fast. In a tight candidate market, job seekers have lots of options. Sometimes, they even receive multiple job offers. How can you increase the chances your ideal candidate will accept yours?

Finish strong.

Candidates are sizing up the position and your organization at every stage of the hiring process – from the moment they learn about your opportunity to the moment they accept (or turn down) your job offer. To protect your candidate from poaching and keep them from ghosting you, close every interview on a high note. Here’s how:

Don’t monopolize the conversation.

Obviously, you need to direct the majority of the conversation – posing questions, probing and clarifying responses – but that doesn’t mean you should do the majority of the talking. If you spend too much time selling the job and your company, you miss critical opportunities to learn what’s important to your candidate, or to uncover concerns they have about the position¬†(both of which may impact their likelihood of accepting your offer).

An interview should be a meaningful dialogue, one in which you learn more about the candidate and they learn more about the job and your company. Make sure the interviewee leaves the conversation with their questions answered, and feeling as though your organization is one in which their voice will be heard. A good rule of thumb? Listen twice as much as you speak.

Thoroughly answer their questions.

Before you wrap up the interview, ask what questions or concerns the candidate has. Even the most experienced interviewer can’t anticipate everything a candidate may want to know. If the interviewee seems hesitant, encourage them to speak freely and probe to uncover the root cause of any concerns they express. It’s much better to provide a candidate with complete, accurate information than to leave them wondering or making incorrect assumptions.

Explain next steps.

Don’t just shake hands and part ways with a vague “We’ll be in touch.” Tell your candidate exactly what to expect, and when, to prevent communication black-holes that lead to candidate drop-off. Here are a few points of information you should share with candidates:

  • Clarify the next steps in your hiring process, explaining decision-making timelines, if possible.
  • Detail how and when the candidate will hear from you next.
  • Be upfront about other candidates you’re considering, so they know where they stand.

Mind your manners.

This may go without saying, but it’s extremely important to wrap-up an interview in a professional manner. Walk the candidate back to your lobby or escort them to the elevator. Give them a firm handshake while thanking them for their time. These gestures, while seemingly small, leave a lasting, favorable impression of your company. When it comes time for your candidate to make a decision on your offer, your interview etiquette could be the factor that tips the scales in your favor.

Keep the lines of communication open.

Honor your commitment to follow up with any candidate you interview. Call each candidate who makes it to the final round of interviews, regardless of your hiring decision. And keep in touch with your second- and third-choice candidates, because your first choice may fall through. Besides being the right thing to do, taking the high road with candidate communication will build your employment brand and increase candidate referrals from interviewees, whether you ultimately hire them or not.

Hiring in Nashville?

Trust Wood to provide the good people you need. We’ll quickly and efficiently deliver talented, qualified candidates for your consideration and help you close the deal with a great new hire. What can Wood Personnel do for you? Call our Nashville recruiters or learn more about our staffing and placement solutions.

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