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  • Publish Date: Posted about 1 year ago
  • Author:by Hannah Bateman

​How to conduct a good interview

An interview is not a one-way process. With the rise in counter offers and the highlighted importance of keeping hold of your employees – an interview now, more than ever is a tool for you to engage and secure prospective candidates to ensure you hold 1st place in the market over competitors who are willing to offer the same package. Interviewing techniques are often habitual to an individual and it may be beneficial to consider a different approach. Consider these things in your interview process: 1. Have you been flexible? Flexibility is one of our most commonly used phrases in recruitment currently. An interview is your first opportunity to demonstrate your company attitude/personal attitude to flexibility. Understandably, recruitment is only a part of your role as an employer so sometimes the flexibility you can offer is limited but is important to understand how setting one time, one date for an interview as the only option is limiting your pool of candidates. You have to be flexible to a certain extent. Can you facilitate a remote interview if the candidate is struggling for availability? –Offering a remote interview as an alternative gives you the opportunity to gain engagement from them. This a chance for them to become excited by the opportunity and ultimately be incentivized to commit their time to see you in person before accepting alternative opportunities on the table for them at the time. 2. Have you been quick? The market is more competitive than ever, with many more job opportunities than available candidates. Ensuring a swift interview process hugely increases your ability to secure a great quality candidate. (Consider remote options in the meantime as mentioned above to gain engagement if you are struggling to get a face-to-face interview booked for the same week). Can you facilitate interviews outside of working hours? – i.This shows the candidate how invested you are in meeting them – if you can offer availability to a candidate outside of working hours, you naturally gain commitment from them. ii.There is no expectation for you to conduct an interview at 9pm at night, but giving them a half an hour window following their working day could be the difference in securing a quality candidate. iii.Not only this but it hugely increases the efficiency of the interview process making it quick and seamless without the back and forth to secure a timeslot that works for both parties. 3. Have you highlighted the expectation of the candidate?Are they expected to answer competency-based questions and how structured is your scoring system for this element? Are they expected to know certain details regarding the company and is there enough information on your website for them to prepare these details? Is there anything further you can provide which may engage the candidate? Will there be any formal testing within the process? Without knowing this in advance, it can throw even the technically strongest candidates in the moment. How many interviewers are they expecting? Is it just a one-on-one scenario or should they prepare for a panel interview – in which case, what are the roles of the interviewers? This enables the candidate to direct their responses to the appropriate party. 4. Emphasise the ‘get to know you’ segment of your interview!This is more important than ever and can occasionally be overlooked. It is often the interviewer that gains the engagement of the candidate, not the company as a whole. Be prepared for the idea that a quality candidate is going to receive multiple offers – i.What sets you aside as a business? ii.What do you offer in terms of benefits? iii.Do you have attractive facilities that you can show the candidate following the interview in a brief tour? iv.What can you offer in terms of progression to that candidate? v.What first attracted you to the company that you are now working for? vi.What kind of culture do you have? Eg. Social events outside of work, Christmas parties, team lunches. vii.Have you got examples of historical progression within the team that you can evidence, maybe even include this individual within the interview process. viii.Consider qualifications – evidence that you are a strong mentor and support system for someone willing to learn. 5. Consider your process.It is so important in the current market to allow a personal element to the interview. Candidates are much more focused around environment, people and working culture now whereas before, you could rely on the salary offered and progression opportunities. A friendly, relaxed but still informative interview process allows both parties to gain understanding while also demonstrating your personability! Is it an absolute necessity to include formal testing/competency-based questions? i.For some roles, this is vital to understanding whether the candidate has the ability to succeed in the role. ii.It is important to allow the candidate to feel as comfortable as possible at this time as this is where you’ll gain the most accurate understanding.Other things to consider: Can you do testing in a home environment? Can you split your interview stages with a 1st stage focusing on a less intensive, ‘get to know you’ scenario where you invest your time in discovering whether the person is a culture fit, has things in common with you and is able to fit within your current company ethos?Then following this, a remote second-stage interview where you provide the option to complete testing/competency-based questions is a familiar, comfortable environment for them. Is your scoring system for competency-based questions focused on the structure of the question or the answer itself? Do they have to understand the STAR technique in order to score effectively or is it about the content of the answer? If so, could you alleviate the pressure of the question by outlining what you are looking for? Eg. I am looking for an example of when you have used analysis to make a positive improvement. Ultimately, the market is different now and as evidenced in the past three years, the ability to adapt is hugely beneficial to a company. Interview techniques which have historically worked, may not be the best practice in the current climate. Consider changing your approach and you may achieve a seamless and even enjoyable recruitment process. Get in touch for a professional and comprehensive approach to recruiting finance professionals.Hannah Bateman07802 686 774Hannah.Bateman@sewellwallis.co.uk​

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An interview is not a one-way process. With the rise in counter offers and the highlighted importance of keeping hold of your employees – an interview now, more than ever is a tool for you to engage and secure prospective candidates to ensure you hold 1st place in the market over competitors who are willing to offer the same package.

Interviewing techniques are often habitual to an individual and it may be beneficial to consider a different approach.

Consider these things in your interview process:

1. Have you been flexible?

  • Flexibility is one of our most commonly used phrases in recruitment currently. An interview is your first opportunity to demonstrate your company attitude/personal attitude to flexibility.

  • Understandably, recruitment is only a part of your role as an employer so sometimes the flexibility you can offer is limited but is important to understand how setting one time, one date for an interview as the only option is limiting your pool of candidates. You have to be flexible to a certain extent.

  • Can you facilitate a remote interview if the candidate is struggling for availability? –Offering a remote interview as an alternative gives you the opportunity to gain engagement from them. This a chance for them to become excited by the opportunity and ultimately be incentivized to commit their time to see you in person before accepting alternative opportunities on the table for them at the time.

2. Have you been quick?

  • The market is more competitive than ever, with many more job opportunities than available candidates.

  • Ensuring a swift interview process hugely increases your ability to secure a great quality candidate. (Consider remote options in the meantime as mentioned above to gain engagement if you are struggling to get a face-to-face interview booked for the same week).

  • Can you facilitate interviews outside of working hours? –

i.This shows the candidate how invested you are in meeting them – if you can offer availability to a candidate outside of working hours, you naturally gain commitment from them.

ii.There is no expectation for you to conduct an interview at 9pm at night, but giving them a half an hour window following their working day could be the difference in securing a quality candidate.

iii.Not only this but it hugely increases the efficiency of the interview process making it quick and seamless without the back and forth to secure a timeslot that works for both parties.

3. Have you highlighted the expectation of the candidate?

  • Are they expected to answer competency-based questions and how structured is your scoring system for this element?

  • Are they expected to know certain details regarding the company and is there enough information on your website for them to prepare these details? Is there anything further you can provide which may engage the candidate?

  • Will there be any formal testing within the process? Without knowing this in advance, it can throw even the technically strongest candidates in the moment.

  • How many interviewers are they expecting? Is it just a one-on-one scenario or should they prepare for a panel interview – in which case, what are the roles of the interviewers? This enables the candidate to direct their responses to the appropriate party.

4. Emphasise the ‘get to know you’ segment of your interview!

  • This is more important than ever and can occasionally be overlooked.

  • It is often the interviewer that gains the engagement of the candidate, not the company as a whole.

  • Be prepared for the idea that a quality candidate is going to receive multiple offers –

i.What sets you aside as a business?

ii.What do you offer in terms of benefits?

iii.Do you have attractive facilities that you can show the candidate following the interview in a brief tour?

iv.What can you offer in terms of progression to that candidate?

v.What first attracted you to the company that you are now working for?

vi.What kind of culture do you have? Eg. Social events outside of work, Christmas parties, team lunches.

vii.Have you got examples of historical progression within the team that you can evidence, maybe even include this individual within the interview process.

viii.Consider qualifications – evidence that you are a strong mentor and support system for someone willing to learn.

5. Consider your process.

  • It is so important in the current market to allow a personal element to the interview. Candidates are much more focused around environment, people and working culture now whereas before, you could rely on the salary offered and progression opportunities.

  • A friendly, relaxed but still informative interview process allows both parties to gain understanding while also demonstrating your personability!

  • Is it an absolute necessity to include formal testing/competency-based questions?

i.For some roles, this is vital to understanding whether the candidate has the ability to succeed in the role.

ii.It is important to allow the candidate to feel as comfortable as possible at this time as this is where you’ll gain the most accurate understanding.

Other things to consider:

  • Can you do testing in a home environment?

  • Can you split your interview stages with a 1st stage focusing on a less intensive, ‘get to know you’ scenario where you invest your time in discovering whether the person is a culture fit, has things in common with you and is able to fit within your current company ethos?

  • Then following this, a remote second-stage interview where you provide the option to complete testing/competency-based questions is a familiar, comfortable environment for them.

  • Is your scoring system for competency-based questions focused on the structure of the question or the answer itself?

  • Do they have to understand the STAR technique in order to score effectively or is it about the content of the answer?

  • If so, could you alleviate the pressure of the question by outlining what you are looking for? Eg. I am looking for an example of when you have used analysis to make a positive improvement.

Ultimately, the market is different now and as evidenced in the past three years, the ability to adapt is hugely beneficial to a company. Interview techniques which have historically worked, may not be the best practice in the current climate.

Consider changing your approach and you may achieve a seamless and even enjoyable recruitment process. Get in touch for a professional and comprehensive approach to recruiting finance professionals.

Hannah Bateman

07802 686 774

Hannah.Bateman@sewellwallis.co.uk

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