Posted: 11th of September 2018 by Tessa Fyson
Panda Pointers: What to ask a candidate during an interview!
You have reviewed so many CV’s, you are starting to see CV’s in your sleep and you have managed to narrow it down to three candidates. These three have impressed you by their skill set and for the layout and presentation of their experience. They tick all the boxes so far and the next step is meeting them in person. Now, for most clients you will want to keep the interview process short and sweet especially for junior to mid positions. That does not give you many opportunities to find out everything you need to know before hiring them. Worst case scenario for any Ecommerce client is to hire a professional that, due to maybe not enough investigating in their knowledge, cannot do the job properly. That costs time, money and unnecessary headaches! The best thing you can do is streamline the hiring process (especially those tricky ones) from start to finish.
So, in the hope we can prevent this situation happening to you soon or even right now, below you will find five of our panda pointers to a successful interview.
Panda Pointer Number One: Bring the right back up and make the candidate feel comfortable
It may seem as if we are talking about going to war, but it really is all about strategy and utilising the time you must get the most information you can. It is important to have with you the managers, directors, employees or HR team members that will be involved in the decision process. Sometimes multiple minds are better than one. It is possible you may miss a quality in the candidate that another colleague will notice. So, bring back up! (Helpful tip: it can also help reducing the amount of interview stages if you include early on who needs to be involved!)
This one is an easy step to mention, make the candidate feel comfortable. No matter on the seniority nerves are very normal so, to help the candidate perform to their best ability ensure you are not scaring them.
Panda Pointer Number Two: Let the candidate do the talking
Very simple and one point that will probably make most hiring managers breath a sigh of relief. Let the candidate do the talking! A trick for recruiters when talking to new candidates is to let the candidate start at the beginning and work their way through their work history. That way, they can present their communication skills along with their use of language, key words essential to your requirements and you can make all the notes you want! It will be easier this easier this way to then go back once they have finished and establish the finer details you need.
Panda Pointer Number Three: What is important? Do not let those details slip
I know to most managers they may seem obvious, but even managers have a habit of not practicing what they preach. Be organised! Take a brief look through the CV before the interview to remind yourself of who you are interviewing and then make notes. Highlight quickly what aspects you want to focus on, and make a note of what they absolutely, must have, no negotiation for experience. Whether it be certain programme skills or industry knowledge you need to know straight away if they can cover the bases of the role.
Panda Pointer Number Four: Set a time for the interview
It is easy to say a meeting with take an hour and then allow it to go over by another 45 minutes. As much as a long interview is a good sign if you are chatting away getting on great, you do not want to give too much away too soon. The worst thing for a candidate is to get on great with the hiring manager and then find out you did not get the job. For a first interview stick to a time frame and stay in control of the interview. If the candidate starts to go off task, then steer them back to the original question.
Panda Pointer Number Five: Recap, questions and update
At the end of the interview, do not just cut it off, say goodbye and leave the room. Just like we have been taught our whole lives, beginning, middle and end. Ensure once you have got all the information you need you recap on the vital points. “So, Yasmin, just to recap you have experience in this, this and this, you have worked here, here and here, and you feel you can bring this, that and more to the role?” It takes two seconds, but it allows the candidate to add any final points, (by this stage their nerves should be settled, and they can think clearly without feeling dizzy!)
Does the candidate have any questions? This may be down to the next stage or if you have any initial interview feedback, but it gives the brand you work for an excellent reputation for considering the candidates queries.
Lastly update, keep HR or your recruitment company updated with the interview processes. Candidates genuinely value feedback whether they got the job or not so make this a major part of your interview protocol.