How to make a great first impression with candidates
There is a fair amount of competition in the industry to attract good candidates for a job. Certainly there may be many applicants, but the ones worth employing are usually just a select few. What often sets them apart is that they are proactive people with a positive outlook on life, and they usually know what they want out of a new job in a new company.
Just as a candidate will dress well for an interview and arrive early to create a good impression, there are also small things that an employer can do to create a good first impression with the people that have been shortlisted for an interview. Here are our 5 top tips:
Research the candidate and find out more about their work experience from their LinkedIn profile, as these can generate talking points during the interview. If they have highlighted past successes or achievements in their CV, make a note of these. Asking them to discuss these provides insight into not only their level of experience but their personality too. Finally, if possible, make sure that all the relevant decision makers are requested to join the interview and that they are given detailed profiles on the candidates. This will help speed up the decision making process. If there is information you’d like the candidates to be aware of for the interview, forward that information to them ahead of time to give them an opportunity to review it.
Be proactive in welcoming candidates to the interview. Brief the receptionist on their arrival so that they can great candidates warmly, and be on time so that they are not kept waiting long. A cosy reception area where they can sit comfortably while they wait will help them feel at ease. When you do come out to meet candidates, great them by name and thank them for their time.
It helps a great deal to have an outline of the interview process, including who the interviewers are and what their role is in the business. If there is to be a series of interviews or if they will be required to do competency testing, it is good to inform them of this upfront, so that they can mentally prepare for the process and know what to expect. Also let them know the process and timeline of giving feedback and when they can expect to hear back from you.
They may be a potential employee but they are also a professional, and one day they could be a decision maker in the business. By being respectful during the interview it’s a good indication to the candidates that their knowledge and experience will be valued by the company.
Many candidates apply for jobs with future career prospects in mind. When you share the vision of the company and where it’s going in the next five years, it gives them good insight as to whether that aligns with their own personal career ambitions. It can also get them more excited about the position and accepting a job offer.
An interview is an opportunity to really sell the company and role to potential candidates and making a good first impression goes a long way to getting them onboard.