The Interview Manifesto: Practical Framework for Effective Interviewing

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Effective interviewing is in our DNA at ConveyIQ, and we want to help companies reimagine the way they identify and evaluate top talent.

From our experience, we’ve learned that the following steps will help to give any organization an effetive interviewing process:

Offer Careers, Not Jobs

Start with a great job description.

Most companies advertise jobs, not careers. What if your job description became a comprehensive explanation of the the challenges this person will face in the role and the way the position will evolve over time?  A job is a set of duties that meet today’s needs. A career is a dynamic learning experience with unlimited potential.

Top talent demands careers. By highlighting careers instead of jobs, you will stand out from the crowd and attract exceptional talent.

Emphasize career development at every step.  

This starts with the job description and continues throughout the interview process. Make career development an integral part of your organization and interview process if you want to hire top talent.

Structure the Interview Process

Interview with purpose.  

Great companies interview with purpose and structure their process to maximize effectiveness. A structured and standardized process ensures your organization is compliant and makes the entire interview experience more productive for everyone involved.

Start with the intake meeting.

A great interview process starts with taking the time upfront to get on the same page with the entire hiring team with a well planned intake meeting. When hiring managers are forced to sit down with recruiters to flush out the core competencies of the role and map out the interview process, everything downstream becomes much easier.

Automate all non-critical activities.  

Constantly look for ways to streamline repetitive and administrative tasks. This will allow you to focus your recruiting skills toward more value-add activities.

A well-designed interview kit can help.  

Implementing an interview kit will really help your team to stay focused on what’s important and ensure everyone is speaking the same language. Interview kits look different from company to company, but the critical elements are the same: a documented interview plan, key stakeholders that will participate during each stage, interview questions to ask at each stage and a scorecard for evaluating the candidate based on the competencies for the role.

Emphasize Results Over Pedigree

Be on the lookout for great talent everywhere.

Companies that put an emphasis on a candidate’s on-the-job results over their job qualifications have a real competitive advantage in identifying and attracting top talent at their organizations.

Align the Hiring Team

Scorecards ensure everyone is speaking the same language.  

Once your interview process is planned out, it’s time to create a scorecard for the position to ensure everyone is evaluating the candidate on the same criteria. Your hiring team needs clear documentation and a simple framework for evaluating talent.  A simple scorecard reinforces what is most important and ensures everyone is speaking the same language.

Close the loop quickly.

Immediate feedback from the hiring team post interview is essential. With each passing day that goes by, critical information blurs together or is lost entirely, especially when you are interviewing candidates back-to-back.  It’s essential to gather feedback within 24 hours of the interview occurring to ensure you gather what’s most impactful.

Calibrate for Speed

Implement fewer, more impactful steps.  

Your interview process should be structured for speed, with only the minimum number of steps necessary to make an effective hire.  Then, the emphasis should be to make each stage as impactful as possible. Great companies move quickly and only have a few, very impactful steps in their process, allowing them to identify top talent quicker and hire faster than their competition.

Invest in the Candidate Experience

Avoid the black hole.

Most candidates complain about starting an interview process, only to fall into the all-too-common “black hole” and never hear back.  We get it. Recruiters are busy and don’t have time to close the loop with candidates. You need to start looking for ways to automate as much of the candidate communication as possible. When you take an action in your ATS, does it update your candidate with relevant correspondence?  That’s where it needs to be.

Interviewing should be a give-and-take relationship.  

In most cases, an interview process is simply take, take, take on the side of the company, resulting in a terrible candidate experience.  The goal should be for candidates to be learning throughout your interview process – learning more about your company, the role, the challenges that will need to be solved and the company culture.  You have a captive audience. It’s time to start engaging and educating them!

Be Real

Be transparent with your candidates.

Many companies try to hide all their quirks and the challenges that a new employee will face. It’s always easier just to highlight what you think the candidate wants to hear.  The most successful hiring teams embrace the good, the bad and the ugly, and strive to give candidates an accurate depiction of the company and position.

Cultivate a Recruiting Culture

Hiring top talent is a team sport.

For an organization to have a transformative recruiting process, the importance of recruiting top talent must be part of the company culture.  Everyone plays a role in recruiting great talent, and it’s talent acquisition’s job to educate and build awareness so that hiring becomes a team sport.

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