6 Interview Strategies To Keep Your Candidates Engaged

interview strategies

Evaluating whether a candidate is qualified for a position can take weeks or months. In fact, the average hiring process takes around 43 days and involves conducting multiple rounds of interviews. Yet, according to the PwC Future of Recruiting Survey, “Sixty percent of candidates said the hiring process should take less than a month from the time they submit an application.” While it’s not always possible to speed up the hiring process, there are several ways to maximize downtime with candidates while your team is deliberating. Here are six interview strategies to keep your candidates engaged during a longer-than-average hiring process!

1) Send Personalized Communications – Frequently

Ditch the templated “status updates”. Particularly when you’re in the early interview stages of your hiring process, developing rapport is crucial. While sending a canned email to all candidates may be tempting, consider personalizing each of your candidate emails. Personalizing your email shows that:

  • You are giving the relationship the care and attention it deserves.
  • You are open to creating (and encouraging) a two-way dialogue with the candidate.

It also demonstrates that you value the candidate’s time because you’re investing your time in return. Be sure to include only the relevant details as they pertain to each specific candidate’s situation.

2) Simplify Your Scheduling Process

Juggling conflicting calendars between interviewees and hiring teams can be a nightmare. Syncing schedules is even more complex when conducting remote interviews that could require coordinating across different time zones. Sending emails back and forth isn’t an efficient way of planning interviews. In fact, some of your most tech-savvy and qualified candidates will view this as a red flag causing them to fall off the radar.

If you haven’t already, be sure to leverage shared calendar tools like Calendly to create a smooth scheduling process and eliminate any discrepancies. It’s par for the course. Plus, most scheduling tools will integrate with your ATS to keep all interviews associated with their proper contacts. 

3) Engage Candidates With Video

From both the candidate’s and the company’s perspective, a significant component of the interview process is determining if there’s a good personality match. For example, you could put your best foot forward by filming a short, engaging video that:

  • Expresses your excitement to meet them in an upcoming interview.
  • Reminds them of what they should prepare for an upcoming interview.

Don’t be timid about communicating visually. If you intend on working together, you will inevitably have to let your true self shine! Why not do it now to keep candidates engaged early in the process? Not to mention, it will bring your candidate’s guard down and make them comfortable to do the same. 

4) Conduct Group Interviews

Save time and gain new insights by scheduling group interviews. Group interviews allow you to meet with multiple candidates simultaneously instead of clearing numerous slots in your calendar to conduct repetitive interviews. This is also an incredibly valuable behavioral interview technique if you’re hiring for a role in which the candidate must work well with your team. It can help you quickly identify who’s most well-suited for the position because you can quickly observe interpersonal skills. As a bonus, 

5) Perform Working Interviews

Make the most of your time and see your candidates in action by arranging a co-working session with them. This approach will allow you to see their personality shine through, and it gives them a chance to showcase their skills. You will be left with a preliminary idea of how well candidates work with your team, their willingness to ask questions, and their work style. This format allows you to complete other tasks while also observing the candidates in their element. Plus, the co-working arrangement gives candidates time to get out of a nervous interview mindset and instead focus on what they do best. 

6) Share Post-Interview Feedback

One of the single most important steps in the hiring process is providing all candidates with post-interview feedback even if you’ve decided against hiring them right now. Why? Preparing and sharing post-interview feedback reinforces your positive reputation as an employer and strengthens long-term relationships with job seekers. It also creates an opportunity for candidates to share their perspectives on your interview process. Take a moment to review  Your Guide To Sharing Post-Interview Feedback With Candidates!

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