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Chronicle

The humble Interview - In need of a facelift?

Posted: 06 February 2015

As recruitment techniques go, you can't get much more classic than the Interview. It's a recruitment channel that has no substitute but as with all techniques in the hiring process, it may be in need of a make-over.

Recruitment isn’t just an over the table process anymore. Candidates have changed and so too should the methods that attract, screen and retain them. It isn’t a matter of traditional vs. modern recruitment; it is about striking a balance between the two. Putting the Human back into HR and opening the minds of recruiters and employers to tech and social opportunities is where that balance lays.

Interviews are an opportunity to cite value, good matches and winning personalities. It isn't the relevancy of the humble interview that needs to be evaluated, but the medium, purpose and role it takes.

  • Should interviews only be a face-to-face affair?
  • How many interviews does it take to secure that top talent?
  • What questions really give you the answers you need?

Recruitment is an experience not just an end to a means. Candidates want to gain as much from this interaction as the recruiter does, they want to know that they ‘fit’ and that their unique value is represented by more than a CV.

How, When & Why - Naturalising the Interview

Interviews can be a stress-filled, expensive and often fruitless affair. Seen more as a box to be ticked than a practice of real value, interviews usually act as a confirmation of what’s on a CV than a search for new info.

How an interview is conducted should be tailored to the position, company culture and more importantly, the candidate themselves. Social recruiting has redefined talent and the recruitment process. Candidates that are sourced, engaged and screened online should participate in an interview that mirrors this.

How

Video interviews are gaining more momentum. Seen as social interviewing to many, this form of interviewing is about more than medium. It is easy to schedule, cheap to conduct and gifts recruiters a real insight into candidates in a natural, conversational state. This freefall conversational demands its own skills, skills that shouldn’t be overlooked. Interviews are active and transparent, allowing recruiters to be privy to the body language and facial expressions that face-to-face offers.

Technology is a recruiters greatest asset in this respect, tools such as Skype, Google+ and Facetime are invaluable. You can even use paid video online services that will record the interview. Allowing further people in your business to review and add comments at a later date. These services can even tailor the visual experience by incorporating your brand.

When

Engagement and contact are key in finding, developing and shaping future talent, so micro interviews should be checkpoints in this process. These ‘chats’ may not replace the final interview itself, but they will ensure that candidates bring more to the table than niceties and ‘what if’ ideas. The stages and amount of interviews, of any form, that candidates undertake is a much disputed topic. Company culture and the right questions at the right time will dictate this.

Regular online chats can be scheduled with potential candidates to give them the opportunity to share ideas, ask questions and gain their own insight on their own terms.

Why

Talent is a global matter. Location and an ability to connect with the top candidates can dilute a recruiter’s mission. Online interviewing whether video-based or otherwise gives candidates an opportunity to experience the interview process and network. Filling a position should never be the only aim on an interview. A company that adopts this forward-thinking ethos can develop and benefit from an employer brand that champions social connection and creativity, an attractive trait for future candidates.

Interviews should be a win-win experience for candidates. Even if they don’t secure the position they should gain valuable feedback that influences their future interactions with recruiters.

Personality and attitude are the main attributes that a candidate can bring, so questions that coax these out must be prioritised.

The re-imagining of the humble interview doesn't just benefit the candidate. HR, recruitment and advertising departments are all responsible for how this method is created, communicated and undertaken. It breeds a state of Collaborative Recruitment. Building this from the inside out fosters a sharing of resources that encourages consistent, better feedback and retainment of employees.

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