Setting up an interview can be tricky. No matter how excited you are about the opportunity, it is another thing to squeeze into your already busy life.
When you are offered a time slot, make sure you can build in enough time to travel to the location and a good buffer on the other end as well.
Strategically, early and late in the day are probably best. Those times are usually easier to work into a schedule. Coming in a bit late and leaving a bit early are generally accepted for doctor’s appointments which is good because it won’t draw a ton of attention.
Things get awkward when either party is late for an interview. If you find yourself running late, call or send a short email with an apology and an estimated time of arrival. Try not to panic. You will get there when you get there and swearing at other drivers won’t make a bit of difference.
Hopefully, you took the time to prepare the night before and you know the directions and the suite number. Trying to read your phone and navigate when you are late is really hard to do.
What if you are on time, but the interviewer is late? What you do in this case is really up to you. I usually give 15 minutes grace period. That’s what I would want if I was the one who was late.
You might want to send a note to the person who set up the meeting after you have been waiting for 10 minutes. Maybe they can track the person down and find out what’s going on.
If enough time has elapsed that you are feeling a little irritated, then go. You don’t want to go into a conversation about a job in a pissed-off frame of mind. And honestly, if they don’t make time to meet you, do you really want them?
Every hiring manager has to read a stack of resumes at some point. But it’s so easy to put off making time to read through them. You put out a few fires, go to lunch and some meetings and boom, the day is done.
When the stack is still staring at you three days later, you finally relent and take it home. After dinner, you settle in, find something good on Netflix and read resumes.
This is how important things get missed. It’s not just that you are distracted. At the end of a long day you are also tired. It’s likely that you feeling pretty uninspired. The sense that you could successfully onboard a new team member is not very high. Your ability to see candidates with potential or out of box skills is greatly diminished.
You go to bed feeling like there will never be any good candidates, have a crappy sleep and then bark at your colleagues the next day.
See how that works?
The best time to read resumes is at the beginning of the day. You are fresh and open to possibilities. When you see patterns or themes that work (or don’t work), you can take action. Perhaps the job posting needs to be changed or the pre-screening questions need to be more comprehensive.
You have a much better chance of improving the process if you tackle the stack in the morning. Block time in your calendar, grab a hot cup of coffee and get reading. It won’t take a long as you think and you might be surprised with the results.
It does not matter what side of the table you sit on for your next interview, there are certain things you need to bring to look credible and interesting.
Hiring teams and candidates alike need to be prepared and ready to have a great conversation. We know that candidates put a lot of energy into doing their research and preparing their stories. It is important for hiring managers to do some pre-work as well.
Bring the job description and the candidate’s resume. You may not need to refer to either during the conversation but you will have them handy. Also, it means that you can give both at least a passing glance on your way to the interview room.
Bring your coffee cup or water bottle only if you are prepared to offer the same to the candidate. It will be awkward for your candidate to watch you chug away on your hazelnut flavoured latte with extra whip when they have nothing.
Bring some tissues in your pocket. Nothing is worse than sniffing through an interview. Also, if you have a tissue to hand to the other person, you look like a hero.
Bring a pen and something to write on. Even if you don’t end up writing down, it is a sign of respect that you are prepared to jot down notes or questions.
Bring your phone to the meeting but only if it is on silent. No fooling around on this one. Having your phone chirp away during a conversation is distracting even if you manage to avoid looking at it (and that’s pretty hard to avoid).
One last thing: leave your gum in your office. Gum has a way of moving around while you are talking and frankly, it’s gross.
These things may seem small, but they go a long way to setting the stage for a great conversation and that’s the goal right?
just finished interviewing a candidate and it went really well. The
conversation flowed naturally, the answers were crisp and to the point and the
motivation was clear and rational.
What do you
do? Usually, you jump in and start
making arrangements for the next step in the process. You let the candidate know that the
experience was positive and you are looking forward to next steps.
What if the
conversation was not so good? Do you
quickly let them know? Probably not.
you want to get a second opinion. You
think maybe there is some common ground but you are not sure about the delivery
and communication style.
don’t give feedback on the less-than-positive candidates because we don’t want
to give bad news. And it’s true. Telling someone they are not getting the job
But it doesn’t
always find something positive to say about a conversation. Start with that. Then
describe what’s missing from the candidate’s experience that you feel will pose
a risk to their success in your organization.
Make it clear that you liked what they had to offer but it just was not
right for what you need right now.
candidates will appreciate knowing what was missing (although once in a while
you will get a “crier” but that will just further solidify your decision).
candidates will appreciate that you took the time to call. It is shocking to hear how many candidates,
having invested time to prepare for, get to and participate in an interview,
never hear back at all. Nothing. Nada. Niet.
only leaves a bad taste in their mouth but it can provide the impetus to get on
glassdoor or monster or twitter to let the world know what happened.
takes a few minutes to reach out. Take the time to do it right.
References have been one of the final steps of the hiring process for years. Managers are looking for verification that the person they want to hire is as good as they think they are.
And who better to hear from than other managers?
Problems started to arise when managers were a bit loose with the material they shared such as inadvertently giving confidential information about the business or inappropriate details about the candidate.
Also, if a candidate did not get a role because of a bad reference, disputes arose and lawyers got involved. It was ugly.
At that point, HR departments in many companies created policies that prevented managers from providing references. Only HR could. And because HR did not always know the person, they would only verify title and employment dates.
As always, a workaround developed. Candidates would provide the contact info for a former manager who was no longer at the company and therefore, not bound by reference policies.
Smart, career minded people stay in touch with corporate friends and allies for this reason.
Be nice to people when they leave the organization, regardless of the reason for their departure. Set up at least one coffee date per month with a former manager or colleague. You never know when you are going to need someone who can authentically vouch for your performance at work and verify the stuff that’s on your resume.
There can be an unexpected bonus in all this networking: coffee dates often lead to opportunities in the form of introductions and job leads.
Smile and bring on the double double!
Most hiring decisions take more than one interview. In fact, it’s not uncommon for there to be three or four interviews. Then there are the references, background checks and the offer discussions. All in all, a process that takes weeks and sometimes, months.
It’s a pretty stressful time. You lie in bed at night wondering what’s happening. When you have a bad day at work, you toy with the idea of quitting because you feel like that new job is just around the corner. Or you worry about taking on a new project because you might not be there to see it through.
Ignore all of these temptations. You don’t have the job until you sign an offer and until then, it should be business as usual. Keep doing your thing and making people happy.
Interviewing is stressful and can be distracting but it is important to stay focused on your day job. When you leave, you want it to be on your terms. You don’t want to have problems putting together references because you suddenly became a “performance problem”.
The other thing is to be careful about who you tell. Most of us have one or two friendlies at work. It can be okay to confide in them but only if you can really trust that they won’t share it with anyone else. And if you choose to share what’s happening with them, don’t do it in the office. Go out for coffee, meet after work or go for a walk. It’s too awkward to have that kind of discussion in and amongst your boss and team. People make assumptions and then gossip about those assumptions. Imagine if you hear from someone in another work group that you were not considered for the new project because they heard you were leaving.
Your partner and your outside-work friends are the best people to share your progress and help you decide what to wear. Your mentors are excellent for this too. They can give you more context, help you lay out the strategy for the next steps or just help you de-stress.
Be patient and try having some warm milk before bed.
It’s pretty common practice to send a note after an interview. You want to show respect for the time that the hiring manager invested as well as demonstrate that you are professional and thoughtful.
But what happens when you are moving through the interview process and other people are involved?
Perhaps an internal talent acquisition person set up the meeting with the hiring manager. Perhaps you are working with a head hunter who coordinated everything.
Thanking them is important but what’s really important is to get back to that person after the interview to let them know how it went from your point of view.
First of all, it confirms that the meeting took place. Often, interviews are set up days ahead and the person doing the coordination is not in daily contact with either party. When they get an email or a voice mail saying every worked out and it was a great meeting, that will definitely be a positive thing.
The second important thing is that it provides an opportunity to reinforce why you are a good fit for the role. You can briefly outline what you learned from the hiring manager and how well it aligns with your skills/experience/objectives.
When that debrief conversation with the hiring manager happens, your advocate is fully prepared to share your positive thoughts and armed with specifics about the conversation. They are ideally positioned to reinforce your strengths.
This also helps them be prepared to bring up any concerns that surfaced in the interview. For example, if the hiring manager asked you about a skill or activity that you did not know what required or how you feel about moving to Moscow, you can let the coordinator know.
In the hiring process, the more people aligned around the cause, the better. Keep communicating and keep everyone in the loop. It will pay off in the end.