First Interview With a Candidate
It’s good to have an agenda for the first interview that sets the foundation of the interviewing process. For many companies, the internal recruiter will be the one to start interviewing candidates. It’s important to set the tone for the ongoing relationship with the candidate. Here is a potential format for the first interview:
Reach out to candidate indicating you want to set up a ½ hour phone conversation to discuss the company, the role, and their experience:
- Email them with a subject line that pertains to the position they applied to.
- Have an introduction paragraph indicating the following:
- You have applied to our open position as ___________ and we are interested in speaking with you further about this opportunity.
- Provide them with blocks of time they can schedule their interview and ask the candidate to offer you three (3) ½ hour times that work for them. You are busy interviewing several candidates and need different times from the candidate to eliminate the back and forth of negotiating a time that works with both of your schedules.
- Confirm via email the time you have scheduled for them and provide them with the company’s website so they can do their research on the company.
- At the scheduled time, the recruiter calls the candidate and starts the call indicating the agenda:
- Introduce yourself and your role with the company
- Spend a few minutes talking about the company
- Explain the position and how it fits into the company
- The bulk of the time should be spent discussing the candidate’s experience and what they are looking for in their next position. (Have your list of questions ready for the candidate.)
- Provide time to answer any of the candidate’s questions.
- Get their agreement on the agenda and then proceed with the agenda.
- First question you ask: “Did you check out the website?” If they didn’t do their homework, this will be your first hint on the quality of this candidate. It doesn’t mean they automatically failed, but you may need to keep your antennae up regarding the quality of their responses.
Use the 80/20% rule when interviewing a candidate:
- 80% the candidate should talk
- 20% for your questions and company information
The first interview is very important in that the candidate will evaluate and decide whether it’s a good opportunity for them. They will walk away, even if they are not the right candidate, with either a negative or positive experience with the company.
**********RECRUITING THE BEST TALENT**********