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Are you making your best impression?

12 February 2019

The reality of today’s market, across all of the verticals we operate in, is definitely showing a demand for specific skill sets and qualities in prospective employees and whilst you as the employer want to get best fit for your organisation, candidates want to get best fit for themselves.

Today we are in a market driven by the top talent and their ability for choice. Good talent will be active for a short period of time so it is up to you as an employer of choice to make a positive, lasting impression.

We know that more often than not it is the potential employee that will be scrutinised and under the spotlight at interviews with potential employers. Even in the early stages of 'coffee meetings' employers must take a few moments to reflect and pay attention to how you deliver yourself and represent your firm.

Whilst you are essentially assessing someone for 'best fit' for your firm one must remember this is also a major decision for the individual sitting across the table, therefore, they will also be doing their own assessments of 'best fit'.

Simple things can be identified in the first instance which seem non-sensical to highlight, but here goes:

  • Time: Try not to keep potential employees waiting in reception/agreed location for too long. They have made their way to a scheduled meeting and in most cases with a few minutes to spare so it is only best practice to see them on time. If you feel interviews will take 45 minutes then leave an hour between appointments as this reduces the risk of running over and more importantly, of prospectives running into each other.
  • Engagement: Greet your prospective in a positive and engaging manner as this quite often will be their first experience of your company. They want to feel their potential peers are enthused about the organisation they work for making them feel confident that the decision they may make is the right one.
  • Be Prepared: Know the name of the person you are meeting - this sounds odd right? You would be surprised to hear I have had feedback from interviewees whose interviewer had to refer to notes or a CV to catch their name.
  • Introductions: Whilst your potential should have full details on who the interview panel will be and the format that will be followed, opening the interview and making introductions to the panel and reaffirming the format of the meeting is best practice. Not everyone will be nervous however don’t assume! This will put your interviewee at ease and reassure them they have prepared accordingly.
  • Body Language: It is extremely important to remain engaged and interested throughout the interview. You have chosen to meet with said individual therefore give them their time to impress, ask questions and find out a bit more about you and the organisation. Yes, you may decide during the meeting that this person is not the right fit; maybe their experience is just not hitting the mark or you feel culturally they aren't the right person, it is a case of good manners to remain engaged. No yawning, looking out the window or fidgeting.
  • Close: Once you are confident you have asked the questions needed and found out what you set out to about your prospective, close the meeting in a professional manner. Thank them for coming along, give an indication on when they should expect feedback, shake their hand and walk them out of the building.
  • Follow Up: 9 times out of 10 as soon as the interviewee has left the meeting you 'know' if they are who you will potentially make an offer to. It is that gut feeling and instinct that this is the right person and whilst you will organise a second and potentially third round of interviews, it is likely you and your panel will have made a decision. However, don’t forget about the others! Deliver feedback at your earliest convenience to those who are being regretted and reasons why. Not only is this professional practice and what is expected but it is a reflection on your company and how you follow a process.

Whilst the above may seem like standard simple steps during an interview process, you could be surprised at the level of negative feedback which can quite simply be avoided by a telephone call or letter.

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