Thursday, January 24, 2008

Preparing your candidate for the client interview

If the client is interested in a candidate, they will usually request an interview - in very few instances have I ever had a client want a candidate to start with out at least speaking to them over the phone. The Technical Recruiter or the Account Manager should prepare the candidate for the interview and tell the candidate what will be expected of him or her, as well as what to expect from the client. Candidate preparation is a key element to insuring a positive outcome.

Scheduling the Interview

When the client requests an interview, you should try to get the client to suggest at least two or more interview times. That will increase your chances of the candidate's being available for at least one of the times and will minimize your needing to go back to the client to get alternative dates and times.

When you talk to the candidate about setting up the interview, you should also confirm the candidate's previous agreement to availability, salary, and interest in the assignment.

Entering Interview Details in the ATS (Applicant Tracking System)

After you have arranged a definite time and date for the interview, you should enter the details in The ATS so that other recruiters who might be interested in the candidate will know that the candidate is scheduled for an interview.

Checking References

It is now time to check the remaining references for the candidate. Enter references in the References section of the candidate record.

Previewing the Questions the Client Will Ask

For many clients, there is nothing exceptional about the questions the client will ask. One might expect questions about the candidate's skills, job history, and experience with the application or hardware that the candidate will be working with.

For some clients, however, there may be additional information that should be conveyed to the candidate. It is up to the Technical Recruiter to be aware of the client's concerns and interests and to make sure this information is transmitted.

Following up with the Candidate

After the interview, the Technical Recruiter should call the candidate to find out how the interview went. Did the candidate like what he or she learned about the client and the assignment? Would the candidate accept the assignment if the client made an offer? If not, why not?

If the client does make an offer, the candidate should respond within a reasonable time, usually in one or two days. Sometimes a candidate prefers to wait for the results of another interview. This sort of request usually entails a considerable risk. The offer would very likely go to someone else. The Technical Recruiter should make sure the candidate is aware of the risk.

Following up with the Client

The Account Manager should also call the client to find out how the interview went. Did the client like what he or she learned about the candidate? Does the client plan to make an offer to the candidate? If not, why not?

Entering Feedback in the ATS

After the results of the interview are known, enter the feedback in the ATS.
Some examples of prepping the candidate for an interview

Framing the interview

“Just so you know what to expect, let me take a few minutes to help you get ready for the interview”

  • Describe the interviewer’s personality traits, values, and professional background
  • Paint a picture of the company’s location and physical characteristics
  • If appropriate, mention anything the candidate and employer may have in common, such as schooling, hobbies, etc

Previewing the candidate prior to the interview

“I’m going to prepare you the best I can for your interview, to help improve your chances of getting an offer. We’ll need to cover a number of topics regarding logistics, attire, and interviewing tips, so you may want to make a list or take notes”

  • Date, time, and location of interview
  • Proper attire
  • Interviewing protocol: How to respond to questions regarding your skills, compensation, and level of interest

Temperature check

“Just so I understand your current situation, let me ask you something. If this position looks good to you, and they were to make you a fair offer, can you think of any reason why you couldn’t quit your current job and start in two weeks?”

36 bits of information that will help candidates be successful during the interview – Good idea to share with them prior to the interview

  1. Dress for success - show a professional image
  2. Be early for interviews (12-15 minutes). Don’t go in until your appointed time
  3. Express interest and enthusiasm
  4. De-emphasize money and fringe benefits (open on salary)
  5. Compliment past employers or minimize if unpleasant
  6. Maintain good eye contact
  7. Extend a firm, friendly handshake
  8. Express appreciation for interviewer’s time - everyone loves to be complimented!
  9. Give direct responses to questions
  10. Ask questions about position and the company
  11. Be receptive to the possibility of transfer to other locations
  12. Exhibit confidence and poise (at ease, calm)
  13. Exhibit assertive attitude without being overly aggressive
  14. Exhibit tact
  15. Express yourself clearly (voice, diction, grammar)
  16. Express a purpose and goal to a career move
  17. Express willingness to “earn your stripes” - show you’re a hard worker.
  18. Express mature attitude
  19. Exercise good, courteous, well mannered behavior
  20. Make short, direct responses to questions on unfavorable factors in records
  21. Indicate participation in company activities (team play)
  22. Maintain your health, exercise
  23. Be decisive (make decisions)
  24. Fill out company application neatly and completely
  25. Show interest in finding a good career opportunity
  26. Express interest in long term opportunities (goals)
  27. Show understanding, compassion
  28. Display high moral standards
  29. Show interest in the company or industry you are interviewing with
  30. Be energetic; well rested
  31. Avoid prejudicial comments
  32. Show broad interests (work and play)
  33. Take criticism as a professional statement
  34. Do not leave any negatives or weaknesses unaddressed or without restating one of your positives
  35. Answer tough questions with a question to buy time to think
  36. Get an offer - then make a decision about the company