Managing the Interview Process To Increase Your Success Rate

As a recruiter, your job is not simply a case of matching skills listed to a job specification outlined by the client. In order to ensure the right person gets into the right job, the entire recruitment process needs to be managed, otherwise you risk losing the right person to another company. So how can you, as a recruiter, ensure your client gets the right person? Success lies in managing the process.


When dealing with a new job order from a client, you’re dealing with many moving parts and variables, not least of which are the interviewers and the interviewees. Clients are busy running a company and candidates are trying to juggle their current jobs with their job search. The only person in this equation who is one hundred per cent focused on completing the assignment is you. That’s what your client is paying you for and why the candidate registered with an agency, rather than conducting their job search solo.


So what steps can you put in place to ensure a successful placement? The first, most obvious task is to ensure you fully understand the client’s requirements: what is the role, what are the specific tasks this person will need to perform, which skills must they possess? What is the salary on offer and if they give a range, find out what attributes a candidate should possess to be offered the upper level. This cuts down the negotiating time at the end. Make notes as to the company culture and the working environment. Find out about the team or department that has the vacancy. Consider the type of character who will fit in best. The vacancy is about more than skills; it’s about taking note of the company brand and the team style. You can’t market the position to the candidate if you don’t know the company.


The next step is to find out about the recruitment process: how many interviews will there be and who will be conducting them? Do any of the interviewers have time planned away for the office, for conferences, holidays, etc, over the next few weeks? This information tells you what sort of time scale you’re dealing with. If a key interviewer is due to leave for a conference in one week’s time, you need to get your skates on! Remember, time kills all deals! Discuss potential interview dates. There is no point having the first interview if the second interview isn’t going to happen shortly afterwards. A two-week hiatus between interviews sends negative messages to the candidate: firstly, the company is too disorganised to conduct an efficient recruitment procedure, secondly, they didn’t really want that candidate and have been hedging their bets whilst they’ve interviewed a slew of other prospects. Clients are busy people and as such, forget that top talent is unlikely to hang around whilst the relevant department head returns from a two-week holiday to Mexico. Start the recruitment process when the relevant people are available and get the process and timescale nailed down tight.


Armed with this information, the candidate search begins. Once you have selected suitable prospects and secured their interest, explain the recruitment procedure. Confirm salary requirements, discuss flexibility with pay and benefits, manage expectations, discuss the location and make sure they are satisfied as far as they can be without having actually been for the interview. Then discuss interview dates and get them booked in. One of the biggest time-losing processes is the back and forth between the candidate-recruiter-client triangle. Get all the information first so that you can keep the number of phone calls to a minimum.


The candidate is set, so call the client, book in the interviews and confirm availability for second interview. Once the interview is over, talk to the candidate immediately, to gain their feedback. If they’re keen to proceed, discuss a date for second interview. Then, when you speak to the client, you already have the answer should the candidate be invited to proceed and you can confirm second interview date and time.


Following the second interview, a conversation with the candidate will quickly tell you whether they will accept or not. As salary requirements have already been discussed, this should not now be a stumbling block but simply a matter of confirmation.


Conducting the recruitment process in this manner allows for tighter control through keeping the process as simple and straightforward as possible. The simpler you make it, the greater your chance of success.