First impressions play a critical role in job interviews. Candidates should strive to make a favorable impression to seal the deal and become a new recruit, while employers must present their company in a positive light to attract top talent.
A recruitment proposal will get potential new hires some of the way down the path to a dream job. But the job interview is the decisive step in the application process. While a candidate’s professional qualifications may appear to meet the employee’s requirements on paper, the interview provides the first opportunity to assess whether those skills can be effectively applied in practical situations.
It offers employers the opportunity to get to know candidates and assess whether they are suitable for the position. For candidates, however, the interview can be a nerve-wracking experience. A lot of people put pressure on themselves to present themselves as perfectly as possible and it can show in their body language.
In this article, we’ll give you some interview pointers from both an employer and applicant perspective. We will provide guidance for recruiters on addressing common questions throughout the application process. Additionally, there are also some helpful dos and don’ts for applicants and interview tips on how they can effectively prepare for their big interview.
The Job Posting
To fill a position with the right candidate, you’re going to need to advertise the role clearly. Creating a job advertisement involves several key steps to ensure that it effectively communicates the position’s requirements, qualifications, and expectations to potential candidates. Here are some steps to think about when crafting a job advert:
Job Title and Summary: Start by creating a clear, concise job title that accurately reflects the position’s primary function. You want it to stand out to people doing a job search. Follow it up with a brief job summary that describes the position’s core requirements and qualifications.
Job Specifications: Next, provide a detailed job description. Mention the position’s essential duties, tasks, and skills. Make sure to emphasize the skills necessary to succeed in the role.
Required Skills and Qualifications: List the required education, experience, and certifications needed to qualify for the job. If the position requires specific technical skills, languages, or software, make sure they are specified in the job posting.
Benefits and Compensation: Candidates will want to know what benefits they will receive if hired, so be sure to include information about compensation, health care, retirement, and other perks.
Company Culture: Highlight your company’s culture and values, including any social or community activities or volunteer opportunities. This helps candidates determine whether they would be a good fit for your company.
How To Apply: Make it easy for candidates to apply by providing clear instructions on how to submit a resume, cover letter, or application.
Once you have created the posting, it can then be shared across various channels, such as job portals, the company’s website, career page, and business networks like Xing and LinkedIn.
It is a good idea to personalize and tailor job advertisements specifically to the position and the company.
Since job postings are usually shared on multiple platforms, it is crucial to maintain an organized overview. HR software solutions like flair simplify campaign organization by providing HR managers with the flexibility to choose where to post job ads and track costs in a dashboard view.
The flair HR app also enables the multiposting of jobs with the added bonus of being able to pay for ad space on a range of recruitment channels. Our solution is capable of facilitating central management throughout the recruitment process, ensuring a smooth and efficient experience.
Under new transparency laws in the European Union, employers will have to provide information about the initial pay level or its range in the job vacancy notice or prior to a job interview. Employers will not be allowed to ask potential hires about pay history, according to the EU Commission.
The Job Interview as an Employer
Recruiting the right candidate is always a challenge for personnel managers. The success of the interview largely depends on the atmosphere created by the recruiter and the questions asked during the process.
We have outlined some important job interview tips for creating a smooth interview process. It is important to consider the type of interview, whether it be a telephone, video interview, or in-person meeting.
Create a Welcoming Atmosphere: Applicants are often nervous, so it is important to avoid trick or stress-inducing questions, especially at the beginning of an interview. A little small talk at the beginning can create a comfortable atmosphere, allowing the candidate to present themselves as they truly are. A simple “tell me about yourself” is always a nice way to kick off an interview.
For In-Person Interviews: When conducting an on-site interview, greet the applicant and ensure that the room and seating arrangement are comfortable. Avoid intimidating settings such as a tribunal of five people sitting opposite the candidate.
Preparation Is Key: Prepare questions in advance that you would like to ask the candidate and review their application documents and work history. Avoid personal questions about family planning or health. It’s important to stick to professional questions about their career history and experience.
Recommended Interview Topics
We recommend that HR professionals avoid rote questions to reduce the likelihood of getting ready-made answers. Let’s look at how you can give the applicant the best chance to showcase their knowledge and skills.
Experience-Related Information: A CV is like an employment passport. It can show where an applicant has been and give an indication of the knowledge they’ve picked up on the journey. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to briefly discuss a candidate’s career chronologically. In this way, you often get to know the motives for certain decision-making processes and can therefore better assess whether this is the ideal candidate you’re looking for.
Skills-Based Exercises: Depending on the industry and the vacancies to be filled, it can make sense to test an applicant’s working methods with a small task. This step is often scheduled after the first meeting and before the second interview. It provides a great conversation point during an interview and challenges job seekers to show what they can do.
Ask About Soft Skills Creatively: Besides technical expertise, soft skills are particularly important. For example, it is essential for a positive workplace culture that the candidate is a team player. But asking flatly whether this is the case is unlikely to yield any great insights. It is better to ask about a specific situation in the past, how the applicant solved a tricky task, and what role they played in the team. The resilience of an applicant is particularly important in hectic everyday work. However, asking if they are resilient might not make a good impression on the applicant. Try describing a situation in which the candidate is faced with a lot of tasks and ask how they responded.
The Job Interview as an Applicant
There are some key elements that applicants should keep in mind before stepping over the threshold into an interview. Here are some dos and don’ts that you should be familiar with.
Research the Company: One of the most important things to do as part of your preparation for an interview is to know some things about the employer. Research the company and its mission, products, or services. You can do this on the website and through social media channels. This will give you an impression of the culture and working environment of your potential employer. Plus, the more you know about the company, the better you can answer questions from the hiring manager and show that you are interested in the position. Prepare your own questions, as you will almost always be asked if you have any queries.
Match Job Posting With Qualifications: Make sure that you check your qualifications and skills against the job advertisement. Think of examples of how you have used your skills successfully in the past and how they might fit the job. If there are inconsistencies or the requirements exceed your know-how in certain areas, you should be prepared to explain how you might mitigate any skills gaps.
Know Your Strengths: It’s a good idea to know what strengths and skills you will bring to the table. Prepare to speak about your work experience and use past jobs to showcase what you can do for a new employer.
Career Coaching: A career coach can help their clients identify any obstacles or challenges that may be hindering their progress in certain professions. A professional career coach can provide insights and education on interview skills and the hiring process.
Practice Interviewing: There are several classic and common interview questions that you will likely encounter in almost every job interview, such as “What motivates you?” or “How do you deal with conflict?”. By thinking about your answers in advance, you will appear more secure and self-confident in the conversation. As with everything, practice makes perfect. It can be a great way to hone your communication skills ahead of your next interview.
Observe the Dress Code: Dress appropriately for the position and the company to show your potential employer that you are seriously interested in the job. Things are different these days and a shirt and tie certainly do not constitute absolute professionalism. However, research how the company presents itself, consider the industry, and put together your outfit accordingly. It can give you a helping hand toward interview success.
Salary Expectations: When discussing your salary expectations, know your value and have a desired figure in your head. Sometimes, the job posting may already include a salary range for the position. In all cases, be prepared to explain what you will bring to the job in return for your desired salary.
List of References: Are they still a thing? In the digital age with the likes of LinkedIn and personal portfolio pages now so commonplace, job references look to be a lot less relevant now. But it’s still a good idea to have a number of people who can speak positively and knowledgeably about your work just in case.
Enhance Recruitment With HR Software
Viewed from the HR department's perspective, the interview is crucial to learning more about an applicant and their suitability for a position. To make the best decision, it’s important to ask pertinent job interview questions and foster a comfortable atmosphere for the candidate. Additionally, sharing information about the company and the job with the applicant will also help them make an informed decision.
Utilizing software solutions such as flair and professionally managing the whole application process brings so many advantages.
From cost savings to streamlining tricky processes and enhancing the company culture for employees, HR management solutions can be the difference between average and excellence.
flair: As an end-to-end HR management solution, flair provides users with complete oversight of the recruitment process. From building a career page and advertising jobs to guiding applicants through recruitment stages, flair has the tools to enhance HR processes.
From the applicant’s viewpoint, the interview is an opportunity to showcase themselves and persuade recruiters that they are the perfect fit for the position. Adequate preparation by the candidate is essential to make a convincing impression. To appear genuine and technically skilled, you should fluently show how they’ve researched the company. During the interview, it’s essential to exude confidence and provide concise and truthful answers.
All in all, job interviews are a necessity for both the company and potential employees. By preparing carefully, hopefully, recruiters and candidates can find a perfect match that leads to a follow-up job offer.
Internal recruitment is quick, cost-effective, and can boost your company's overall productivity and efficiency. It’s no wonder more organizations are embracing it as part of their talent acquisition process.