Yes, you read that right! It is common sense that you need to prepare for the job interview if you are the candidate, however, interview preparation is equally important for the recruiter.
Not only is applying for a job a two-way process nowadays, but also the recruiter is usually the first point of contact and, therefore, the first impression that the candidate has of the company they are applying for. Hence, recruiters play a crucial role in the application process and this bears the responsibility of ensuring that the interview is as useful as possible to both sides.
But how can you achieve this? Read below for a few tips!
1. Know the company you are presenting
If you have worked in-house for the company for some time, then presenting it would most probably be easy for you, however, even if you are an external recruiter, make sure you can give an in-depth presentation.
Before the interview, spend some time to understand the business of the company you are presenting as well as general information about it such as the number of employees and office locations.
In order to get a real “feel” of the company, you can check if there are any opinions online on what it is like to work there and it would be even better if you can discuss them with your point of contact, especially to understand the negative ones (because there is no perfect company!).
2. Know the position you are presenting
Another important topic to make sure you understand thoroughly before the interview is the position you are looking to fill, including what kind of candidate would be a good fit for it. Knowing what the responsibilities and role of this person will be as well as understanding the required experience and skills for it will make it much easier for you to know what to look for during the interview.
In addition, explaining the position to the candidate in details would ensure they can imagine themselves on it and better understand if the role is suitable for their experience and professional aspirations.
3. Know the candidate you are meeting
We are not talking about stalking them on social media, however, make sure that you thoroughly read through their CV and any other documents they have submitted before your meeting.
The interview should be entirely about them, so it would make a really good impression of a personalized approach if you show that you have observed even some smaller details of their an application such as those extra courses they have taken outside their job responsibilities or that they are volunteering in their free time.
Furthermore, if you are recruiting for a wide range of roles, spend some time beforehand to get into the specific terminology of the position – not only will the candidate appreciate that you are “speaking their language” but it will also be easier for you to understand their experience.
4. Prepare the outline and specific questions for the interview
When it comes to how to conduct the interview itself, the optimal option seems to be the semi-structured one – you have main topics you need to cover but you are flexible to dig into them or discuss other questions you see suitable.
So, before the interview, think about the topics you will need to go through – these are usually the company and position presentation as well as the candidate’s professional experience and motivation.
However, based on the role and the candidate’s application, you can come up in advance with some more specific questions you would be interested in covering to aid you during the interview. Make sure you determine not only position but also culture fit!
5. Be ready to listen and answer questions!
A crucial part of interviewing is knowing how to communicate – not only to be able to present the company and the position as well as ask questions and take notes.
Firstly, be prepared to really listen to, not just hear, what the candidate is saying – do not assume anything and do not hesitate to ask follow-up questions in order to make sure you are “on the same page”.
Further, you will also need to be prepared to answer any question the candidate might have – including the ones you do not know the answer to! No, do not just come up with one – it is normal to not know absolutely everything, so be prepared for a situation where you have to admit you are unsure of the answer, so you will check it and get back to the candidate.
Of course, these are just general tips on how to prepare in advance for an interview as a recruiter. Hopefully, they give you a good outline of the most important topics you need to take care of before the meeting. They will help you make sure that both you and the candidate get the most out of your conversation.
And, remember, even if things do not “work out” between you, they might in the future, so it is nevertheless important to make a positive impression and ensure the meeting is useful for both sides!