TA Leaders: Your Candidates are a Reflection of You!

Hire Design Photo 12 18 2020

Talent Acquisition (TA) professionals are tasked with presenting clients and/or hiring managers (HM) with a diverse and qualified applicant pool. Although a recruiter can tell a lot about a candidate through their resume and initial phone screen, it is sometimes very hard to predict subsequent interview performance. The candidates presented to a HM and their interview performance is a reflection of the TA professional who submitted them. Although interview preparation may seem like a formality, it is a critical step for the candidate, recruiter, and hiring manager. Therefore, it is essential for TA professionals to have a process in place to make sure candidates are as prepared as possible for their upcoming interviews.

Although more time may be spent with people new to the market (recent graduates and those returning to the workforce) a recruiter should not assume that the level of professional career experiences a candidate has correlated to interview experience. Take for instance a seasoned professional who has years of experience on their resume and has been with the same company for that entire period. A recruiter may feel this candidate is a “slam dunk,” the lack of recent interview experience can prove costly during the interview, and in turn, may lead to an offer not being extended and/or an unhappy hiring manager who feels their time was wasted by an unprepared candidate.

Proper interview preparation may differ depending on the candidate; however, it should include the following points:

  • Confirming the basic logistics of the interview
    • Address of company (If in-person interview)
    • Phone number and technology confirmation (If it is a phone screen or virtual)
    • Confirming the time and time zone is correct for all parties
  • Basic Interview reminders...Do not take any of these items for granted!
    • Reminding the candidate about wearing professional attire
    • Reminder about being early (not too early) to the interview and knowing the route they will take to get to the interview if it is in person
    • Zoom or Virtual interview protocol (Wearing professional attire even for a Zoom)
    • Test microphone, video, proper screen placement, lighting, and background
    • Background noise and cell phone signal (Being somewhere where call quality is strong)
  • Overview of the company including culture
    • Make sure the candidate has done their homework and is well versed in what the company does, its products, etc.
  • Overview of the Hiring Manager and specific department
    • A general overview of the HM and their professional background
    • The leadership style of the HM and their expectations of employees
    • Style of the interview the candidate can expect i.e. conversational interview or strictly Q and A
  • A mock interview segment where you can listen to the candidate’s articulate answers
    • Evaluating and coaching the candidate’s presence: body language, eye contact, the pace of talking, etc.
    • Making sure the candidate is clear and answers the actual questions being answered.
    • Making sure the candidate articulates their value proposition to the company.
    • Making sure the candidate is using examples from past experiences to answer questions when relevant and appropriate.
    • Follow up questions the candidate should be asking.
    • Addressing how to answer a compensation question.
    • Closing out the interview properly.
    • Sending a “thank you” to the Hiring Manager and all other interviewers.

There is no doubt that the preparedness of candidates is a direct reflection on the TA professional who has submitted the candidate to move forward in the process. In addition to building your credibility with Hiring Managers, you are also building your company brand with candidates and showing that you care about their success as well. In short, it is a “win-win” for all involved. We can't always control what happens in the search process, but we can control how prepared our candidates are in the process and our clients will find amazing value in this!