Forming a winning interview approach for non HR professionals.

Winning interview - Executive ConnectionsThe very best candidates active on the current jobs market are likely to have 2-3 job offers on the table before they choose to take a role.  Their decision on which offer to take will be based to a very large extent on their experience throughout the interview process.  From my experience, many hiring managers are not trained to a high level at conducting interviews, for example start-ups who are scaling at a rapid rate and who may not yet have HR expertise on their teams. Organisations need to be able to provide a positive experience, more polished and personable than your competitors, in order to be best positioned to get the best candidate. As a result of this, I have listed some tips to help you and your team form a winning interview approach.

Plan with precision.

Think about the effort that goes into securing a new client for your company.  The same effort and planning needs to be invested when planning your interview process.  Be very clear on what the value proposition of the role and the company is.  When describing the culture of your company use examples to paint a picture for the interviewee.  “We have a work hard play hard culture” is a very common response in interviews but it doesn’t tell the candidate much.  Be clear and give an example of a night out, a charity event the company got involved in or examples of flexible working arrangements across the company.

Know the candidate and their pain point.

The recession is over so candidates can’t be asked to jump through hoops.  It’s important to get the balance right between finding out what the candidate can bring to the role and company while also portraying what is in it for them.  If your organisation is working with a recruitment consultancy, get them to give you a full brief on what is important for this candidate and tailor the interview as a result of this. Make sure to ask the candidate questions around their aspirations and possible concerns, candidates need to know you care.  If they get the fuzzy feeling you are half way there.

Ensure everyone on the panel knows your companies USP.

Share what is unique about your company across the interview panel, especially if there are a number of stages, so there is a new piece of attractive information shared with the candidate at every stage of the process.  Not everyone wants to work in a big multinational with a long list of benefits.  If you are a small company and can’t afford large health or pension contributions, remember you offer other benefits that can attract candidates. Sell other aspects of the business such as employees’ getting the opportunity to work with the key decision makers, having their ideas heard and making their influence felt within the business.

For most candidates flexibility is the number one attractive benefit.  Our latest research has shown the freedom to work away from the office is an important benefit for 69% of employees.  A flexible working week in my experience is more important than a health plan with all the bells and whistles with.  Ask your recruiter what makes your company stand out against the others they are dealing with and include this as an attraction tool.

For more information on forming a winning interview approach for your next hire feel free to contact me, Aisling on 01-6618740 or email I am also working on a number of roles in the Sales & Marketing space which you can see here.

Executive Connections News & Events