September 26, 2018
Estimated Read Time: 6 Minutes
From job descriptions to interview questions, preparing for your next interview with a potential employee can be tough. You want to be sure that your’e able to accurately describe the responsibilities of the role and gauge the skill set, experience, and cultural fit of the interviewee, all while selling yourself as a top organization and a great place to work – it’s a unique challenge. The task of interviewing is already a tall order – you’re meant to determine whether or not a candidate is the ideal fit for your organization with nothing but a couple face-to-face meetings.
So how can you best use this time to ensure that applicants will resonate with the role and your organization? We already know that 20% of all employee turnover happens within the first 45 days of employment, so what can you do to beat those odds and retain quality employees?
The interview is key, but it’s much more than a tool to identify a good fit for a vacant position. An interview done right can help prevent a bad employee experience, it can paint a picture of your organizational structure and culture, it can provide a feedback loop of insight during an employee’s exit from the organization, and it can even help you prevent ghosting.
Every employee wants to be a valued member of the team. We all want our talents, work ethic, creativity, and ideas to be recognized and celebrated. Fostering a culture that facilitates this feedback is critical to creating a strong employee experience. Candidates are astutely aware of this dynamic and look for ways to evaluate your company culture throughout the hiring process. That is why it is so important to highlight this aspect of your organization in the interview and grab the interviewee’s attention – selling them on why they should want to work at your organization and become a contributing member to the team.
The interview is also a great time to highlight key milestones and expectations within the candidate’s first few months within the organization. This gives the interviewee a clearer picture of how they can provide immediate value to the team and also paves the way for a transparent experience through their initial journey with your organization.
Of course, delivering on your commitment to culture that, on day one, they look forward to, is huge. If I accept a position with an expectation of a great company culture, the true culture of the organization should reflect what was described in the interview. Culture is big in today’s job market and if you’re unsure where your organization stands, consider self-evaluating your company culture.
Let’s address a few interview questions that can come in handy when preparing for your next interview. You want to make sure these questions are not only beneficial and help you gain insight on the applicant, but also give the applicant insight into the cultural dynamics of your organization
Questions to Keep in Mind:
When developing your own interview questions, it’s important to make these questions resemble your organization, brand, and culture to show the interviewee how they could fit into the existing cultural dynamic. If done correctly, your questions and demeanor should give an accurate “look and feel” into everyday life with your organization. If this is a culture that resonates with the applicant, you will create excitement and allure for the position – creating an ambassador for your brand that truly wants to join your team. This is key to avoiding the dreaded “ghosting” scenario.
“Ghosting” happens when the employer has made contact with a potential applicant and has offered them to come in for an interview or even offered them the job but the applicant is nowhere to be seen.
Ensuring that your interview questions and talking points resemble your brand will show the applicant what makes your organization unique and quell some of the apprehension they may have walking into the interview. If they are in the interview seat, chances are, they probably want to be a part of your company. They might be with your organization for one year or ten, however, it is important that you glean insight of why they are interested in the role and for what reason. If they don’t see themselves fitting in with your company then they might not respond to you, or worse “ghost” you if you do extend the offer.
Applicants are under a tremendous amount of pressure. The stakes are high for them and if they’re leaving an organization and a culture that they enjoy, an interview with another company can be pretty nerve-racking.
Personally, I was there a year ago and it was scary, but I knew I made the right decision because I was asked the right questions in my interview. I knew that I could make this company, and this brand, something of my own. I wasn’t just a fish in the pond, or a number, I was a person with a name and that was huge to me. Finding my own work ethic and doing my own work and owning it was key. Making sure the company fits with who you are and what you stand for is extremely important because it could be the difference between staying with the organization forever or just a few months.
It’s important to keep this perspective while preparing for an interview. While you want to highlight your organization’s best features, it’s also important to manage the applicant’s expectations and give them an accurate depiction of their work environment and the culture they will be working within. Derailment can happen very quickly with new employees and if a new employee walks into a new role already feeling a bit of buyer’s remorse, you could find yourself filling the same role very soon.
Things happen. People change. It’s the way of the world. Sometimes a really good employee wants a change and could leave your organization – finding something else. This may be a disappointment but it happens across the country many times every single day. By preparing a meaningful exit interview, you can gain critical insight into the culture and work flow of your organization – helping you learn and improve your next new-hire interview. If you need some good exit interview advice and questions, check out the blog “Exit Interviews: How to Do Them the Right Way,” where I talk about ways to make sure that you do make the most out of the exit interview and in turn, save you from this the next time.
Having a good exit interview will not only help you get information you need out of the departing employee as to why they are leaving but it will help you gather key information that is critical to improving your current workforce and ensuring a longer tenure of incoming new-hires. When you find someone truly great, you want to keep that employee around and you want them to grow within the company for years and years.
Interviews can be a challenge and you never really know what you’re walking into until you sit down across from the applicant. By walking into that interview prepared and knowing exactly what you want out of it can only help you succeed. We would love to know what you think, or answer any questions you may have. Please leave a comment below to tell us your thoughts. To learn more, or if you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more great blogs and content please subscribe to our blogs here.