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4 Signs Your Interview Process is Falling Flat - and How to Fix It!
Wednesday, Jun 08, 2016

The job market is changing, and it is more important than ever to make sure your hiring strategy is changing with it. Certain processes that might have worked in the past are starting to fall flat, and you might not even notice! One process that could probably use an upgrade is your interview process. It sounds simple enough – invite candidates to the office, ask them questions, and make a hiring decision based on their answers. Although that is the goal of an interview process, it is by no means the extent. Take a closer look, and if you notice any of the following signs, you might want to consider making some changes.  

#1: Candidate Interest is Dropping

First and foremost, if you see a decline in candidate interest in your company, look at your interview process. Taking a good look at the candidate experience could do wonders for your hiring success, and the interview process is one of the biggest ways candidates interact with your brand, people, and space. If candidates are losing interest, it is very likely that your interview process is too long. A recent report by Glassdoor revealed that the overall interview process has grown in length by 3.7 days since 2009 to 22.9 days today. Although you may feel like a longer interview process would produce higher quality candidates, that is not necessarily the case. In fact, a longer interview process could actually deter the best candidates from applying in the first place.

How to Fix It: Simplify the process. Candidates need to take time out of their day, and often time off at their current job, to come into an interview. Instead of requiring multiple rounds of in-person interviews and on-site visits, which can not only waste time but become stale and repetitive to the candidate, consider creative screening techniques for before the candidate even gets invited to the office. By performing phone screens or requiring video cover letters, you can get a better feel for the candidate and only have to speak with them once or twice in person before making a decision. 

#2: Your Interview Process Hasn’t Changed in Years

If you are stuck in the past when it comes to you interview process, you are not alone. Although a lot of companies understand the need to attract modern job seekers, they fail to meet the technology and process standards required to do so. Today’s top talent has needs that are different than talent pools of the past, and a great interview process is one of them. If you’re still relying on manual resume sorting and stale questions, candidates will quickly lose interest.

How to Fix It: Do a little research. Recruiting solutions may seem overwhelming, but it is important to keep in mind that these systems exist to assist your process, not completely replace it, and have an incredible return on investment. Other ways to freshen your interview process include offering company swag to candidates, incorporating some unique interview questions, and assessing for culture fit in addition to technical skill. 

#3: The Candidate’s Resume Runs the Interview

Resumes are a useful tool for gaining a surface understanding of candidates. If your open job requires certain certification that the candidate does not have, a resume is a quick and efficient way of determining that and eliminating the candidate. A resume is not, however, a complete look into a candidate’s value. While experience is important, less tangible items like work ethic, personality, and potential are often more valuable indicators of a good hire.

How to Fix It: Have a conversation. A study by CareerBuilder found that more than half of the 2,000 hiring managers surveyed stated that they’ve found a lie on a resume, so relying solely on that resource while interviewing will not result in quality hires. Let the resume guide some questions, but balance those questions with assessments based on the company culture or the candidate’s plans for the future. And don’t forget to set time aside for the candidate to interview you as well.

#4: Lacking Post-Interview Communication

We’ve all been there – you get excited about a job prospect, take time off to go in for an interview, feel confident walking out, and never hear from the company again. Lacking candidate communication can be fatal to any good interview process, and is an essential part of the candidate experience. Until the candidate has been informed of their status with the company, the interview process is not over, and lacking communication reflects poorly on your overall employer brand.

How to Fix It: Keep in touch. Not sending anything at all will alienate candidates and create resentment, but sending a bland, impersonal rejection email might not be much better. Audit your current rejection email template, and look for areas to improve. By taking the extra minute to explain why you will not be moving forward with the candidate and wishing them luck in their search, you can create an employer brand that truly stands out from the crowd.

In order to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to hiring top talent, it is important to keep a keen eye out for evidence that your recruitment process isn’t performing the way it should. An underperforming interview process can seriously hurt your hiring goals, but with the right tools and willingness to make changes, you can make sure you’re getting the most out of this essential screening step.