Hiring managers are often complaining that candidates aren’t doing their research and that they show up for the job without having done any research on the company and role.
But this works both ways. Just like you want the candidate to know what the job requirements are and what the company does, there are certain things that the interviewer should know before the face-to-face sit down.
Know these things before the initial meeting or risk top talent walking away and saying “Thanks, but no thanks.”
Who the candidate is: Don’t be that guy who shows up for the interview, rifles through a pile of papers looking for the right resume (or scrolls through a bunch of computer files), asking “And you are…?” Yeah yeah, you’re busy. Find the time.
The candidate’s experience and qualifications: Too many job seekers have shown up for interviews only to realize the interviewer hadn’t actually gotten around the reading their resume until that very moment. The candidate is just someone HR sent over. This looks unprofessional and sloppy. Do your homework.
What the qualifications are for the job: Know what you’re hiring for and what qualifications the candidate must have. Yes, you’re hiring a receptionist, but does that person also need to know how to code or write marketing materials? Also, you know what new hires love? Having extra job requirements sprung on them after they’ve started (#incaseyoucanttellimbeingsarcastic).
The right questions to ask: I hate job interview questions – “How do you demonstrate that you align with our company values and what that looks like?” “How do you show a value add to our KPI?” Oh, shut up. JUST SHUT UP. Lose the HR jargon. Ask about specific job requirements and have a normal conversation to suss out personality. If you want to know how they will handle a conflict with coworkers, ask “How would you handle a conflict with coworkers?”
What you expect of the candidate: Aside from specific hard skills and qualifications, do you expect the person to fit in with the team and take time to attend every workplace social event? Do you expect them to be on time every day and stay until quitting time or do you offer more flexible hours? Is working remotely OK? Do you expect overtime? And don’t lie to yourself about these things. If you tell yourself you don’t really care about something, then it turns out you do, nobody is going to be happy.
What it comes down to is that you have to know what you need.
You’re far more likely to find what you are looking for if you know what it is. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you’re not going to find it.