Interviewing is a two-way street and in a candidate driven market, sometimes the interview process is reversed.

Strong candidates might have multiple offers or opportunities and it seems they may be asking more questions of companies in the interview than they may be receiving.

Over the years there is a common theme that I’ve seen with high performing companies that seem to retain their employees: The hiring manager always asks me after the interview “What was the feedback from the candidate?”.

However, I can’t tell you how many times a company has called me to discuss taking a candidate to the next round of interviews, only to find out that the candidate left the interview disinterested in them.

Unfortunately, these companies viewed the interview as one sided – only trying to determine if the candidate is qualified and if the candidate would be a good fit. The companies didn’t understand they were being interviewed during the process as well. 

It is extremely important for potential candidates to have a great resume, be very buttoned up and totally prepared for any type of interview. The candidate is not there just to show that they can do the job, but to show that they can do the job better and be a greater fit than the dozens of other people that also want the job.

I believe the same applies to the hiring company. Even if a company doesn’t have interest in a candidate, it is very important for the candidate to feel that it is a great place to work and to have a good experience through the interview process. If they don’t, then we know that they will tell their friends, which can make it challenging to get top talent in the future.

That bad experience can hurt the company’s reputation. Even if they do hire someone, they might find that the person isn’t fully committed due to a negative experience through the interview process.

Although the internet has made connections easier, the hiring process and its implications are much more complicated. Candidates want to know more than just about compensation and a job description. They want information about career growth, a profile of their potential hiring manager, and the reasons the company is a good place to grow a career.

Relationships drive the answers to these candidates questions and it is critical for hiring companies to be prepared to compete for top talent by being prepared to answer a candidate’s questions regarding these issues.

In summary, companies are asking candidates “Can you perform this position and are you the most qualified candidate to do so?”. But, talented candidates are asking companies “What are the reasons that I should work for your company?”

Great companies understand that they are interviewing the candidate and that the candidate is interviewing their company – it’s a two-way process. Companies who get this concept are able to attract and retain top talent more easily and lessen any issues and roadblocks during the hiring process.

 

By Mike Whittington, Senior Executive Recruiter